Using Guest Speakers to support learning is a structured Career Awareness activity in which youth and young adults listen to a presentation to learn about the speaker’s career, business or organization and industry, and ask questions to help them consider whether they might like to pursue a career path in the industry. Guest Speakers can also address core academic concepts, or support an activity currently underway in the classroom or in a workshop. Guest Speaker presentations are designed and structured to meet specific learning outcomes, be educationally rich, and are linked to the curriculum. They also build awareness of the speaker’s career pathway, the company or organization he or she works for, its industry sector, its role in the economy and the career options it provides. Guest Speaker presentations are conducted at the school and involve preparation and follow-up in the classroom or workshop, including research and reflection by youth. Guest Speakers are most effective when they are addressing topics related to the curriculum, and providing examples of the application of academic concepts in a real-world setting. In some cases, Guest Speakers may “visit” a classroom or workshop electronically via Skype or some other technology.
Guest Speaker presentations are designed to:
- Provide exposure to potential careers and jobs
- Build occupational knowledge
- Build knowledge about the education and training needed for a particular job and entry into the industry
- Create awareness of the business or organization’s role in the community, as well as its functions, processes and products
- Provide a context for learning and foster an understanding of how academic concepts are applied in a real-world setting