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ERIC Number: EJ1165554
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Dec
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1449-6313
Who Is Teaching Science in Our High Schools? Exploring Factors Influencing Pre-Service Secondary Science Teachers' Decisions to Pursue Teaching as a Career
McDonald, Christine V.
Teaching Science, v63 n4 p33-44 Dec 2017
A central objective of recent government reports focused on the important role of education in preparing a skilled and dynamic science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce, with effective teaching in secondary STEM classrooms reliant on the engagement and retention of high-quality STEM teachers (Office of the Chief Scientist, 2014). This study sought to explore the factors influencing pre-service secondary science teachers' decisions to pursue teaching as a career. Participants in this study were enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate teacher education programs at a large, urban Australian university. A total of 12 pre-service teachers enrolled in a science curriculum course participated in the study. Analysis of interview data identified two key factors influencing their decisions, including their perceptions and experience in high school, and lack of opportunities in STEM-related fields. Other findings indicated participants expressed positive outlooks regarding their decisions to pursue teaching as a career, and articulated views of science and science teaching aligned with inquiry-based approaches in science education. Implications from this study suggest that, although these participants are likely to encourage students to consider teaching as a profession, they may not promote STEM-related professions as possible career paths, due to their previous experiences.
Australian Science Teachers Association. P.O. Box 334, Deakin West, ACT 2600, Australia. Tel: +61-02-6282-9377; Fax: +61-02-6282-9477; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A