Presenter Information

Helen Watt, Monash University

Location

Mezzanine M3

Start Date

8-8-2016 11:15 AM

End Date

8-8-2016 12:30 PM

Subjects

STEM education, Females, Males, Student motivation, Youth, Gender differences, Student engagement, Occupational aspiration, Career planning, Science careers, Science interests, Mathematics attitudes, Subject selection (Students), Self concept, Longitudinal studies, Upper secondary years

Comments

Concurrent session Block 1

Abstract

Sufficient numbers of people with science and mathematics qualifications are needed for continuing growth in productivity and industry innovation. The Australian Industry Group (2015, p. 5) cautioned, ‘the pipeline of STEM skills to the workforce remains perilous’ because participation in sciences and advanced mathematics at school and university is in decline, participation is not comparable with other nations, and our students underperform in major international studies. Gender differences in enrolments and career plans continue to fuel the concern of researchers with interest in gender equity. Many have argued girls prematurely restrict their options by discontinuing particular STEM subjects in adolescence, which has ramifications for women’s later wellbeing from economic and psychological perspectives. Much research has concentrated on whether and how girls/boys are differently motivated in particular learning domains, towards different career aspirations, and how features of the learning environment can promote or diminish their motivations. In the STEPS Study (http://www. stepsstudy.org), I have been following longitudinal samples of youth over the past two decades using these frames to examine boys’/girls’ motivations in particular subjects; how motivations matter differently for girls/boys; in directing them towards particular purposes and aspirations; and as they are influenced by features of their learning environments. STEM participation is an issue in Australia, as in the US and many countries of the OECD. There have been two main arguments put forward as to why we should care.

Place of Publication

Melbourne Vic

Publisher

Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)

ISBN

9781742864075

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Aug 8th, 11:15 AM Aug 8th, 12:30 PM

Session D : Promoting girls’ and boys’ engagement and participation in senior secondary STEM fields and occupational aspirations

Mezzanine M3

Sufficient numbers of people with science and mathematics qualifications are needed for continuing growth in productivity and industry innovation. The Australian Industry Group (2015, p. 5) cautioned, ‘the pipeline of STEM skills to the workforce remains perilous’ because participation in sciences and advanced mathematics at school and university is in decline, participation is not comparable with other nations, and our students underperform in major international studies. Gender differences in enrolments and career plans continue to fuel the concern of researchers with interest in gender equity. Many have argued girls prematurely restrict their options by discontinuing particular STEM subjects in adolescence, which has ramifications for women’s later wellbeing from economic and psychological perspectives. Much research has concentrated on whether and how girls/boys are differently motivated in particular learning domains, towards different career aspirations, and how features of the learning environment can promote or diminish their motivations. In the STEPS Study (http://www. stepsstudy.org), I have been following longitudinal samples of youth over the past two decades using these frames to examine boys’/girls’ motivations in particular subjects; how motivations matter differently for girls/boys; in directing them towards particular purposes and aspirations; and as they are influenced by features of their learning environments. STEM participation is an issue in Australia, as in the US and many countries of the OECD. There have been two main arguments put forward as to why we should care.