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Factors influencing young people (aged 14-19) in education about STEM subject choices: a systematic review of the UK literature

Tripney, J; Newman, M; Bangpan, M; Niza, C; Mackintosh, M; Sinclair, J; (2010) Factors influencing young people (aged 14-19) in education about STEM subject choices: a systematic review of the UK literature. (Wellcome Trust Education Reports ). Wellcome Trust: London. Green open access

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Abstract

Everyone has to make choices at different stages in their life. Some of the most crucial relate to their education, in particular what combination of subjects they decide to take for higher-level study. For most young people such choices take place between the ages of 14 and 18. In England they are likely to be asked to make selections at 14, when they decide which GCSE courses they are to pursue, at 16 when they select their post-16 studies and then at 18 in deciding on higher or further education programmes or their chosen area of employment. As important as these choices are for individuals, such decisions also have wider economic implications for the country. This is particularly the case with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. Major government funded inquiries (e.g. Roberts, 2002; Smith, 2004) identified a mismatch between skills acquired during formal education and those required in the workplace. This phenomenon is not unique to the UK, with many OECD countries facing similar difficulties in terms of student participation in STEM (OECD Global Science Forum, 2006). In common with other countries the UK government is committed to fostering STEM related innovation in the UK. The Science and Innovation Investment Framework 2004-2014 (HM Treasury, 2004; 2006) set out priorities for addressing skills shortages. Improving education in the STEM subjects was identified as a key element, leading to the STEM Programme that was launched in October 2006. This provides a strategic framework through which support for STEM subjects in schools and colleges is made more effective and more accessible (DfES, 2006). A key premise underpinning many of the proposals is the view that young people begin to make choices about careers early in their education. Helping young people to make the most appropriate subject choices is therefore crucial, both to ensure that the country has the skills its needs for the economy and to enable young people to make the best choices to meet their own future needs and aspirations.

Type: Report
Title: Factors influencing young people (aged 14-19) in education about STEM subject choices: a systematic review of the UK literature
ISBN-13: 9781841290874
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/stellent/groups/corporat...
Language: English
Additional information: Unless otherwise stated, all content on the site is © The Wellcome Trust and is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/uk/). This means that you are free to share the content by copying, distributing and transmitting it, but please attribute it to the Wellcome Trust and provide a link to its website -http://www.wellcome.ac.uk. For any reuse or distribution, you must make these licence terms clear to others.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1472699
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