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Current perceptions of the impact of SES on science participation and attainment: a focus group investigation of pupils, teachers and parents

By S.C Bevins, E. Brodie and M. Thompson


<p>This paper presents key findings from a qualitative study into perceptions of the potential impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on young people’s participation and achievement in school science and beyond. The data reported derive from a series of focus groups conducted with pupils, parents and science teachers in South Yorkshire, the North West, Midlands and London. The importance of investigating this issue has emerged from a number of existing studies that acknowledge inequity in participation, achievement and/or interest in the subject of science at school (YCS 2004, Jenkins 2005, Osborne and Collins 2000). Moreover, the apparent lack of suitably qualified individuals choosing science-based careers is of increasing concern (Roberts 2002). This, together with shortages in science teacher recruitment and retention (Smithers and Robinson 2000), places science and innovation within the UK in a precarious situation. If the UK is going to compete effectively within global markets, interventions will have to be designed and implemented that will tackle key issues that are affecting participation and achievement in school science, post-compulsory school science and careers.</p

Publisher: The Royal Society
Year: 2008
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