interest

Report
What matters when
young people choose
to study science?
Maria Vetleseter Bøe
NUAS, Tromsø 27. oktober 2011
©dreamstime
I don’t know,
media/TV,
astronaut,
designer,
therapist,
lawyer,
police
‘cause there’s
pilot,Social
workoron
an oil
manager
work
in arig,
officer,
astronaut,
worker,
so much
I’d
become
a journalist.
stylist,
fashion
dancermagazine
or
actress,
singer
or
like to be.
designing
+++
(where
work inthey
aclothes
pethave
shop
horoscopes)
and
help animals!
The research group
re:K:rutt…
What motivates young people’s
educational choices?
How can more people be
motivated to study science?
www.naturfagsenteret.no/vilje-con-valg/dokumenter.html
Det nasjonale fakultetsmøtet for realfag
FISKERI- OG HAVBRUKSNÆRINGENS FORSKNINGSFOND
Trying to understand educational choice
Will the profession
suit me and my
identity?
Will I get
a job?
Am I clever
enough?
What do these
professionals
actually do at
work?
Am I really
interested?
Will I find it
meaningful?
Does the
education suit
my goals and
ideals?
Redbaron/
Dreamstime
How much will it
cost me in time
and effort?
Eccles et al. expectancy-value model of
achievement-related choices
(Eccles & Wigfield, 2002)
Expectation
of success
in the subjects
Subjective value
of the subjects
 Interest-enjoyment
value
 Attainment value
 Utility value
 Relative cost
(Eccles, Adler, Futterman, Goff, Meece, & Midgley, 1983)
Will I be able to do this?
Neville Longbottom is insecure, clumsy and forgetful,
and has low expectation of success in most subjects.
Will I enjoy it?
Harry is very interested in defensive spells, and enjoys
the subject Defense Against the Dark Arts greatly.
Does the subject suit me,
my goals and my
identity?
Hermione Granger is very clever, she loves books and
schoolwork. However, she quit the subject Divination
(fortune telling), because she meant it was wholly
guesswork. It did not suit her identity as intelligent
and rational.
Can this help me reach some
other goals?
Harry hates Professor Snape and his subject Potions. But
he still chooses to continue, because the subject is
required if he wants to become an Auror who catches
dark wizards.
What will this cost me compared to other things I
could’ve been doing?
The magical sport Quidditch costs a lot of time and
effort for training. And the worst cost of all for Ron
Weasly is performance anxiety.
The LILY study
• 14,000 respondents
• Upper secondary school: Students in Year 12
• Higher education: 1st year students
 science, technology, engineering and mathematics
 non-science students for comparison
• Data collected in autumn 2008
How important are the following factors for you in your future job?
Not
important
1
Very
important
2
3
4
Working with something I am interested in
Very
important
Not
important
women
men
Using my talents and abilities
Very
important
Not
important
women
men
Developing myself
Very
important
Not
important
women
men
Everyone wants to do something
interesting, fulfilling and self-realising.
I want to do
something
interesting and
develop myself.
That’s why I chose
chemistry.
I want to do something
interesting and
develop myself. That’s
why I chose teaching.
I want to do
something
interesting and
develop myself.
That’s why I chose
engineering.
I want to do
something
interesting and
develop myself.
That’s why I chose
design.
The Lily study in upper secondary school
©dreamstime
The LILY study
in upper secondary school
(specialisation in general studies)
• Students in Year 12 (17 years).
• Respondents had recently chosen their
programme area (subject combination) for
the last two years of upper secondary
school.
• Representative sample
of 1628 students
736
892
Natural science
Science
and
Mathematics
Languages, Social
Non- and
science,
Science
Economics
What matters for choosing
science in upper secondary
school?
Interests and identity matters
Interest-enjoyment
Fit to personal beliefs
Self-realisation
Not1 important
2
non-Science
Science
3
4
Very important
Interest
«I am interested in all sorts of things,
[…] including science and a general
curiosity about how things work.»
(Student about what inspired her choice of
programme area)
Identity and self-realisation
«I am near-sighted myself,
and see an optitian regularly.
It seems like an exciting job
that suits me.»
(Student about what inspired her
choice of programme area)
The utility value of science matters
Utility value for university admission
Relative cost
1
Not important
2
non-Science
Science
3
4
Very important
Utility
«[…] to get as many options as
possible to choose from, so that I
can find something I can work
with and enjoy.»
(Student about what inspired his choice
of programme area)
How can we attract more students
to study science
in higher education?
© Andres Rodriguez @ dreamstime
Meet the expectations and maintain the interest.
Help the students see themselves in a science
career.
Doctor
Smash
Engineer
Crispo
Twist
Medical physicist
Renewable energy
researcher
Orthopedics
engineer
Nature management
professional
Teacher trainer
Environmental
scientist
Reservoir engineer
Finance analyst
Use the opportunity to present many different
career options that may interesting, meaningful
and self-realising to different students.
Twist
How do they experience higher
education? Lily and IRIS
©dreamstime
Lily in higher education
Disagree
I am very motivated for this study
Agree
Nursing (3,7)
Sykepleie
Health
Helse (3,5)
Ingeniør (3,5)
Engineering
NHH (3,5)
Economy
Sivilingeniør (3,5)
Graduate engineering
Informatikk
Computer
science (3,5)
Naturvitenskap
Natural
science (3,4)
Matematikk
fysikk (3,4)
Maths and og
physics
Reiseliv
ogtourism
turisme (3,4)
Travel
and
1.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
© Yury Arcurs @dreamstime
What do they say after 8-10 months?
- results for Norwegian students
«The overall experience
of being a student in this programme»
Girls
Boys
Computer science
Biology and biotechnology
Mathematics, physics, chemistry
Engineering
Worse than
expected
Better than
expected
”..I am very satisfied
with my courses”
«Social relations with fellow students»
Computer science
Girls
Boys
Biology and biotechnology
Mathematics, physics, chemistry
Engineering
Worse than
expected
Better than
expected
”Generally a good social life
and a fun freshman’s week!”
«I feel that my course suits
the kind of person that I am»
Computer science
Girls
Boys
Biology and biotechnology
Mathematics, physics, chemistry
Engineering
Strongly disagree
”...this is what I find most
exciting, this is what I want to
become good at, and what
I want to work with”
Strongly agree
«How interesting you find the content of
the course»
Computer science
Girls
Boys
Biology and biotechnology
Mathematics, physics, chemistry
Engineering
Worse than
expected
”You can put together your own combination of courses, and you will always find
something you find interesting!”
Better than
expected
Expectation of success:
«I learn easily the subject matter in this
course»
Computer science
Girls
Boys
Biology and biotechnology
Mathematics, physics, chemistry
Engineering
Strongly disagree
”I chose from what I felt I could master.
Because when I master something, it
automatically gets more fun. I don’t
want to study something I don’t feel I
can understand.”
Strongly agree
«The overall quality of the teaching»
Computer science
Girls
Boys
Biology and biotechnology
Mathematics, physics, chemistry
Engineering
Worse than
expected
”The lecturers are very sloppy..”
Better than
expected
«I get personal feed-back from lecturers
and teachers when I need it»
Computer science
Girls
Boys
Biology and biotechnology
Mathematics, physics, chemistry
Engineering
Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
”You have to do most of the
learning yourself…”
«The effort you have to spend on
studying»
Computer science
Girls
Boys
Biology and biotechnology
Mathematics, physics, chemistry
Engineering
Worse than
expected
Better than
expected
”You have to work hard from day one. Much
steeper learning curve than expected”
«The effort you have to spend on
studying»
It is very tough. The
first two years mainly
consist of difficuilt
subjects that don’t
seem relevant to the
study at large, and
this can easily kill
motivation.
Norwegian IRIS respondent
After 8-10 months, students are …

