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Student experience of school science and its relationship to post-16 science take-up

Shirazi, Shaista Maryam (2013) Student experience of school science and its relationship to post-16 science take-up. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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This study investigated the experience of school science and its relationship to take-up of science amongst post-16 students in England. The empirical work was based on a two-phased mixed methods approach. The first phase consisted of survey questionnaires involving the ‘storyline’ method in which students in Year 12 (ages 16-17) indicated the high and low points of their experience of school science covering Years 6 - 11. They were also asked to complete survey items to explain the factors that influenced their decisions to take science or not post-16. The second phase consisted of interviews of a sample of surveyed students in which they detailed aspects of their school science experiences and decisions to take science or not after GCSE. The results showed that the average pattern of graph trajectory became increasingly positive for scientists while the pattern for non-scientists remained the same as slightly positive throughout their years in secondary school. Students in this study tended to make their science choices later in Year 11. Three main factors - interest in school science, success in science and the utility value of science (mainly for careers) mediate a network of influences that includes experience of school science and these drive the decision to take up science or not. The main conclusion is that school experience of science does play a role in post-16 science take-up. Science choice is based on a rational model of decision making in which interest, success and value of science are the key factors determining the outcome. This has implications for practice suggesting that uptake of science can be increased by improving the quality of student school experience of school science.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
ISBN: 978-0-85731-606-6
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Education (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.605254
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2014 12:38
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2014 10:49
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5776

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