Linking Curriculum Learning to Career and Life Development
1. What good looks like?
All teachers should link curriculum learning with career and life development. Subject teachers should highlight the relevance of the subjects for a wide range of future career and life pursuits.
- Schools should incorporate career and life development (CLD) concepts and practices in their curriculum holistically to equip students with career development competencies through the whole school approach in light of school contexts and students’ needs.
- Students should further experience careerrelated learning in at least one senior form core subject and two electives/ Applied Learning (ApL) courses. Elements of CLD1 and workplace learning should be embedded in school subjects (both in senior forms and junior forms) to enhance students’ understanding of the connection between the subjects and careers, including essential/ adult skills2 (e.g. communication, team working, problem solving in technology-rich environments) and career progression pathways.
- Career-related learning should also be delivered through co-curricular or life-wide learning activities. Schools should organise various co-curricular learning experiences (including Other Learning Experiences, OLE) which provide opportunities to complement formal lessons delivered under the school-based CLD curriculum and subject (KLA)-based learning to build on students’ interest and aspirations in different fields of work.
- The three main delivery modes of linking CLD to the whole school curriculum are:
i) Providing career-related learning as a stand-alone CLD curriculum3 or timetabled programmes/ lessons (usually as part of the Life Education/ Positive Education lessons, units of Class Teacher Lessons) for different forms of students.
ii) Incorporating career-related learning within subjects/ KLAs. Subject panel heads and teachers should identify where the career-related learning outcomes would be covered in their own subject curriculum and how elements of CLD and workplace learning could be embedded in their subject teaching, e.g. illustrating how personal financial skills taught in “Business, Accounting and Financial Studies” (BAFS) can be applied in the real world and how to bring in the latest market information and workplace resources into the classroom. e.g. STEM jobs in real world.
iii) Organising career-related learning through co-curricular/ life-wide learning activities. CLD-related content is delivered though informal and voluntary experiential learning activities which are connected to the formal curriculum. For instance, BAFS/ Economics students’ interest, knowledge and skills of the subjects could be further enhanced through joining in a territory-wide project/ competition to solve and address a real-life problem in running a business. Apart from gaining authentic experience in applying subject knowledge and skills in the project/ event, the students could also develop relevant essential/ adult skills such as communication and team working required in the workplace.
2. Why this matters?
- In alignment with the Education Bureau’s emphasis on Life Planning Education (LPE) and career guidance as “integral parts” in the holistic school curriculum to support students’ whole-person development and lifelong learning (EDB, 2014 & 2019), a stand-alone CLD curriculum or timetabled career-related education programmes are used to pull together and complement other subjects learning and to help students gain better understanding of themselves, set life goals and development plans for future study and career pathways progressively.
- Schools adopt a strategic approach to embed CLD elements in subject learning in the light of making subjects more relatable to everyday and working life. Such strategy could help students getting more engaged in connecting their subject learning to their career and life development as they can perceive the relevance of what they are studying to real-life contexts in workplace and the career progression pathways. Hence, careerrelated subject teaching is highly influential to help students develop their career interest and aspiration.
- Career-related experiences in the OLE or CLD-related extra-curricular activities, which are mostly adopting experiential learning strategies and occupy allocated time in the overall senior secondary curriculum framework, are complementarily linked with subject curriculum learning to the progression in both academic and career directions.
3. Top tips for schools*
- Identify career learning outcomes for the CLD curriculum or timetabled career-related education programmes that would be best delivered through as progressive learning sessions and plan (starting from junior forms) for the timetabling and designated manpower of the implementation.
- Identify subject panels showing more readiness and interest in infusing CLD elements in the subjects and start collaboration with them to share the practices at regular school meetings/ annual staff development day and to bring other teachers and subjects on board.
- Review relevant Scheme of Work (SoW) or unit plans of the identified subjects on where appropriate embedding CLD and workplace learning elements align with the CLD concepts (e.g. careers or extended notions of work (ENOW), under the support of the Career master/ mistress and senior management personnel (e.g. Vice-Principal). Consider elective subjects as the entry points for such curriculum innovations, esp. connection with workplace.
- Ensure the CLD elements/ activities relate to or infuse into the provisions of OLE or extra-curricular activities which are tailored to the CLD needs and circumstances of students.
- Support class teachers or non-career teachers to
understand the CLD learning outcomes and how to deliver the related programmes with guides and learning materials developed by the career team.
