Factors predicting high ability girls' enrolment in Year 11 and 12 physics and intermediate mathematics in regional and rural North Queensland

Woods, Cindy (2008) Factors predicting high ability girls' enrolment in Year 11 and 12 physics and intermediate mathematics in regional and rural North Queensland. In: Proceedings of the AARE 2008 International Education Research Conference. pp. 1-18. From: AARE 2008 International Educational Research Conference, 30 November - 4 December 2008, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

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This paper reports and discusses the initial findings of a North Queensland study exploring the Physics and intermediate Mathematics enrolment decisions of high achieving Year 10 rural and regional young women. The study was guided by social cognitive theory, and used the Achievement Motivation expectancy-value model (Eccles & Wigfield, 2002) as a theoretical framework for investigating the factors that encourage or discourage rural and regional young women’s Physics and intermediate Mathematics enrolment. The subject choices young women make at the end of the compulsory years of schooling are based on cognitive considerations of future goals, the cost of pursuing those goals, and perceptions of their ability to achieve the desired goals. These considerations do not occur in a vacuum, social and cultural factors also influence subject choice decisions. For instance, some careers are considered more appropriate and attractive for young women than others, and advice and encouragement from parents and teachers can exert a strong influence on individual aspirations. Logistic regression analyses of quantitative survey data (n = 97), revealed three significant factors predicting physics and intermediate mathematics enrolment. Self-concept of ability, the perceived strategic career value of the subjects, and parental and teacher encouragement were statistically significantly in predicting higher-level mathematics and Physics enrolment respectively. Findings from the qualitative data analyses were compared and contrasted with the quantitative results to gain a deeper understanding of participants’ enrolment rationales than a quantitative analysis alone would allow.

Item ID: 9944
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISSN: 1324-9339
Keywords: secondary education; physics education; mathematics education
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Conference theme "Changing Climates: Education for Sustainable Futures"

Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2010 22:45
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130106 Secondary Education @ 33%
13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130208 Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 33%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences @ 34%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930103 Learner Development @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939904 Gender Aspects of Education @ 50%
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