High School Students’ Perceptions of the Role of Social Support in Cultivating Their Interests in and Aspirations to STEM Degrees and Careers—A Middle Eastern Case Study
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This case study intends to comprehend students’ perceptions of social support in cultivating their interests and aspirations for science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (STEM) degrees and careers. Survey-based quantitative research was employed, incorporating data from 1426 high school (grade 11th–12th) students in Qatar. The survey instrument encompassed four dimensions, i.e., (1) participants’ demographics, (2) STEM interests, (3) STEM supports/barriers and (4) STEM career aspirations to understand students’ perceptions. Spearman’s Rho correlation test demonstrated a positive correlation between students’ perceived social support (from family, teachers, and society) and their STEM interests (p < 0.01). Findings from the Mann-Whitney U test illustrated that females perceived enhanced social support (from teachers and society) in Qatar (p < 0.05). Even though teachers and society have been the stimulus to developing students’ STEM interests, there is still room to implement a policy for the consequential influence in constructing students’ STEM career aspirations. Thus, we believe these findings would urge policymakers to design tools that enable teachers and society to nurture, cultivate and sustain interest in STEM among the youth to meet Qatar’s National Vision 2030.
- Research of Qatar University Young Scientists Center [52 items ]