- Provide sufficient briefings and debriefings as well as enough resources to help teachers to understand how to deliver CLD curriculum.
- Highlight the relevance of subject contents to CLD learning in at least ONE of the following areas:
i) Relevant CLD elements (including themes of self-understanding, pathway exploration and career management) or concepts of careers/ extended notions of work (ENOW) being embedded in the subject schemes of work or unit plans;
ii) Career progression pathways and skills in demand from the relevant industries being introduced;
iii) Workplace resources (e.g. the latest labour market information and human resources from the community partners/ employers) being utilized in the subject learning activities. (e.g. Consider making use of teachers’ personal workplace experiences as resources. Identify teachers who have other workplace experiences other than teaching to share the experiences with students or consider counting CPDs for subject teachers to visit relevant industries and to have encounters with potential employers/ professional associations for developing relevant resource network.)
(Particularly, BM7 and BM8 can be done co-currently in enhancing cost-effectiveness and synergies.)
- Consider opportunities to engage alumni, parents and community partners from different work fields to support career-related OLE or extra-curricular activities, e.g. mentors in a STEM club, or a speaker in the annual career fair.
- Communicate with the teachers (e.g. on the staff development day or in OLE meetings) to facilitate the implementation of CLD-related activities, and connect with OLE or extra-curricular activities if applicable. Introduce to teachers how workplace learning elements can be integrated into their curriculum (e.g., on staff development day).
- Collect students’ feedback/ suggestions to inform future planning and programme delivery in a timely manner (e.g. within one week after the event/ programme delivery) and review the feedback at regularly programme review meetings.
- Provide students with tools (e.g. log book/ learning journal) to reflect on both studying the subjects and future career possibilities.
- Arrange year-end and/ or interim evaluation meetings with teaching staff involved to discuss and review the timeline, and implementation plan supporting students to access to diverse CLD related learning opportunities.
- Keep records (e.g. career team’s documents, minutes) of co-curricular activities related to careers learning including visits (such as company visit or career expos) and experiential activities.
- Put in place a mechanism to collect and consider other stakeholders’ feedback and recommendations including alumni, parents, community partners, employers and collaborators at least once a year to inform future planning.
4. Working with partners
- Employers/ Community Partners: Review the school network of workplace employers, professional bodies and community partners (e.g. NGOs); contact and explore new industry trends as well as potential collaboration with subject teachers to enrich subject learning, e.g. providing varieties of students’ meaningful visits and knowledge exchanges of solving authentic problems in work life.
- Alumni: Invite alumni from different job fields to share their own experiences or act as a mentor or trainer to provide industry-focused enrichment activities for a particular subject or cross-curricular learning project.
- Parents: Connect with PTA to explore parent volunteers from different job fields as potential speakers or encounter opportunities to share their own experiences with students.
- Other Schools: Actively exchange school practices with other schools and explore to pull together the resources and networks to support career-related learning activities in the school curriculum.
5. Insights gained from the pilot schools
- Start with Junior Secondary (JS) subjects that will be Senior Secondary (SS) elective subjects, in light of helping students to consider subject choice with CLD perspectives. Highlight the need of infusing CLD elements in different subjects in the school major concerns (e.g. STEM Education).
- Offer different courses for students including ApL subjects and other courses (e.g. MOS course, other than HKDSE formal courses) for S.3 students admitting into S.4.
Education Bureau (2014). Guide on Life Planning Education and Career Guidance for Secondary Schools. Retrieved from
Education Bureau (2019). Framework of Implementation Strategies for Life Planning Education. Retrieved from
EDB (2017). Secondary Education Curriculum Guide Booklet 7: Life-wide Learning and Experiential Learning. Retrieved from
EDB (2017). Secondary Education Curriculum Guide Booklet 9: Career and Life Planning- Multiple Pathways for All Students to Excel.
EDB (2017). Applied Learning Curriculum and Assessment Guide (Senior Secondary Level).
1 Elements of CLD cover:
i) themes of self-understanding, pathway exploration and career management; and/or
ii)concepts of careers or extended notions of work (ENOW), e.g. serious leisure development.
2 Essential/Adult skills: An international assessment of adult competences under OECD measured some key skills in society and how they
are used at work and at home in the 21st century. More details are available at:
3 A good CLD curriculum design should start earlier in junior forms.
School exemplars and reference links are available at EDB website:
CLAP Discover Career Education Curriculum Teaching Guide (in Chinese only):