Career and Technology Foundations (CTF)
Career and Technology Foundations Research Overview
Alberta Education has embarked on a re-imagining of education to best meet the emerging needs of Alberta students. A focus on “transforming education in Alberta has resulted in research into new ways of learning, new approaches to teaching and a restructuring of curriculum.” The emerging Curriculum Framework - based on student development of competencies in a renewed system that provides choice, flexibility and higher levels of engagement - is a focus in the provincial draft curriculum for Career and Technology Foundations Projects for Grades 5 – 9.
Alberta Education approved a proposal by Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools that would see the Division embark on an innovative research project to analyse and test completed CTF projects in classroom, create new ones and adapt existing ones and to apply the new Competency Based Curriculum Framework dimensions to the CTF projects.
What is Career and Technology Foundations?
Career and Technology Foundations (CTF) is a optional program of studies for Grades 5 through Grade 9 that allows students to discover and explore their interests and passions and to build skills so they may make reasonable career choices in the future.
Benefits for Students
CTF provides students the opportunity to:
- Explore personal areas of interest to discover their passions
- Engage in active and hands-on learning by creating real-life products, presentations or services
- Connect learning from core subjects, such as mathematics and science to practical projects
- Understand the relevance of school to personal career goals
- Manage their own learning
CTF is best delivered through project-based learning. Project based learning also know as inquiry-based learning is an instructional approach built on authentic learning activities that engage student interest and motivation. These activities are designed to answer a question or solve a problem and generally reflect all of the types of learning and work people do in an the everyday world outside the classroom.
Essence Statements and Learning Outcomes
CTF encourages an engaging and holistic learning process that results in the development of a product, performance or service. CTF can integrate other program outcomes by identifying cross-curricular connections as well as literacy and numeracy skills. CTF creates an environment where students explore interests and passions while developing skills and competencies and making connections to career possibilities by exploring any combination of the Career and Technology Studies (CTS) occupational areas.
Students work toward a shared goal in response to a challenge. Finally, the process involves bridging the community and the school to create authentic learning experiences. The CTF curriculum is based on three draft essence statements that outline the essential characteristics of CTF and provide the context for the related 13 draft learning outcomes:
CTF is exploring interests, passions, and skills while making personal connections to career possibilities
- I explore my interests and passions while making personal connections to career possibilities
- I use skills/technologies associated with occupational areas
- I follow safety requirements associated with occupational areas and related technologies
CTF is designing, creating, appraising and communicating responses to challenges
- I problem solve in response to challenges
- I design in response to challenges
- I adapt to change and unexpected events
- I make decisions in response to challenge
- I appraise product(s), performance(s) or service(s) created in response to challenges
- I appraise the skills/technologies
- I use in response to challenges
- I communicate my learning
CTF is working independently and with others while exploring careers and technology
- I describe how my actions affect learning
- I develop skills that support effective relationships
- I collaborate to achieve common goals