High school students' perceptions of school science and science careers : a critical look at a critical issue

Quinn, Frances & Lyons, Terry (2011) High school students' perceptions of school science and science careers : a critical look at a critical issue. Science Education International, 22(4), pp. 225-238.

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Disproportionate representation of males and females in science courses and careers continues to be of concern. This article explores gender differences in Australian high school students’ perceptions of school science and their intentions to study university science courses. Nearly 3800 15-year-old students responded to a range of 5-point Likert items relating to intentions to study science at university, perceptions of career-related instrumental issues such as remuneration and job security, self-rated science ability and enjoyment of school science. Australian boys and girls reported enjoying science to a similar extent, however boys reported enjoying it more in relation to other subjects than did girls, and rated their ability in science compared to others in their class more highly than did girls. There was no significant difference between the mean responses of girls and boys to the item “It is likely I will choose a science-related university course when I leave school” and the strongest predictors of responses to this item were items relating to students’ liking for school science and awareness from school science of new and exciting jobs, followed by their perceived self-ability. These results are discussed in relation to socio-scientific values that interact with identity and career choices, employment prospects in science, and implications for science education.

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ID Code: 68251
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Pre-QUT publication
Keywords: Science education, Secondary education, Science careers
ISSN: 2077-2327
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Secondary Education (130106)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Curriculum
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 11 Mar 2014 03:51
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2014 02:13

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