A Theory of Change for Improving Children’s Perceptions, Aspirations and Uptake of STEM Careers

Davenport, Carol, Dele-Ajayi, Opeyemi, Emembolu, Itoro, Morton, Richard, Padwick, Annie, Portas, Antonio, Sanderson, Jonathan, Shimwell, Joe, Loxley, Jane, Strachan, Becky, Wake, Leanne, Wells, Gary and Woodward, John (2021) A Theory of Change for Improving Children’s Perceptions, Aspirations and Uptake of STEM Careers. Research in Science Education, 51 (4). pp. 997-1011. ISSN 0157-244X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-019-09909-6


There is concern about the low numbers and diversity of young people choosing careers and study subjects in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) at university and beyond. Many interventions aimed at addressing this issue have focused on young people aged 14+ years old. However, these interventions have resulted in little improvement in the numbers and diversity of young people progressing into STEM careers. The aim of this study is to ask “What are the affordances of a Theory of Change (ToC) for increasing the diversity and number of young people choosing a career in STEM post-18?” An innovative ToC is introduced which provides the theoretical underpinnings and context for the complex mix of interventions necessary to lead to a significant change in the number and diversity of those choosing STEM careers. Case studies of interventions developed using the ToC are presented. This approach, and associated ToC, is widely applicable across STEM, education and public engagement fields.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: This work was supported by the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) under a Catalyst Fund Grant (PD006) and the Reece Foundation.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Children and young people, Diversity, STEM education, Careers, Theory of change, Science capital
Subjects: F300 Physics
G100 Mathematics
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2019 16:57
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2021 11:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/41664

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