ERG SES H 09, Professionalism and Education
Interationally there is an inadequately sized science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce and this is causing concerns for Governements all around the World as it is impacting on economic progress. Conversely, there has been a growing interest in out-of-school time (OST) science activities as a means to foster STEM career interest.
This study examines the attitudes of students to science both curricular and extra-currricular and their subsequent selection of subjects at senior cycle that may impact on their career choices.
The analysis will addresses two main research questions:
1. What are the main influencers in choosing subjects that will inevitably impact on career choices?
2. What are the barriers to choosing STEM subjects?
There are a number of factors at play in influencing the subject choices in schools and third level course selection in the area of STEM in Ireland. In order to increase the numbers of STEM students studying at third level, we need to have a better understanding of these factors and how they interact, so that strategies can be implemented to promote and increase the uptake of STEM subjects at second and third level. This project aims to investigate the factors that are at play in influencing the choices students are making as they negotiate the transitions in STEM education from Junior Cycle to Senior Cycle in secondary schools. It aims to incorporate the ‘Student Voice’ in the research process. The Relevance of Science Education (ROSE), an International project claimed to have done this, however, academic adults constructed the research instrument.
Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) was given the responsibility for implementing the Government’s national science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education policy. STEM education issues span all levels of education and extend to the workplace and the wider society.
The Irish Research Council (IRC) in partnership with Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) are involved in a National Research program on STEM Education. How we teach STEM and engage students in the STEM learning is a key factor in increasing the numbers and the quality of students studying these subjects.
STEM Career Influencers are an integral component of a National STEM strategy. A number of factors are at play in influencing the subject choices in schools and in order to increase the numbers of STEM students, we need to have a better understanding of these factors and how they interact, so that strategies could be implemented to promote and increase the uptake of STEM subjects.
So the overall goal of this research, which is being carried out at by me in the School of Education at Trinity College Dublin, is to improve the country’s capacity to deliver effective STEM education especially at post-primary level. In order to achieve this goal we are asking Transition Year students to participate in an online national survey.
Howe, A. C. (1996). Development of science concepts within a Vygotskian framework. Science Education, 80(1), 35-51. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-237X(199601)80:1<35::AID-SCE3>3.0.CO;2-3 Lundy, L. (2007). ‘Voice’ is not enough: conceptualising Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. British Educational Research Journal, 33(6), 927-942. doi: 10.1080/01411920701657033 Lundy, L., & McEvoy, L. (2008). E-consultation with Pupils: A Pilot Study Bangor: Department of Education for Northern Ireland. McEvoy, L., & Lundy, L. (2007). E-consultation with pupils: a rights-based approach to the integration of citizenship education and ICT. Technology, Pedagogy & Education, 16(3), 305-319. doi: 10.1080/14759390701614447 Murphy, C. (2012). Vygotsky and Primary Science. In B. J. Fraser, K. Tobin & C. J. McRobbie (Eds.), Second International Handbook of Science Education (Vol. 24, pp. 177-187): Springer Netherlands. OECD (2015), Education Policy Outlook 2015: Making Reforms Happen, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264225442-en Roth, W.-M., & Tobin, K. (2002). At the Elbow of Another 2002: v. 204: Learning to Teach by Coteaching (Counterpoints: Studies in the Postmodern Theory of Education_: Peter Lang Publishing Inc (1 Jan 2002). Sjøberg (2005) and Schreiner (2006) www.ils.uio.no/english/rose/ Schreiner United Nations. (1989). The Convention on the Rights of the Child. Geneva: United Nations. Wellcome Trust, Murphy, C., Kerr, K., Lundy, L., & McEvoy, L. (2010). Attitudes of Children and Parents to Key Stage 2 Science Testing and Assessment: Final Report to the Wellcome Trust: Wellcome Trust. OECD (2015), Education Policy Outlook 2015: Making Reforms Happen, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264225442-en SFI Strategic Plan Agenda 2020 http://www.sfi.ie/assets/files/downloads/News%20and%20Events/AGENDA%202020.pdf ICT Skills Action 2014-2018 https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/ICT-Skills-Action-Plan-2014-2018.pdf STEM Review http://www.delni.gov.uk/report_of_the_stem_review.pdf Report and Recommendations of the Task Force on the Physical Sciences https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/Task-Force-on-the-Physical-Sciences-Report-and-Recommendation.pdf Relevance of Science Education (ROSE) http://roseproject.no An overview of the ROSE project and key findings: Svein Sjøberg & Camilla Schreiner University of Oslo, March 2010 Key Skills http://www.juniorcycle.ie/Planning/Key-Skills Out-of-School Time Science Activities and Their Association with Career Interest in STEM DOI:10.1080/21548455.2011.629455 Katherine P. Dabney, Robert H. Tai, John T. Almarode, Jaimie L. Miller-Friedmann, Gerhard Sonnert, Philip M. Sadler & Zahra Hazari Journal: International Journal of Science Education, Part B Volume 2, Issue 1, March 2012, pages 63-79
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