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EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education
Volume 13, Issue 6 (June 2017), pp. 1575-1603

DOI: 10.12973/eurasia.2017.00686a

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Research Article

Published online on Mar 27, 2017

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The Status of Science and Technology Relative to Other School Subjects. Results of a Study Conducted on Primary and Secondary School Students in Quebec

Abdelkrim Hasni, Patrice Potvin & Vincent Belletête

Abstract

In recent decades, many studies have examined students’ interest in science and technology (S&T) at school. However, few investigations have studied this interest in a manner that accounts for the status that students assign to this subject relative to other subjects in the curriculum. The main objective of this article is to conduct such an examination. To assess this issue, three dimensions have been considered: ease, relative preference, and relative importance. This study, which included 2,571 students, reveals that S&T occupies an intermediate position relative to other subjects, with only slight differences between boys and girls. However, there are important differences across school years: 1) S&T is perceived to be increasingly difficult as students’ progress in their schooling; 2) relative preference for S&T decreases during the primary-secondary school transition but subsequently rises; and 3) the relative importance of S&T increases compared with all other subjects as students advance in their education. Significant correlations are observed between the latter two dimensions and students’ intentions to pursue studies or careers in S&T.

Keywords: school subjects, interest in S&T, S&T careers, relative importance of S&T, relative preference of S&T.


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