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ERIC Number: EJ1131195
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2154-8455
The Role of Out-of-School Experiences and Targeted Recruitment Efforts in Norwegian Science and Technology Students' Educational Choice
Henriksen, Ellen Karoline; Jensen, Fredrik; Sjaastad, Jørgen
International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, v5 n3 p203-222 2015
Understanding young people's educational choice is of interest in order to recruit sufficient numbers of young people to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In this article, questionnaire data (closed and open-ended questions) from 5,007 Norwegian first-year students in all STEM higher-education disciplines are utilised to describe the role of out-of-school experiences and targeted recruitment efforts in the choice to enter an STEM higher-education programme. "Out-of-school experiences" were described as the more inspirational by our respondents, contributing to a stable interest for and identification with the STEM field through a long-term educational choice process. Among such experiences, popular science and also fiction or drama with a science component were rated high, whereas museums and science centres were rated lower. Popular science as well as leisure-time activities and experiences in nature were also frequently referred to in open questions. "Targeted recruitment efforts" are important mainly near educational decision points. The higher-education institutions' own websites were rated as far more inspirational than campaign websites from official authorities, professional organisations, etc. Commercials, company visits and school counsellors received low ratings as sources of inspiration for an STEM choice, whereas education expositions and visits to or from a higher-education institution were rated somewhat higher. The results suggest that stakeholders wishing to improve STEM participation might consider partnerships with educational institutions, popular science, the media and organisations offering outdoor activities for children and adolescents, in designing information and outreach to improve STEM participation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A