On decreasing gender differences and attitudinal changes: factors influencing Australian and English pupils' choice of a career in science
Encouraging the entry of women into science-related careers remains problematic in the UK and Australia. Although recent initiatives have resulted in increased participation of girls in science-related subjects in schools, there remains a significant gender divide in entry to scientific programmes of study at post-compulsory and university levels. In this study, datasets for 13-year-old pupils in Australia and England taken from the Third International Maths and Science Survey (TIMSS) were used to derive path models that identify factors influencing the extent to which science-related careers were viewed as desirable by Australian and English pupils. Results indicated that, in both countries, attitudes to science were the strongest factor influencing desire for a job in science. While gender was not found to impact on attitudes, the teaching approach adopted influenced the development of pupil attitudes towards science.