Welcome to Space4Careers

Welcome to Space4Careers, the blog of the Centre for Career & Personal Development at Canterbury Christ Church University. This blog does what it says on the tin, it provides an opportunity for anyone who is interested in all aspects of careers work to find a little bit of space in their busy lives to think about current issues and trends. If you like or dislike, agree or disagree with what you see, please respond and let us have your views. We'd love to hear from you.

Please note, the content of this blog represents the views of the individual blogger, not those of

Canterbury Christ Church University.

View the website for the Centre for Career and Personal Development

Friday, 27 April 2012

Senior Lecturers from CCPD speak at Danish International Conference

Academic papers were delivered by two colleagues from the Centre for Career & Personal Development.  Anne Chant and Rebecca Tee spoke at the European Society for Research into the Education of Adults conference held at the University of Southern Denmark last month.  Their papers conveyed key points from their respective doctoral research at CCCU.  Anne Chant’s paper looked at the impact of parental influence on career choice whilst Rebecca Tee’s explored the motivation of school governors. 
Anne Chant
The conference theme was life history and focused on aspects of in-depth autobiographic narrative enquiry which both Anne and Rebecca are using as their methodology for their research.  One of the most impactful aspects of the conference was the array of disciplines that were represented, all using life story and narrative approaches to help to understand the breadth of human experience.
Rebecca Tee
The conference was opened by Nora Bateson from Canada, who showed a film she had produced about her father, Gregory Bateson (1904 – 1980), an English anthropologist and social scientist and author of:  “Steps to an Ecology of Mind” (1972).
Peter Alheit from Germany spoke about his research which delineates the history of biography.  Marianne Horsdal introduced her new book ‘Telling Lives’ and discussed the interface between positivist and constructivist approaches to narrative research, emphasising the importance of narratives to make sense of the temporal world.

Other notable contributions included:

  • Linden West from CCCU – reflecting on transformative learning
  • Jesper Hoffmeyer from Denmark introduced the subject of Biosemiotics.  Countering the ‘either/or’ debate he discussed the interface between science and emotions.  
  • Ian King, a doctoral scholar from CCPD presented a summary of his research which gave us a lot to think about.  We were particularly taken with the metaphor of the ‘quarry’ from which we dig deep for memories of life’s experiences.
  • Laura Formenti from Italy contributed with her ‘myth of birth’ seminar.  She had collected the stories people have of their own births and explored the impact this may have had on those individuals in their relationships and in later life.
This was a memorable and varied conference which illustrated both the power of life stories as a research tool and as an effective conduit for our biological, sociological and emotional journeys.
Anne Chant

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Where's the career guidance in the guidance?

On the 26th March 2012 the DfE published:
The Education Act 2011: ‘The duty to secure independent and impartial careers guidance for young people in schools.  Statutory guidance for head teachers, school staff, governing bodies and local authorities.’
Oh dear, what happened to the consultation – the improvements to the original document?  A well-connected colleague has described the document as ‘dismal’. Here are some more words: miserable, depressing, inadequate, paltry, derisory, meagre, piddling – perhaps I had better stop now.  A bit harsh – justification for such words?  In essence what’s wrong with it has been summarised as:
  • The duty to secure access to independent face-to-face guidance is weak: statement in the previous version that ‘most, if not all, young people would benefit from (such guidance)’ has been removed; now says face-to-face guidance is appropriate ‘where it is the most suitable support for young people to make successful transitions, particularly children from disadvantaged backgrounds or those who have special educational needs, learning difficulties or disabilities’.  Who will determine this, and on what criteria?
  • The purpose of career guidance has been restricted to immediate decisions about education and training options:  the development of longer-term career goals does not figure.
  • Encouragement to local authorities to continue to play a role in supporting career guidance in schools has been removed.
  • Review date following consultation on extending the age range postponed from 05/2012 to 03/2013.
  • Section on the Careers Professional Alliance removed: only reference now is that ‘where schools deem face-to-face careers guidance to be appropriate for their pupils, it can (sic) be provided by qualified careers professionals’.
  • Paragraph on careers education removed; only limited paragraph on ‘wider careers activities’ remains.
  • Reference to quality awards and QiCS gone.
  • Paragraph on other learning providers weakened by deletion of sentence on inviting them into the school: only visits and access to prospectuses remain.


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Constructing narratives of continuity and change

On Saturday 12th May 2012, a conference entitled "Constructing narratives of continuity and change in the context of a difficult and unpredictable world" is being held at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Tutors working from the Centre for Career and Personal Development, working with other colleagues at the University, are hosting an event that brings together academics, researchers and post graduate students from across many different disciplines.  This landmark occasion includes presentations and workshops that embrace auto/biography and narrative research within education and across a range of disciplines and professional sectors.

Professor Molly Andrews, Professor Laura Formenti and Professor Linden West are the keynote speakers and there are a host of interesting workshops to stimulate and progress ideas around narrative-based research.

Canterbury Christ Church University is home to a lively research group focussed on auto/biographical narrative studies and life history, which brings together a range of academic with particular strengths in education, health and social care studies.  The group contains a substantial cluster of doctoral students who are using these methods to chronicle life stories and theorise change processes in diverse contexts.

Canterbury Christ Church University

If you want to be part of this exciting and motivating day, you can now book your place online and see the full programme of abstracts by clicking on the following link.