Among the general concerns voiced in public expectations of school outcomes is how well prepared students are (or will be) to assume the responsibilities of a job (or jobs) at the end of public school education. Resources such as Everybody Counts point to the fact that continuing education is "a lifelong reality for adults" (p. 11). Given the current nature of the work place, students may very well be preparing for jobs that do not exist now.
As change is usually a very slow process, what aspirations do students have regarding career goals in an information-age transition? At grade 4, 8, and 12, do students have a personal vision of future success? If so, how might this be defined? Do traditional male and female, minority and non-minority differences in career goals tend to impede progress in reforming mathematics education? How do student aspirations fit with the public agenda for education?
How has goal setting changed in today's uncertain economy? Do students in K-12 have career goals that they set on hold while they work at almost any job in order to meet expenses (either after h.s. graduation or after college graduation)?
How do career, gender, and race issues impact on mathematics reform efforts?
If I have missed an earlier discussion of this topic on the nctm-l bbs, please accept my apology in advance. Working with students in an urban school setting has resulted in some despair regarding educational reform when most supplies are scarce (including text books -- although Chas. Lamb does a most intriguing presentation on teacher resourcefulness), and many students seem to lack a substantial vision of the future.
Any information on this topic would be greatly appreciated.