Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Readiness: Ethno-linguistic and gender differences in high-school course selection patterns

TitleScience, Technology, Engineering and Math Readiness: Ethno-linguistic and gender differences in high-school course selection patterns
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsAdamuti-Trache, M, Sweet, R
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Date Published2014
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number09500693
KeywordsBRITISH , Course , cultural , English , ETHNICITY , ETHNOLINGUISTIC , gender , secondary , STEM , Teenagers
AbstractThe study examines science-related course choices of high-school students in the culturally diverse schools of the province of British Columbia, Canada. The analysis employs K-12 provincial data and includes over 44,000 students born in 1990 who graduated from high school by 2009. The research sample reflects the presence of about 27% of students for whom English is not a first language. We construct an empirical model that examines ethno-linguistic and gender differences in Grade 12 course choices while accounting for personal and situational differences among students. Findings indicate that math- and science-related course selection patterns are strongly associated with ethnicity, qualified not only by gender and prior math and science achievement but also by the individual's grade level at entry to the system and enrollment in English as a Second Language program. Students who are more likely to engage in math and science courses belong to Asian ethno-linguistic groups and entered the provincial school system during the senior high-school years. We suggest that ethnic diversity and broader academic exposure may play a crucial role in changing the gender composition of science classrooms, university fields of study and science-related occupations.
NotesAdamuti-Trache, Maria 1 Sweet, Robert 2; Affiliation: 1: Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA 2: Faculty of Education, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada; Source Info: Mar2014, Vol. 36 Issue 4, p610; Subject Term: COURSE selection (Education); Subject Term: STEM education; Subject Term: ETHNICITY; Subject Term: GENDER; Subject Term: ETHNOLINGUISTIC groups; Subject Term: ENGLISH language -- Study & teaching -- Foreign speakers; Subject Term: CULTURAL pluralism; Subject Term: TEENAGERS; Subject Term: SECONDARY education; Subject Term: BRITISH Columbia; Author-Supplied Keyword: Course selection patterns; Author-Supplied Keyword: Ethnicity; Author-Supplied Keyword: Gender; NAICS/Industry Codes: 611110 Elementary and Secondary Schools; NAICS/Industry Codes: 611630 Language Schools; Number of Pages: 25p; Document Type: Article