Alternative visions of employability: the role of critical pedagogy
Educational policy currently provides a clear imperative: that educational institutions must aid student employability. Such emphasis increasingly implicates pedagogy in a discourse promoting a vision of self-interested actors operating calculatively within educational and labour markets. Many commentators have been critical of consumer rationalism prominent in official discourse, pointing to more complex issues of emotional engagement of students in education. This article will focus on the learner’s ‘career’ and its potential to be placed under academic scrutiny via the reflexive exploration of theory. This article will also demonstrate how this pedagogical approach can provide a means toward critical career understanding and how this influences future student career enactment. The article argues for the transfer of such learning to an Irish school setting, where it is argued that such pedagogy places employability in its proper place: as something that becomes meaningful and helpful when situated within a wider understanding of ‘career’ development.