The zeitgeist Paradigm shift is influencing education worldwide. Collective norms are transforming into individualised norms. This change, which centers the focus on an individual’s needs, beliefs, emotions, values and skills, emphasises uniqueness. The same shift is also valid in learning and teaching. Learning aims at deepening knowledge and making a difference by understanding and making sense of information. The strength of the CAPS system is that it translates this paradigm shift to practical trainings, workshops, materials and inventories for schools, teachers, students, and parents. The main aspects of the traditional to scientific paradigm shift are listed below.  

Traditional/Conventional Approach Scientific Approach

Brain and personality are fixed. They are innate.

Brain and personality are plastic (neuroplasticity). They are developed and shaped by education.

Success depends on intelligence and abilities. Not being smart/intelligent is the main reason for making mistakes. 

Success depends on effort and skills. Mistakes are learning opportunities. Developing new skills is of first priority.  


The control of life is other than the student. The system, school and families are the main factors

(External locus of control)

Student takes responsibility of his/her own life by developing skills.

(Internal locus of control)

The aim is finding the right answer. 

The aim is developing the skills of curiosity, questioning, and critical thinking. 

Information is based on data. Memorising and remembering are the main focus. 

Knowledge is understood, synthesised and made sense of in depth. 

“Self-knowledge” is primary. 

“Understanding the human and designing the self by understanding” is primary.

Occupation: A way to earn a living, providing a service or product that will benefit others. 

Career: An occupation undertaken by a person for a significant period of time. It can influence other areas of life such as activities and goals, giving the person opportunities to progress. 

Career Development: It is a lifelong process. It includes contextual, psychological, cognitive and behavioural processes shaped and structured by dynamics such as decision making styles, life roles, values etc.

Career Guidance: It is a process of informing, guiding and helping individuals with their career choices.

Career Counselling: It is a formal relationship between the client and a professional counsellor, focusing on the various aspects of career development (e.g. suitability of interests with the career decision, realistic decision making … etc).

Career Education: It is a systematic set of  interventions/support of career development using various methods (e.g. learning career-related concepts and career planning in the academic curriculum, receiving detailed information about career areas and professions, work experience and observation, apprenticeships).  

Career Planning: It is the process of realistically and systematically structuring the career by carefully considering various dynamics such as interests, aptitudes, values, personality, and decision making dynamics.

Initial work on occupational counseling was conducted by Frank Parsons in the USA in the early 1900s. Parsons’ ‘Trait-Factor’ theory aims at examining individual characteristics and occupational requirements and making a choice based on their compatibility. 

The main goal of occupational counselling was initially to guide the students to appropriate degrees and occupations, and supporting them in adapting to suitable environmental conditions. This was until the publication of Carl Rogers’s book “Counselling and Psychotherapy” in 1942. After that, new theories and applications were developed in occupational guidance and counselling. Notable examples include Donald Super’s “Vocational Choice” (1957), John Holland’s “Occupational Typologies” (1966), and John D. Krumboltz’s “Social Learning Theory”. 

Multiculturalism gained importance in the 1980s. This shift was also visible in the field of occupational guidance and counselling. 

There was a transition from occupational guidance to career counselling in the 1990’s. The difference between the two was marked by a change from guidance in simply choosing an occupation, to actively taking responsibility in constructing one’s career. 

Post-modern (constructivist) theories dominating the late 20th and 21st century are more flexible and dynamic. Duane Brown’s “Value Based Career Approach” (1996), Wendy Patton and Mary McMahon’s “Systems Theory Framework of Career Development” (2006), Mark Savickas’s “Career Construction Theory” (2013), Norman Amundson and colleagues’ “Career Wheel Model” (2005), and Fidan Korkut-Owen and colleagues’ “Career Sailboat Model” (2010) are a few post-modern theories which explore the interaction of various factors in career counselling.