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Title: An exploration of factors that affect students' uptake of A-level sciences & the trajectories followed in making these choices
Author: El-Damanawi, Marwa
ISNI:       0000 0004 7963 9623
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This study gives a nuanced analysis of post-compulsory uptake of Science, by developing the 'story' behind the 'London effect'. A two-phase mixed methods approach looked at the subject selection strategies of A-level Science students in inner London. The first phase consisted of a survey where 150 students, aged 16-17, were invited to answer a range of questions focused on their self-concept of Science, as well as their experience of Science inside and outside of school. The second phase involved interviews with a purposive sample of 22 of the initially surveyed students. These were analysed thematically based on an adapted version of the trajectory framework put forward by Cleaves (2005). The study classified the emerging themes into groups based on how much control a student had on them. Findings show that the factors that students had limited control over (school-related factors, teachers, family & society, gender and socioeconomic background) affected the student's choices through their effect on the three student-based factors; interest, ability and aspirations. When there was congruence between all three of these factors students followed a direct trajectory. If there was congruence between any two, then student trajectories were likely to be either partially resolved or funnelling identifier. Students who had no congruence between the three factors followed either a precipitating or multiple-projection trajectory. This study highlights the necessity of clear objectives for initiatives that intend to increase student uptake of the Sciences. As such it has implications for practice suggesting that increasing participation in the Sciences post-16 would benefit from applying a threepronged approach to encouraging students. Alongside developing their interest in the Sciences, we need to raise students' Science ability (and their perceptions of it) as well as help them to develop well-founded career aspirations.
Supervisor: Hohenstein, Jill Marni Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available