Kids want to be Spiderman and mermaid, educationist unhappy

April 17th, 2009 - 9:29 am ICT by IANS  

Sydney, April 17 (DPA) A ballerina, Spiderman, a vet, a train driver and sometimes even a sea lion: these are the jobs that toddlers see themselves in when they grow up.

Kate Castine, an adviser to Australia’s department of education, isn’t happy about this and wants four-year-olds to be more serious about their career options.

As well as the danger of the nappy-bound hankering after non-existent jobs such as that of a mermaid even, there is a risk that they will just want to copy mum and dad and be farmers or housewives, doctors or welfare dependents.

Castine wants proper career counselling to be in the national childcare curriculum the department is busy drawing up.

“The argument that children should be exposed to career development concepts at an early age has been endorsed by current worldwide research,” she said.

“Reference to career development competencies needs to be explicit so (kindergarten) teachers understand its importance.”

Castine’s recommendations have been criticised by some who see them as an attempt to hijack childhood and burden little ones with worries about what to do when their schooling is over.

Barrie Elvish, head of a big Queensland childcare provider, argues that careers advice should come much later. “It’s bad enough that kids in years 11 and 12 have to choose a career,” he said. “How on earth can you get a 4-year-old to think about what they’ll be doing in 20 years’ time?”

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