Abstract: Based on the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT), the study aims to investigate factors that predict students’ interest in pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in tertiary education both in general and in relation to their gender and socio-economic background. The results of the analysis of survey responses of 2458 secondary public school students in the fifth-largest Israeli city indicate that STEM learning experience positively associates with students’ interest in pursuing STEM fields in tertiary education as opposed to non-STEM fields. Moreover, studying advanced science courses at the secondary school level decreases (but does not eliminate) the gender gap and eliminates the effect of family background on students’ interest in pursuing STEM fields in the future. Findings regarding outcome expectations and self-efficacy beliefs only partially support the SCCT model. Outcome expectations and self-efficacy beliefs positively correlate with students’ entering tertiary education but did not differentiate between their interests in the fields of study.
Chachashvili-Bolotin, S., Milner-Bolotin, M., and Lissitsa, S. (2016). Examination of Factors Predicting Secondary Students’ Interest in Tertiary STEM Education. International Journal of Science Education. Advanced Online Publication.
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