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Staying in the science stream: patterns of participation in A-level science subjects in the UK.

Smith, Emma (2011) Staying in the science stream: patterns of participation in A-level science subjects in the UK. Educational Studies, 37 (1). pp. 59-71. ISSN 0305-5698

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URL of Published Version: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03055691003729161

Identification Number/DOI: 10.1080/03055691003729161

This paper describes patterns of participation and attainment in A-level physics, chemistry and biology from 1961 to 2009. The A-level has long been seen as an important gateway qualification for higher level study, particularly in the sciences. This long term overview examines how recruitment to these three subjects has changed in the context of numerous policies and initiatives that seek to retain more young people in the sciences. The results show that recruitment to the pure sciences has stagnated, general trends have hardly varied and the track record of government policy in influencing change is not strong. There is no evidence for increasing achievement gaps between the sexes at A-level and even national policy requiring that all young people study science up to the age of 16 appears to have had little impact on recruitment at this level

Type of Work:Article
Date:January 2011 (Publication)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Education and Social Justice
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Additional Information:

This is an electronic post-print version of an article published in Educational Studies Vol. 53, No. 3 (2003): 282-295. Educational Studies is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ceds20/current.
The DOI of the final publication is: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03055691003729161

Keywords:science education; A-level attainment; achievement gaps; education; social justice
Subjects:L Education (General)
LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:Taylor & Francis
ID Code:1135
Refereed:YES
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