The TES is reporting research that suggests teachers are partly to blame for students turning away from maths and science as they progress through secondary school.
Just one in 11 young people takes maths and physics at A-level – despite almost three-quarters of children leaving primary school expressing a high interest in science, new analysis from consultancy firm AT Kearney has found.
The “Tough Choices” report, commissioned by employers campaigning for a greater take-up in the subjects, has found that girls’ interest in maths and science dramatically declines by 74 per cent during secondary school, while boys’ engagement in these subjects drops by 56 per cent over the same period.
Teachers have played a role in the “Great British science turn-off”, the report claims, by encouraging only the “ultra-bright” students to take Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects at A-level…
The report concludes that the low uptake of science and maths beyond the age of 16 reflects “apparently rational decision-making”, which it claims is “ill-informed and harmful”.
It says: “Many teachers and parents push students to prioritise good grades and as a result steer them away from Stem [and] students say they listen to this guidance.”
The report recommends that teachers and parents should change the message from “it’s hard” to “you can do it” by shifting the focus from “getting high grades irrespective of subject to a balanced view of subject content, subject mix and likely exam performance”…
The full article suggests other factors at play too (I can’t find the original report online at the moment), but what do you say to the suggestion that teachers are putting students off Stem subjects?
Please share your reactions and feedback in the comments or via Twitter…
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