Factors influencing students’ physical science enrolment decision at the University of Education, Winneba
The research explored the decisions of science students in the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) to enroll in science courses, particularly physical science, as a course or major programme. The study used a modified ‘multiple worlds’ model to investigate how the various worlds of the students influenced their science subject choice. All science students of UEW in the 2008/2009 academic year constituted the population from which a sample of two hundred and sixteen (216) students made up one hundred and forty-seven (147) males and sixty-nine (69) females was drawn. Purposive sampling using intact group technique was used to sample the respondents. Two equivalent forms of questionnaire designated as PSQ (for physical science students) and BSQ (for biological science students) were used to collect data on the students’ demographic characteristics as well as their perceptions of influence from their school, family, peer, and societal worlds which impact on their choice of subject. The study revealed that students making different subject choices (physical or biological science) reported similar experiences and conceptions, which did not generally inspire the choice of physical science. Students who chose physical science explained the source of their motivation in terms of high self-concept and perception of selfefficacy especially in mathematics, as well as, availability of resources of peer cultural and social capital objectified in course materials such as books, hand-outs, notes and socioemotional factors such as encouragement, pieces of advice among others. Students also reported building enough self-confidence to enrol in physical science by the encouragement they received through informal contact with physics lecturers.
Keywords: enrollment in science courses, students’ enrolment decisions, physical science, subject choice
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