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Who Chooses Science? Subject Take-up in Second-Level Schools

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Who Chooses Science? Subject Take-up in Second-Level Schools

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A comprehensive study of the take-up of science subjects by second-level students.


The proportion of students taking science subjects for the Leaving Certificate has declined in recent years. This has led to policy concern about a potential shortage of scientific skills within the workforce. However, little is known about the factors which influence subject choice within second-level education and beyond.

Who Chooses Science, published in association with the Economic and Social Research Institute, draws on a national survey of over 4,000 students along with detailed case-studies of science teaching within eight schools. It highlights best practice in science education and identifies the factors which affect the take-up of Chemistry, Physics, Biology and higher Maths at senior cycle. It also indicates the student and school characteristics which influence the choice of course on entry to higher education. The book indicates the way in which schools can facilitate or constrain the choices made by students and discusses the implications for educational policy.

Who Chooses Science will be of interest to policymakers, academics, school management, guidance counsellors, teachers, parents and the broader scientific community.

About the Author

s Emer Smyth and Carmel Hannan are researchers at the Economic and Social Research Institute.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Author Hannan, Carmel, Smyth, Emer
Editor No
Print Format Paperback
ISBN-10 1-904148-24-7
ISBN-13 n/a
Illustrations No
Date of Publication December 2002
Number of Pages 280