The Social Factors Influencing Undergraduate Females to Study Mathematics and Physics

Atinuke Adeyemi

Abstract


This study explored the influences of socializers (e.g., parents, teachers, peers, and counsellors) on the university female students’ decisions to pursue careers in mathematics-related disciplines. Data were collected through interviews and focus group meeting from six female students in the second to final year from mathematics and physics departments at the mid-size university in Canada. The findings indicate that females made their decisions to pursue careers mainly out of genuine interest in mathematics and science, and that influences from parents and teachers came through encouragement and support, provision of positive learning experiences, and/or by being role models. It is recommended that parents and teachers be aware of how their involvement in both in- and out-of-class activities with children/students may affect female career pursuits in the field of mathematics. Supports should be put in place for females both during their studies and after they start working in these fields.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2013.v3n8p157


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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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