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Shirazi Poster

Shirazi Poster

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Published by: Birmingham Summer School 2012 on Jul 12, 2012
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05/13/2014

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

Shaista Shirazi School of Education, University of Leeds
Background and rationale Experience of science at school is an important factor in choosing whether to take science post 16 (Review by Barmby, Kind & Jones, 2008) Few studies report student narrative about their perceptions of school science particularly those students who have not chosen science. Research question 1: How do students’ perceptions of school science change as they progress through secondary school?

Did school influence your choice to take science or not post-16?

Scientists 74% 57%

Non-scientists

40%
Two-phased mixed methods research Phase 1: Survey questionnaires (N=590) Phase 2: Semi-structured interviews (N=58)

20%

Yes
Research question 2: Which school factors influence choice of science post-16?

No

Which school factors have put you off taking science?

Which school factors have encouraged you to take science?

Influences Science topics taught Exam results Teacher Options allowed by school Careers advice Way science is taught

% students 21 20 16 14 12 12

Influences Exam results Science topics taught Teacher Options allowed by school Careers advice Way science is taught

% students 45 37 21 20 18 17

Explain the high and low points of your graph

Progressive trajectory High points: liked science topics Low points: boring repetitive work. Biggest influence on science choice: Career

In year 6, I enjoyed science because it didn’t seem too taxing and it was quite a lot of fun because we did practicals and we did animals and all that kind of stuff. female scientist Regressive trajectory high point: interesting and less complicated science work Low point: frustrating / boring science topics Biggest influence on not taking science: exam results

It was the teacher I had at the time... it was her teaching style. I just didn’t get on with the teacher, her teaching style, her personality; this particular teacher just completely ruined the subject for me. So for that reason alone when it came to choosing the subjects at GCSE, if I had a choice I wouldn’t have done science at all. male non-scientist

I am passionate about science but if they (the teachers) had made it boring then I would have been deterred, even though I have a deep passion for it. If they made it boring I wouldn’t do something I didn’t enjoy, so yeah it would have really affected my choice. male scientist

Literature cited Barmby P, Kind P & Jones K (2007) Examining Changing Attitudes in Secondary School Science. International Journal of Science Education 1–19.

Further information: edsms@leeds.ac.uk. Poster can be accessed as pdf at www.shahworld.com

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