Factors that influence student pursuit of science careers; the role of gender, ethnicity, family and friends

Article English OPEN
Rodrigues, Susan ; Jindal-Snape, Divya ; Snape, Jonathan (2011)
  • Publisher: International Council of Associations for Science Education
  • Subject: L300 | X200

This study adds to a body of research reporting on pupils’ choices and outcomes in relation to science. The article reports on 536 Scottish pupils’ perceptions regarding reported intention to choose careers in science, with further analysis in terms of family, friends, gender and ethnicity. The pupils, aged 14-15, from 5 schools in one Scottish education authority, thought that science is important and scientific careers are good. Pupils had evenly balanced views and attitudes towards science, but just over one third (38.7%) of all respondents indicated that they were considering a career in science. The major factor influencing pupils’ career choices in Scotland seemed to be their perception of whether their parents want them to pursue a career in science.
  • References (27)
    27 references, page 1 of 3

    Carlone, H., & Johnson, A. (2007). Understanding the Science Experiences of Successful Women of Color: Science Identity as an Analytic Lens. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 44(8), 1187-1218.

    Colley, A., & Comber, C. (2003). School subject preferences: age and gender differences revisited. Educational Studies, 29(1), 59-67.

    Dalziel, D., & Lambley, C. (2001). Public Attitudes to Science and Engineering - Scottish Comparison Report. Available online at:

    Eccles, J. (2009). Who am I and What am I going to do with my life? Personal and collective identities as motivators of action. Educational Psychologist, 44(2), 78-89.

    Engineering and Technology Board. (2010). Parents perceptions of SET based careers. Available online at: http://www.engineeringuk.com/viewitem.cfm?cit_id=383157 (18th August 2011).

    Frost, S., Reiss, M., & Frost, J. (2005). Count me in! Gender and minority ethnic attainment in school science. School Science Review, 86(316), 105-112.

    Gillborn, D., &Gipps, C. (1996). Recent Research on the Achievements of Ethnic Minority Pupils, Report for the Office for Standards in Education. London: HMSO.

    Hassan, G. (2008). Attitudes towards science among Australian tertiary and secondary school students. Research in Science and Technological Education, 26(2), 129-147.

    Hatchell, H. (1998). Girls entry into higher secondary sciences. Gender and Education, 10, 375-386.

    Higgins, J., Vaughan, K., Phillips, H., & Dalziel, P. (2008). Education employment linkages: International literature review. Lincoln: AERU Research Unit. Available online at: http://www.eel.org.nz/documents/EELReport02.pdf (20th September 2011).

  • Metrics
    views in OpenAIRE
    views in local repository
    downloads in local repository

    The information is available from the following content providers:

    From Number Of Views Number Of Downloads
    Northumbria Research Link - IRUS-UK 0 138
Share - Bookmark