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Qualified, But Not Choosing STEM at University: Unconscious Influences on Choice of Study

Rodd, M; Reiss, M; Mujtaba, T; (2014) Qualified, But Not Choosing STEM at University: Unconscious Influences on Choice of Study. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education , 14 (4) pp. 330-345. 10.1080/14926156.2014.938838. Green open access

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Abstract

Abstract: This article offers explanations as to why good candidates for mathematics or physics degrees might opt to study subjects other than STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects at university. Results come from analysis, informed by psychoanalytic theory and practice, of narrative-style interviews conducted with first-year undergraduates and from survey data. It is argued that psychoanalytic interpretations have a role in educational research. Also, it is shown that unconscious forces influenced young peoples’ decision making. Implications for policy are discussed, in particular, the issues of (a) the role of commitment and (b) being good enough to study a STEM discipline.

Type: Article
Title: Qualified, But Not Choosing STEM at University: Unconscious Influences on Choice of Study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/14926156.2014.938838
UCL classification: UCL
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 - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1501501
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