Reasons behind Science Subject Choices in a New Zealand Secondary School: A Survey of Year 10 and 11 Students

Bartholomew, Edward Rex; Moeed, Azra
June 2012
International Journal of Learning;2012, Vol. 18 Issue 5, p133
Academic Journal
Internationally, calls for scientific literacy to be an essential part of school science curricula have been highlighted in two substantive reports: Beyond 2000 (Millar & Osbourne, 1998; Osbourne, 2007) in the United Kingdom, and Reimagining Science Education in Australia (Tytler, 2007). These reports emphasise the need to make science relevant to secondary students in the twenty-first century. In New Zealand, there is a paucity of longitudinal research to find the reasons for students continuing with one or more sciences during their secondary schooling and subsequently. To investigate the New Zealand situation, students in a medium size, typical coeducational state school were surveyed at year 10 (age 14/15) and again at year 11 (age 15/16). This empirical research demonstrates that common reasons for selecting science subjects were the enjoyment of the subject, practical work relating to that subject, and for future career requirements. The paper also presents the reasons offered by students who had decided not to continue with the subject.


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