… happy with social life.

… quite happy with the study as
interesting and enjoyable.

… moderate in their expectation
of success.

… not quite satisfied with teaching
and follow-up.
… surprised at the cost of the
study in terms of time and effort.
© Prometeus @ dreamstime
How do we support 1st year students
and prevent drop-out?
Support social and academic integration by
taking advantage of their social relations and their
high interest.
©dreamstime
Create opportunities for interaction between
students and teaching staff.
© monkeybusinessimages @ dreamstime
Support students’ expectation of success.
©dreamstime
Prepare students for the hard work,
but make clear that help and follow-up will be
available!
© Hjalmeida @ dreamstime
Mathematics as a key drop-out factor
“meaningless”
“demanding”
“dull”
“difficult”
From interviews with dropped-out students
• Difficulty:
«I struggled, had no sense of mastery, too abstract,
failed.»
• Lack of previous knowledge:
«Even though I had [in-depth upper secondary
mathematics], it was at least one division up.»
Results from PhD-student Helge Brovold,
RENATE
«The enjoyment
was great, but the
mathematics was
even bigger!»
Japp
Technology, organization
and learning
»» The study programme gives
you knowledge about
organizations and
organizational changes.
We link knowledge from
several disciplines to form an
innovative and exciting new
field.
… I was suprised, then, about how much
math there was.
And the informatics, that’s what put me off a
bit, ‘cause I wasn’t counting on that. And I
am not good at that.
I just found out that this, I can’t do this.
… from what was on the website, I got the
impression that there wasn’t going to be
that much [ICT].
What impression of the study did you get
from what you read?
That it would be … I don’t know … that it
would suit me, ‘cause I want to work with
management and organization, in that
sense it seemed really interesting.
… and that bit with technology …
informatics, I felt that wasn’t really clear on
the website.
And had I known that, I wouldn’t have
started ‘cause I’m not at all good at those
kind of subjects.
Thank you!
www.naturfagsenteret.no/vilje-con-valg
Maria Vetleseter Bøe
[email protected]
66

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