Reported Career Aspirations for Children With IEPs by Parents in STEM Focused and Non-STEM Focused Academic Environments

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There is evidence that career decision making has its roots in early childhood and continues throughout the lifetime (Magnuson & Starr, 2000; Trice, 1991; Trice & McClellan, 1994). The results of this study indicate that by fifth grade, and sometimes as early as first grade, children are able to rationally examine how realistic their career aspirations are, as shown by Auger et al.,(2005). As a result more researchers are focusing on the beginnings of career exploration among elementary-aged children (Auger, Blackhurst, & Wahl, 2005, Trice, Hughes, Odom, Woods, & McClellan, 1995; Trice & King, 1991; Walls, 2000; Wright et al., 1995). In one such study, it was discovered that half of a group of children aged 9 and 10 believed they had already made decisions that would impact their future careers (Seligman, Weinstock & Heflin, 1991). Many young children may aspire to careers that are unrealistic, a phenomenon that is particularly troublesome among young children from families who may not have the skills or knowledge to help guide and support their children to more realistic careers. This is a phenomena seen many times seen among low income, minority, and/or “”at risk students” (i.e. the desire to have a career as a professional athlete) (Bobo, Hildreath,Durodoye, 1998; Cook et al., 1996; Helwig, 2001). While career aspirations among young children may not always be realistic, they do form the basis for future career aspirations. There is the question of where these aspirations originate. There are certainly multiple sources of future career aspirations among young children, it is indisputable that parents do have an impact on the career aspirations of their children, as do other important role models. For this reason, it... ... middle of paper ... ...s of a longitudinal study. Psychological Reports, 72, 368-370. Turner, S., & Lapan, R.T. (2002). Career self-efficacy and perceptions of parent support in adolescent career development. Career Development Quarterly, 51, 44-55. Walls, R.T. (2000). Vocational cognition accuracy of 3rd-, 6th-, 9th-, and 12th-grade students. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 56, 137-144. Whal, K. H.(2005). The development of elementary-aged children's career aspirations and expectations. Professional School Counseling. Retrieved from Wright, J. C., Huston, A. C., Truglio, R., Fitch, M., Smith, E., & Piemyat, S. (1995). Occupational portrayals on television: Children's role schemata, career aspirations, and perceptions of reality. Child Development, 66, 1706-1718.
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