About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6312-6319
Publication year: 2019
ISBN: 978-84-09-12031-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2019.1509

Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain

GRADE 8 AND 11 STUDENTS´ SCIENCE AND SCIENCE-RELATED CAREER PROFILES

H. Semilarski, R. Soobard, J. Holbrook, M. Rannikmäe

University of Tartu (ESTONIA)
The current curricula emphasis has caused gaps between student/society needs and school science teaching, leading to a drop-in student interest in science learning and decreasing number of students choosing science-related careers. Noting this, a major aim within science education is to raise interest by integrating science with real-life situations, e.g., to link the learning of science with everyday life such as career awareness[1];[2].
As indicated in PISA 2015, science-related careers are seen as those which require the study of science subjects beyond the compulsory education level and typically in formal tertiary institutions (e.g. science and engineering professionals; health professionals; etc.).
In covering the fields of chemistry, physics, geography, and biology, the study shows that, in general, 25% of 15-year old students see science-related careers as important for them, while at the same time, only 8% are interested in science careers[3].

This study seeks to investigate why the interest level of students is low related to the study of science subjects and hence, so few students want to pursue science-related careers.

Following research questions were put forward:
1. How does the level of interest in science subjects change from grade 8 to grade 11?
2. What student career profiles can be identified, based on students’ science and science-related career preferences?
3. How do these career profiles change between grades 8 and 11?

Using a validated instrument, data was collected from grade 8 (N=186) (14-15 years old) and grade 11 (N=127) (17-18 years old) students. A pencil and paper instrument consisted of open-ended questions about student career preferences was compiled and validated by 10 science teachers and 4 scientists. Responses were encoded using inductive thematic analysis[4]. Based on the analysis, items were classified into science and science-related careers, based on ISCO-08 classification of occupations. Inter-rater reliability for two raters was 92% (agreement percentage).

The results of the research show that 27% grade 11 students’ career preferences were science-related (e.g. doctor, psychologist etc.), while only 7% were for associated with specific science careers (e.g. physicist, chemist etc.). Lower percentages were obtained with grade 8 students; 12% chose science-related careers and 6% science careers as their future career preference. The created career profiles show skills, attributes, and knowledge that students have considered important in their chosen science or science-related careers. Based on these research outcomes, it is important that the content of the teaching material is more closely related to everyday situations and include descriptions of science and science-related careers.

References:
[1] DeBoer, G.E. (2011). Special Issue on Globalization in Science Education. Journal of Research
in Science Teaching, 48(6), 567-591.
[2] DeWitt, J., Archer, L., & Osborne, J. (2014). Science-related aspirations across the primary-secondary divide: Evidence from two surveys in England. International Journal of Science Education, 36(10), 1609–1629.
[3] Hsieh, H.-F., Shannon, S. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15, 1277-1288.
[4] OECD (2016), "Students’ attitudes towards science and expectations of science-related careers ". In: PISA 2015 Results (Volume I): Excellence and Equity in Education, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris.
@InProceedings{SEMILARSKI2019GRA,
author = {Semilarski, H. and Soobard, R. and Holbrook, J. and Rannikm{\"{a}}e, M.},
title = {GRADE 8 AND 11 STUDENTS´ SCIENCE AND SCIENCE-RELATED CAREER PROFILES},
series = {11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN19 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-12031-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2019.1509},
url = {https://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2019.1509},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {1-3 July, 2019},
year = {2019},
pages = {6312-6319}}
TY - CONF
AU - H. Semilarski AU - R. Soobard AU - J. Holbrook AU - M. Rannikmäe
TI - GRADE 8 AND 11 STUDENTS´ SCIENCE AND SCIENCE-RELATED CAREER PROFILES
SN - 978-84-09-12031-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2019.1509
PY - 2019
Y1 - 1-3 July, 2019
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN19 Proceedings
SP - 6312
EP - 6319
ER -
H. Semilarski, R. Soobard, J. Holbrook, M. Rannikmäe (2019) GRADE 8 AND 11 STUDENTS´ SCIENCE AND SCIENCE-RELATED CAREER PROFILES, EDULEARN19 Proceedings, pp. 6312-6319.
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