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ERIC Number: EJ1014759
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jul
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
Love It or Leave It: Norwegian Students' Motivations and Expectations for Postcompulsory Physics
Boe, Maria Vetleseter; Henriksen, Ellen Karoline
Science Education, v97 n4 p550-573 Jul 2013
In response to insufficient participation and female underrepresentation in physics education, this article uses questionnaire data from Norwegian physics students in upper secondary ("N" = 585) and first-year tertiary ("N" = 278) education to characterize the "physics choosers." An expectancy-value perspective is adopted to describe the motivations and expectations behind the respondents' physics choice. Three choice profiles were identified among secondary students. The "intrinsic" and "extrinsic" profile, broadly motivated by interest-enjoyment, expectation of success, and utility for university admission; the "extrinsic" profile emphasizing mainly utility; and the "intrinsic" profile emphasizing mainly interest-enjoyment. Females were underrepresented in the "intrinsic" profile. Many secondary students did not know what kind of job they wanted, but those who did, aspired to go into medicine (particularly females) or engineering (particularly males). Tertiary students were motivated by a passion for physics and high expectation of enjoyment, and many of them planned to go into research. Tertiary students were more likely than secondary students to value idealistic purposes in a future career. The results imply that participation in physics may be improved by targeting students with a broader motivation than interest alone, through inclusive classroom practices, support of students' self-concepts, and examples of physics applications and physics-related careers available. (Contains 6 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; High School Equivalency Programs
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A