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ERIC Number: EJ994187
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Intergenerational Transfers of Preferences for Science Careers in Comparative Perspective
Sikora, Joanna; Pokropek, Artur
International Journal of Science Education, v34 n16 p2501-2527 2012
Using data from 24 countries, which participated in the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), we examine the relationship between parental science employment and students' career expectations. In contrast to prior PISA-based studies, we find that the link between parental employment and adolescent plans to work in science is non-trivial and merits attention. In this context, we consider three versions of the gender socialisation hypothesis. The strong variant posits that girls' plans are shaped solely by their mothers' career pathways while boys model their expectations exclusively on fathers' occupations. The weaker version of this hypothesis expects children to be influenced more by the same-sex than by the opposite-sex parent. Finally, the third possibility is that, as egalitarian ideologies prevail, parents inspire adolescent occupational plans regardless of gender. These hypotheses are assessed separately for student career plans related to biology, agriculture and health (BAH) in contrast to computing, engineering and mathematics (CEM), because the involvement in these fields of science is known to be segregated by gender. Using two-level multinomial logit modelling, we find some support for the weak version of the gender socialisation hypothesis. Although within-family transfers of preferences for science careers vary considerably across countries, we note certain regularities. In many nations, relevant paternal employment enhances sons' interest in science careers regardless of their field. In contrast, maternal employment inspires daughters in fewer countries and this influence tends to be limited to careers in BAH. We discuss the possible implications of these findings for science educators. (Contains 6 tables, 3 figures, and 9 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Program for International Student Assessment