Theory: Supper’s Theory of Career Development Theorist: Donald Super Biography: Donald Super was born on July 10, 1910 in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father was personnel specialist, his mother a writer. When his father was transferred from Hawaii to the YMCA national office in New York. Super and his older brother attended an elementary school in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. When he was 12, his family moved to Warsaw, Poland. Supper’s father founded the YMCA there. During the first winter in Poland, Super lost his older brother too fatal illness.
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From this life- changing event, Super developed a rational intellect and an iron will. Those became his main coping mechanisms (Cassavas, 1995). He relied on these traits while he attended boarding school in Geneva, After graduation, he enrolled at Oxford University where he received his BAA in economic history with a senior honors thesis on British labor movements. His experiences at Oxford during the Great Depression, as well as observing his father’s career in personal training, made Super more sensitizes to the importance of employment in people’s lives.
Super decided to devote his life to helping people find fitting work (Cassavas, 1995). Supper’s first employment was as a Job placement pacifist at the Cleveland YMCA and simultaneously taught at Fen College, which is now Cleveland State University. After two years of work, Super received a grant to allow him to develop a community- based counseling agency, the Cleveland Guidance Service. He directed the program for two years. At this time, he decided to enroll in a doctoral program in vocational guidance and applied psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Once he completed his dissertation data collection, Super became an assistant professor of psychology at Clark University in which he also directed the Student Personnel Bureau. He completed his dissertation on vocational interests in 1940. Two years later, he published Dynamics of Vocational Adjustment (Cassavas, 1995). During WI, The Army Air Corps commissioned Super as first lieutenant in 1942 and promoted him to major by the time he completed active duty in 1945. As an aviation psychologist, he was able to conduct research and direct psychological services at a military hospital.
After WI, he began a new Job at Columbia University’s Teacher College. He worked there until his retirement in 1975 (Cassavas, 1995). Super has several books and publications- The Psychology of Careers, Appraising Vocational Fitness by Means of Psychological Tests is an encyclopedia book, Career Development: Self Concept Theory which is a monograph, Career Development in Great Britain, Life Roles, Values, and Career: International Findings of the Work Importance Study. Super has publications in the American Psychologist.
In 1972, The National Career Development Association awarded him with it Eminent Career Award. The American Psychological Association (PAP) presented him with the Counseling Psychology Division’s Leona Scientific Award for Contribution so the Applications of Psychology in 1983 (Cassavas, 1995). Super was named honorary President for life in 1983 by The International Association for Education and Vocational Guidance. In 1985, he was presented with the Distinguished Alumni award from ETC. In 1990, they presented him with, The Teachers College Medal for Contributions to Education (Cassavas, 1995).
Description of Theory: It is important to distinguish between the two types of Career Development Theories. There are Structural Theories and Developmental Theories. Structural Theories- focus on individual characteristics and occupational tasks,” (Career Development Theory and Process, n. D. ). Developmental Theories- “focus on human development across life span,” (Career Development Theory and Process, n. D. ). Donald Super was a Developmental Theorist. Developmental Theorists recognize that changes occur within oneself.
Career maturity, as Donald Super refers to his theory, is his main concept. Super believed that people are anything but static and personal change is continuous. Donald Supper’s Life Span/Life Space is comprehensive developmental model that attempts to account for the various important factors and influences on a person as they experience different various life stages and changing life roles Career Theory Overview Snapshot, (n. D. ). To Super, Vocational Development is the process of developing and implementing a self- concept (Career Theory Overview Snapshot, (n. D. ).
Career maturity only occurs as one becomes successful in there accomplishment of stage of Process, n. D. ). “Career patterns are determined by socioeconomic factors, mental and physical abilities, personal characteristics and the opportunities to which persons are exposed. People seek career distractions through work roles in which they can express themselves and implement and develop their self-concepts,” (Career Development Theory and Process, n. D. ). Super believed that people choose occupations that allow them to express their self-concepts (Career Theory Overview Snapshot, (n. . ). “One of Supper’s greatest contributions to career development has been his emphasis of the role self-concept development plays. Super recognized that the self-concept changes and develops throughout people’s lives as a result of experience. People successively refine their self-concept(s) over time and application o the world of work creates adaptation in their career choice,” (Career Development Theory, 2003). Super developed six life and career stage developments. Those stages are: 1. Crystallization stage- 14-18 years 2.
Specification stage- 18-21 years 3. Implementation stage- 21-24 years 4. Stabilization stage- 24-35 years 5. Consolidation stage- 35 years 6. Readiness for retirement- 55 years (Career Development Theory, 2003). Next stage, the Specification stage, they move from tentative to a specific preference. In the Implementation stage, they complete training and enter employment. During the Stabilization stage, one confirms their choice through work experience. During the Consolidation stage, one would advance in career (Overview of Career Development Theories, n. D. ).
Career development is life-long and occurs throughout those five life stages. When making occupational decision, an individual is expressing his or her own understanding of themselves; his or her self- concept. Individuals seek satisfaction in ones work roles in which they are allowed to express self themselves and develop their own self-concept. The key to career choice ND occupational satisfaction is self-knowledge (Big Picture View of Career Development, n. D. ). Theory Measurements and Instrumentation: Donald Super created the C-DACCA- Career Development Assessment (Cassavas, 1995).