Donald E. Supper’s Theory

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Donald E. Supper’s Theory

Introduction
Donald E. Supper’s work spanning from 1953 to 1996 can be seen as one of the most prominent career development theories of the previous century. The theory rests on the notions that people have different abilities, interests and personalities, which qualify them for different occupations. Each occupation requires a different pattern of these characteristics, but choice is always a determining factor. Super proposition described vocational development as ongoing, continuous generally irreversible, orderly and predictable. Vocational development was also seen as a dynamic process involving compromise and synthesis. This process of synthesis or comparison occurs between the individual and certain social factors, and between the self-concept and reality through role-playing, amongst other things. Vocational preferences and competencies, work situations and self-concepts are all inconstant, although the stability of self-concept from late adolescence results in the continuous process of vocational choice and adjustment. Satisfaction (both vocational and a vocational) occurs when individuals are in the position to realize their abilities, interests, personality traits, values and so forth (Super 1984)
The fifty years of theoretical explications by Super have resulted in a fragmented and compartmentalized theory of career development. The theory can nonetheless be organized into six basic models, namely the rainbow model, the maturity or adaptability model, the salience model, the model of determinants, the career decision –making model and lastly the C-DAC model. Primarily the aim of career development theory is to describe vocational choice and adjustment (Super et al.1988)
The Rainbow Model
The life career rainbow See (Figure below) depicts the two prominent dimensions of career development, namely life-span and life space. It relates to the self concept and determines the way in which careers are seen (Super, 1980). A

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