Get ready for ISTELive 21! Launch the site now.
Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Preparing Students for the Current and Future World of Work

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Thursday, December 3, 1:30–2:30 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Ed Hidalgo  
Dr. david miyashiro  

The World of Work Initiative, designed and deployed in the Cajon Valley Union School District, is a career development and social-emotional learning process created for teachers across grade levels. It integrates career education with the goal of developing happy kids, in healthy relationships on a path to gainful employment.

Audience: Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Curriculum/district specialists, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Participant accounts, software and other materials: none
Topic: Innovation in early childhood/elementary
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Career and technical education, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Shape, advance and accelerate a shared vision for empowered learning with technology by engaging with education stakeholders.
  • Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency.
  • Use assessment data to guide progress and communicate with students, parents and education stakeholders to build student self-direction.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The ‘17/’18 school year has ended and I have the opportunity to reflect on the first year of deploying the career development framework known as the World of Work (WoW) Initiative ( This work is possible thanks to the leadership of our trustees and superintendent and their belief that every child across our 27 schools should have a path to post-secondary education that leads to gainful employment ( WoW was created to support that belief and was deployed by hundreds of teachers over the past school year, impacting thousands of students, starting as early as transitional kindergarten.

I have witnessed so many high quality examples of the WoW Initiative in just its first year, but after partnering with principals and teachers and observing classrooms across the district, these are my key reflections:

1. The WoW initiative provides teachers a powerful framework for embedding career development learning in the classroom, creating relevant, contextualized learning opportunities for students.

2. Teachers can provide life-changing WoW experiences for students when provided the necessary training and support to deploy a combination of career-development-focused self-awareness and real-world exploration.

3. Students can envision their future possible selves when school is connected to the world of work.

4. Career development is a human process that can thrive in every grade.

5. The WoW Initiative is best deployed when integrated with existing subjects like english, math, history and science instead of as a stand-alone experience.

6. Even young students can understand and apply foundational career development theories that are core to the WoW Initiative like the Holland RIASEC Typology.

7. Professionals in the world of work can engage in mutually beneficial experiences when they share their work with students.

8. The WoW Initiative can be good for teachers as it can provide an opportunity for them to reflect on their own work and careers, as was shared with me multiple times throughout the year, and recently via email by a veteran teacher, “Thank you for bringing the work to us and encouraging me to develop my own strengths. I was so alive and engaged this year integrating our subject areas with a purpose and creating relevance with the students. It took me to the core of why I teach."

9. The work is hard and there is still much work to be done. Some educators reject integrating career development in their lessons stating they don't have the time, that it is not relevant, doesn’t align with core subjects or with testing objectives.

My final reflection responds to the developing perspective in workforce development that “we need a system in which people get career exposure in middle school, internships in high school; much tighter connections between college and career pathways” ( We agree this work must begin early and we must bring relevant connections to students. However, we know from research that, “the transition to junior high is a significant predictor of decline in academic interests” (Dotterer, A. M., McHale, S. M., & Crouter, A. C. 2009, Hoff, K. A., Briley, D. A., Wee, C. J., & Rounds, J. 2018). Therefore, my last reflection.

10. Students as early as transitional kindergarten are eager to learn about themselves and the world of work. Therefore, we should not wait for the period of disruption experienced by students in middle school to offer career exposure and self-awareness. Rather, we should begin earlier to establish connections between students' interests and their future possible selves. We should encourage this life-long process in order to develop as Dr. Peter McIIveen states, "the critical metacognitive skills they will need to carry through their whole lives".

This framework and process of career development is important for all students. In the Cajon Valley Union School District, we are committed to this work and developing happy students, in healthy relationships on a path to gainful employment.


Preparing Students for the Current and Future World of Work: A Comprehensive K-12 Solution
Part I (Panel Discussion)
In the United States an estimated 44 million Americans collectively hold more than $1.4 trillion in student loan debt and, based on the latest college completion trends, only about 50% of students who start college actually finish with a diploma. This is happening at a time when the U.S. Department of Labor reports that more than 6.5 millions jobs remain unfilled because of a burgeoning skills and labor gap.
In this panel we discuss the work being done to reverse these trends and close the gap between Education and The World of Work.
Part II (Hands-on Interactive Workshop)
The World of Work is a comprehensive K-12 curriculum solution aimed at early exposure for students to both self and career exploration in the ever-changing landscape of the global economy. Creating relevance to the real world and enabling students to map their educational goals to their possible future selves will maximize their investment in post-secondary education and set each student on a path to gainful employment.
World of Work empowers every child to discover and hone their unique strengths, interests and values needed in the world to nurture happy kids, living in healthy relationships on a path to gainful employment.
In this workshop participants will explore some of the physical and digital resources while getting a first hand experience of how World of Work creates a bridge from student self-awareness to intentional career exposure. Don't be surprised if you leave this workshop wondering if you're ready for a career change.

