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ERIC Number: EJ962813
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2077-2327
English Secondary School Students' Perceptions of School Science and Science and Engineering
Bevins, Stuart; Byrne, Eleanor; Brodie, Marilyn; Price, Gareth
Science Education International, v22 spec iss n4 p255-265 Dec 2011
Debates about school science, students' engagement with, and participation in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and the supply of suitably qualified people for STEM related fields have been ongoing in England since the early 20th Century. Recent key policy documents and STEM related organisations have highlighted a skills gap in these fields that, if not addressed, could have significant implications towards the country's economic development and prosperity. A large body of literature exists which contributes to the understanding of why it is that young people opt out of post-compulsory STEM education and STEM related careers. However, even with a large knowledge base and a wide range of initiatives and projects that have been carefully designed with the underpinning aim of attracting more young people to STEM related careers (10 year Science and Innovation Framework-HMT, 2004) there still appears to be a problem. This paper presents data gathered from two studies undertaken by the authors in 2004 and 2010. Key findings from two surveys of school students' perceptions of school science and science and engineering in general, and from follow-up focus group interviews are reported. Data sets from both 2004 and 2010 reveal a large amount of congruence in the students' perceptions. While the majority of participating students state that they enjoy school science they also state that they would not consider study of STEM related subjects beyond compulsory education or a STEM related career. The paper situates key findings within existing literature and argues that there is some way to go before we can begin to piece together the large range of factors which influence student's decisions to opt out of STEM study and careers and to develop a clear and effective strategy for tackling the problem. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)