Science clubs may boost socially disadvantaged students’ scientific aspirations (Best Evidence in Brief)

There is a new Best Evidence in Brief and this time I’m picking this study from their overview:

Extracurricular activities in science, such as after school clubs, may help to increase scientific aspirations of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, according to new research published in the International Journal of Science Education.
Tamjid Mujtaba and colleagues looked at survey responses of 4,780 students in Year 7 (ages 11-12) and Year 8 (ages 12-13) from schools in England with high proportions of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Their responses showed that students’ aspirations to study science beyond age 16 were strongly associated with their basic interest in the subject, how useful they thought science was for future careers, and their engagement in extracurricular activities, such as science clubs. In addition, students’ confidence in their own abilities in science and encouragement from teachers and family to continue studying science after age 16 had smaller but still relevant associations.
Overall, the researchers suggest that students from disadvantaged backgrounds would benefit from support and encouragement to continue with science and having access to science-related extracurricular activities.

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