Innovation in Career-Related Learning: Starting Early in Primary Schools



Career development is a process that starts early in childhood. At the heart of this process is the need for robust evidence on how innovative career-related learning (CRL) in primary schools can strengthen the link between schooling and the world of work. Whilst there is a plethora of research into post-primary schooling, early childhood CRL is relatively under-researched. This chapter highlights pluralistic research into CRL in England’s primary schools and lessons learned to inform teachers’ continuous professional development. The first part of this chapter defines CRL and briefly focuses on findings from an international literature review. The second part draws upon qualitative research involving 17 primary schools in England utilising Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The third part extends the analysis through supplementary evidence gathered from key informants (n = 43) to aid the comparison of results and the development of effective CRL approaches. The fourth part of the chapter considers practical implications, including a theory of change (ToC) model designed to guide teachers’ continuous professional development in CRL, followed by a short concluding section.


Aspirations Career development Career-related learning Primary schooling Continuous professional development 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ExeterEngland, UK
  2. 2.LondonUK

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