Great Careers for People Interested in Communications Technology.
Julie Czerneda and Victoria Vincent.
Great Careers for People Interested in Art & Design.
Great Careers for People Interested in Travel & Tourism.
Great Careers for People Interested in Food.
Great Careers for People Interested in The Past.
Great Careers for People Fascinated by Government and the Law.
Toronto, ON: Trifolium Books; Calgary, AB: Weigl Educational Publishers, 1996. Each book is 48pp., paperback, $13.95. Teacher Resource Bank $59.95.
Grades 11 and up / Ages 16 and up.
The Career Connections series presents a variety of traditional and non-traditional occupations to high school students to help them match their interests with career possibilities.
The books maintain reader interest throughout, beginning with the attention-grabbing titles and attractive book covers. Once inside the book, readers will find an unusual Table of Contents that not only leads them to the correct page for each described career, but also asks a question that defines it and piques their curiosity, such as: "What did 18th-century soldiers use for toilet paper? Ask Tracy Macdonnell - Historical Interpreter". Each book has six profiles of successful professionals including personal information, verbatim advice, activities to further explore the career choice, and a short list of related careers with brief definitions. Following the profiles are four short sketches that delineate additional career personnel. The final portion of each book presents a hypothetical job ad aimed at high school students, gives tips for applying for the position, and some role-playing exercises. The reader then gets to decide which of two applicants would get the job, based on their resumes and covering letters and the jot notes of the interviewer. These are thoughtfully done and could provide plenty of substance for group discussions if used in a classroom environment.
The series consists of eighteen books in sets of six, with a teacher resource bank for each set. (I did not see the teacher resources.) The books are forty-eight pages in length with plenty of pictures, portraits, and illustrative photographs. Pleasingly designed, the colour, font size and information boxes are well-placed on the page and contribute significantly to the books' appeal. An index is also included.
A statement on each book indicates that all activities included were tested and are safe when carried out as suggested. Many of these activities are so basic, however, as to be useless. For example, the books suggest readers "take on a part-time job to get experience dealing with people" and "learn to use a computer for text processing and to store and retrieve information." They also suggest readers job shadow people or volunteer their time to familiarize themselves with the profession. Firstly, it is doubtful that busy professionals would want individual high school students calling and asking to do this; such arrangements are better made by school councillors or job-training programs. Secondly, only in large urban areas would many of these careers be available for preview.
Each book considers a broad range of career choices in the thematic grouping. For example, Travel & Tourism includes festival, convention and safari planning, along with the more traditional travel agent and tour operator careers. There is a good mix of male and female professionals of all age ranges and cultural backgrounds. The careers are also very relevant to the 1990's and include many areas unheard of ten years ago, such as Internet marketer and fiberoptic splicer, highlighted in the Communications Technology book. In all the books, one thing is stressed - the importance of education.
If any of the career choices captivate a teen, these books will certainly help motivate them to become serious about their future. In all, I was very impressed with these short books and will endeavour to purchase the others in the series.
Alison Mews is Coordinator at the Centre for Instructional Services in the Faculty of Education at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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