Factors Affecting Cambodian Upper Secondary School Students’ Choice of Science Track
AbstractUpper secondary school years have been considered as a critical period for attracting students into future science-related majors and careers; yet, Cambodia is facing a worrisome decline trend in the students’ choice of science track. Through the lens of the making of engineers and scientists conceptual framework, the study aims to investigate the factors affecting Cambodian upper secondary school students’ choice of science track. With self-rating questionnaire survey, which randomly covered 751 11th graders in nine upper secondary schools in three provinces of Cambodia, the researcher collected data on three significant factors namely individual ability and personality, family background and encouragement, and upper secondary school experience and support. Binary logistic regression analysis revealed that performance in science and mathematics subjects, attitude towards science, plan to major in STEM, time spent self-studying in science and mathematics subjects, family encouragement, mother’s education, and school location significantly predicted students’ choice of science track. Some important implications for pedagogical orientation were also discussed.
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