The goal for every student


I loved this game. It really helped me realise what it’s like in the real world.

This game made me realise that if I want to get the job I want, I have to study hard and stay in school.

I was thinking of skipping year 12, but thanks to this program I am going all the way. I will have a great job. It really helped me.

Hundreds of students drop out of school every day of the year. For each individual, dropping out is a choice that drastically limits personal options. For society as a whole, the impact is debilitative. Fortunately, educators, parents, concerned citizens and governments realise the serious implications of the high drop-out rate and are mounting a concerted effort to combat the crisis.

The Real Game is an important tool in the struggle, specifically because it helps students understand the need to stay in school. By allowing students to discover for themselves how their educational choices will affect their adult lives, as well as the consequences of choosing one occupation over another or, conversely, falling into one, The Real Game motivates them to stay in school and take control of their future. Through the creation of a simulated society and the students’ adoption of other personalities, students acquire tools and experiences to help them make realistic and informed choices in their lives, and therefore better prepares them to succeed.

The goal for every school

The Real Game is designed to work across the curriculum, incorporating and adding relevance to subject and skill areas such as maths, English, family life studies, studies of society and the environment (SOSE), decision making, communication, group work, analysis, self-awareness and critical thinking. Students are given the opportunity and time to learn how skills can be linked from one area to another.

The program also gives students the skills to explore various careers, though it is not designed to direct them to particular occupations. Rather, it presents a range of occupations available to them, and gives them a chance to grapple with and understand the nature of the social and economic trends affecting the changing world of work. The program is an exploratory journey through the adult world of work and change – playing the game now helps students live the reality later. Due to the interactive nature of The Real Game, opportunities for cooperative learning and peer tutoring are present in every session.

Role of the facilitator

The Real Game is activity-orientated, experiential, exploratory and reflective. Each of its elements requires the guiding hand of an educator: for presentation and set-up, for explanation, for activity coordination and for follow-up. To a certain degree, the game runs itself, but during each activity teachers act as guides, coaches or facilitators, interacting with students and ensuring that they understand what they are doing and how to do it. Theirs is the informed hand that guides discussion, reflection and association. Each session outline gives detailed instructions and suggestions for all of this, as well as the objectives that inform the activities.

The Real Game benefits from the involvement of career counsellors, and is well suited to a team-teaching approach because of the opportunities it offers for cross-curriculum learning. Some sessions can be delivered in one subject area (SOSE, English or maths, for example) and expanded on in another. Older students in tutoring roles can help deliver some sessions and members of the community can be involved at many stages during the program.

The Real Game incorporates and accommodates different types of teaching and learning styles: aural, visual and tactile/ hands-on. Facilitators, while delivering the program, should recognise each student’s particular learning style, or combination of learning styles, and use that knowledge to ensure that students get the maximum advantage from The Real Game.

The High Five principles

The High Five principles, often referred to in the field of career development, are incorporated throughout this program, illuminating The Real Game’s objectives.

These principles, when displayed in the classroom, help students reflect in an ongoing manner on the relevance of each of the game’s activities to real life, and on the changing nature of the world of work.

Change is constant

We change constantly, and so does the world around us – including the working world. Because a single occupation will no longer take workers from the beginning to the end of their working lives, adaptability is an important skill to carry into the future.

Learning is ongoing

Completing secondary school, TAFE or university doesn’t mean that your education is over. Opportunities to learn are everywhere! Learn to recognise them and make your learning a lifelong experience.

Focus on the journey

Travelling through life is like travelling down a road: having a destination gives direction, but most of the time is spent moving along. Pay attention to the journey with all its pitfalls, sidetracks, opportunities and roads to new destinations.

Follow your heart

Dreaming about your future can help you understand what you really want in life. Knowing what you want and keeping it in your mind can give you the motivation you need to deal with life’s challenges. Never be afraid to dream.

Access your allies

The journey of life is not taken alone. Friends, family, teachers, neighbours – any of them can be willing and helpful allies when it comes to deciding what steps to take on life’s path.

To view videos based around the High Five Principles go to the Career Industry Council of Australia website, and select Uploads.

Adapted from The Real Game Facilitator’s Guide, Department of Education, Science and Training (Australia), pp 16–21

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