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Title: Australian enrolment trends in technology and engineering: putting the T and E back into school STEM
Contributor(s): Kennedy, JohnPaul  (author)orcid ; Quinn, Frances  (author)orcid ; Lyons, Terry (author)
Publication Date: 2018
Open Access: No
DOI: 10.1007/s10798-016-9394-8
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Abstract: There has been much political and educational focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Australian schools in recent years and while there has been significant research examining science and mathematics enrolments in senior high school, little is known about the corresponding trends in Technologies and engineering. Understanding these subjects is essential for educators and policy-makers alike if Australians are to embrace the challenges of an innovation economy. We have collected raw enrolment data from each of the Australian state and territory education departments from 1992 to 2014 and analysed this across five Technology and Engineering subject areas. We also consider some of the relationships between these subject areas and other areas of the STEM equation. The results of these analyses are discussed in terms of absolute enrolments, participation rates and sex balance. We have found that the total number of students in Year 12 increased year on year and that this growth is echoed, to a lesser extent, in the participation rates for design technology, food technology and engineering. Digital Technologies however, grew rapidly until 2000, after which time it has been in steady decline. We identify that while the trends mostly show growth, there is a concerning male bias to many of these subject areas. We suggest that the broadening of the upper high school curriculum, confusion surrounding vocational training enrolments, and gamesmanship of the university entrance system, may be contributing to the limited growth observed. Finally, we identify a number of important areas for further research in this key learning area.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 28(2), p. 553-571
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Place of Publication: Netherlands
ISSN: 1573-1804
Field of Research (FOR): 130106 Secondary Education
130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
930301 Assessment and Evaluation of Curriculum
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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