The influence of teachers on students' decisions about choosing science : comparing student and teacher perceptions

Lyons, Terry & Quinn, Frances (2012) The influence of teachers on students' decisions about choosing science : comparing student and teacher perceptions. In XV Symposium of the International Organization for Science and Technology Education, 28 October - 4 November 2012, Tunisia.

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This paper reports results from a study comparing teachers’ and students’ perceptions about the relative degree of influence parents, teachers, friends, older students and careers advisors have on students’ decisions about enrolling in non-compulsory high school science subjects. The comparison was carried out as part of the Choosing Science project - a large-scale Australian study of 15 year-old students’ experiences of school science and intentions regarding further participation. The study found that students considered their science teachers to have had the greatest influence, followed by parents and then friends. In contrast, however, science teachers believed their students to be most influenced in their decisions by friends and peers, followed by older students and siblings and parents, with teachers themselves having relatively little influence. Both groups believed that advice from careers advisors was of little influence. The findings are unique in the science education literature in providing an insight into differences and similarities in the perceptions of students and their teachers. In particular they indicate that teachers play a far greater role in students’ decisions about enrolling in science than they believe. This has important implications for science teachers and teacher educators in terms of appreciating their influence and applying it in ways that encourage participation in science courses.

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ID Code: 68281
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Pre-QUT publication
Keywords: Teacher influence, Science education
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators (130313)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Curriculum
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 12 Mar 2014 03:29
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2014 14:05

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