Supporting research

The WOW initiative, a program dedicated to helping every child find their place in the world, recognizes and utilizes the most established career theories. Two main components make career theories very unique: 1) they each offer specific strengths, and 2) they are largely complementary. Therefore choosing one career theory to base the WOW upon is unnecessary and conflicts with the way theories developed in this area of scholarship. In essence, because of these unique features, we can take the best components of each theory to help inform and guide the World of Work Initiative. The following theoretical framework is organized hierarchically in relation to the roles and functions played by different theoretical groupings:

1. Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) and related Educational Psychology Theories

Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) was first presented by Albert Bandura in the 1980s and grew to SCT (primarily the relationships between self-efficacy beliefs and outcome expectations) being one of the most thoroughly investigated constructs in the social sciences. Social Cognitive Career Theory builds from this robust research base and adds components specific to career development. SCCT helps us to learn about and explain how students develop interests, make choices, and process experiences (all of which are crucial to the WOW program). Furthermore, because WOW is largely delivered within educational environments, it is essential to utilize theories with strong track records of efficacy within these environments. Theories specific to goal setting, motivation, self-regulation, and self-determination are particularly important to the WOW program.

2. Person - Environment Fit Theories: Holland and Theory of Work Adjustment (TWA)

Both theories set out to help individuals find the ‘right’ work environments and address any issues that might affect their performance or satisfaction within those work environments. The most researched and resourced component of the Holland theory is its ability to organize characteristics of different work environments and match them to different personality types. These categories (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional) are crucial to making sense of the world of work and are a huge component of the WOW approaches to career exploration. This theory can be found across resources for students and teachers uniquely embedded in materials such as the career cards and student job-exploration-activities designed to align to the six themes of the Holland theory.

The TWA categorizes work environments from another angle by focusing on work ‘values’ (e.g., achievement, comfort, status, altruism, safety, and autonomy) that are either reinforced or lacking within different work environments. TWA was also inspired by research related to rehabilitation and disability job coaching practices. This developed into a very useful model to solve problems or make improvements (to both individuals and environments). TWA is particularly valuable to the WOW program because of its focus on skill development and coaching.

3. Developmental Career Theories: Super and Gottfredson

Super and Gottfredson are categorized as developmental career theories. They help to chart phases of career development over time. Both theories are very focused on the development of the ‘self.’ Gottfredson views this development through a social/psychological lens. Super views it more as a process that involves actively learning about yourself so that you can ‘construct’ your best identity. Due to the focus on personal development within both theories, developmental activities and practices tend to be more future oriented, creative, and hands on. The WOW incorporates these principles into activities that include personal narratives, art, and visualization.

How These Theories Influence the Development Team

These theories complement each other, working seamlessly to inform the development of tools and resources. The materials and activities align to the RIASEC framework, creating a connected experience for the learner. Included in this range of activities are personal narratives, exploration of family messages around “work”, and goal setting. Additionally, students participate in simulations or tasks in which students explore career scenarios. To complete these tasks, students explore their own strengths and interests. They also evaluate the “fit” of that kind of work environment. Personal strengths and interests directly influence the decisions students make and inform the reflection on progress. This purposeful combination of research, which is then woven into the fabric of all of the resources, provides an evidence-based and integrated experience for students.

Special thanks to Dr. Ian Martin, Dr. David Miyashiro, Dr. Vitalily Popov, Dr. Steve Regur and Amy McCammon for their engagement and leadership in the development of the WOW framework.

More [+]


Ed Hidalgo, Cajon Valley Union School District
Dr. david miyashiro, Cajon Valley Union School District

David Miyashiro, Ed.D., is the superintendent of the Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) in El Cajon, California. Under his leadership, CVUSD has achieved systemwide success with blended and personalized learning, where all teachers and students have 24/7 access to their own district-issued laptop, internet connectivity and a digital ecosystem of robust resources and creativity tools. In 2015, CVUSD was inducted into The League of Innovative Schools, a distinction that ranks Cajon Valley in the top 73 U.S. school districts for innovation and digital learning. In the spirit of TED, CVUSD launched the first districtwide TEDx and TED Ed Club in the U.S. Miyashiro was invited by TED to the first cohort of TED-Ed Innovative Educators, a partnership that has allowed all students in Cajon Valley access to a robust and personalized curriculum designed by the TED-Ed team. CVUSD also partners with and Code To The Future to bring computer science to all students, and is home to the first K-5 computer science magnet schools in the U.S. Miyashiro was previously the assistant superintendent of educational services for the Encinitas Union School District, and a principal in the Fullerton and East Whittier school districts. He has a doctoral degree from UCLA, a master’s from Grand Canyon University and a bachelor’s from California State University, Long Beach. Miyashiro was appointed by the California State Board of Education to serve as co-chair for the state’s committee tasked with bringing computer science to all K-12 students. He also serves on the California School Boards Association’s (CSBA) President's Advisory Council, and was named 2016 Superintendent of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 18.

People also viewed

3...2...1...TikTok Meets Khan Academy: Prepmedians the Prep Comedians
Active Learning in All Environments
Mobile Resources That You’ll Want to Use in Your HigherEd Classroom Now!