ERIC Number: EJ1019041
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
Parental Occupation Inspiring Science Interest: Perspectives From Physical Scientists
Chakraverty, Devasmita; Tai, Robert H.
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, v33 n1-2 p44-52 Feb-Apr 2013
Children's early science interest begins well before middle school, and parents can be important in generating and sustaining such interest. This qualitative study addresses how parental occupations shape physical scientists' early science interest. Our framework uses Social Cognitive Career Theory, and our research question is, "How do parental occupations create learning opportunities for children and motivate them to pursue physical science?" We examine interviews from 17 physical scientists in Project Crossover, a sequential mixed-methods study that broadly examines factors influencing entry into physics and chemistry doctoral programs. Parental occupations can create learning opportunities through role modeling, encouragement, exposure, familiarity, and bonding. Thus, parents can be valuable in creating learning opportunities for children outside classrooms. Study limitations include a small sample and lack of information about familial structure. Our research contributes to the emergent understanding of the role of parental occupations in science interest, which further influences individual career trajectories.
Descriptors: Qualitative Research, Social Theories, Epistemology, Scientists, Interviews, Physical Sciences, Doctoral Programs, Career Choice, Graduate Students, Validity, Researchers, Gender Differences, Parent Influence, Science Careers, Parent Background
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A