How to halt the fall in HSC STEM enrolments: study

Aug 24, 2018 by

The fall in enrolments in high-level maths, science and technology courses for the HSC may be because students are deciding the subjects are not particularly relevant to their daily lives as early as year 7.

Students’ attitudes towards STEM subjects also change considerably over their first year of high school, a new study has found, suggesting changing teaching practices at the beginning of year 7 could have a significant effect on subject choices later.

“As they come into year 7, [students] start with a positive outlook on school in general and then things tend to change within that first year,” said JohnPaul Kennedy, lead author of the study, published in Research in Science Education.

The study tracked 363 NSW students’ attitudes towards academic subjects over the first four years of high school, looking at enjoyability, self-efficacy, perceived difficulty, usefulness for personal career, usefulness for a specific career in that domain, relevance to society and intention to continue with study beyond compulsory education.

While students’ perceptions of the personal usefulness and usefulness for specific careers of maths increased between the first and second semesters of year 7, their perception of its relevance declined significantly over time.

continue: How to halt the fall in HSC STEM enrolments: study

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