In partnership with the Society of Biology, Royal Society of Chemistry, and Institute of Physics

The role of teachers

The role of teachers in influencing young people's choice of science beyond 16 has been shown by several studies to be important. Yet science teachers have also been found not to see themselves as a primary source of information.

When asked, science teachers have often felt unable or uncomfortable in providing careers information, but on reflection they admit that their pupils have always seen them as important when considering subject choice and hence career choice.

With good quality and engaging science careers information now in place, science teachers are in the position to show their pupils how their subject is used in the world of work.

More than just 'making science fun'

Drawing on a survey of over 9,000 pupils aged 10/11, the King’s College London ‘ASPIRES’ research project found that increasing interest in science or making it more fun is just not enough to persuade young people to make science part of their future (Archer et al., 2011). Careers embedding could be that element needed.

Some areas of science teaching already relate well to a wider context and pupils will be aware of the visible careers available. But there are many areas of the science curriculum which are often delivered through theory or in isolation. There are also many more careers available that link to science than pupils are generally aware of.

Learning about how science is used can actually be a motivator because students can see a purpose that links with their own potential future study or career options. This motivation for learning by context and meaning has now been found frequently in research studies.

Find out more

Work through the freely available STEM Careers online module. There are three levels and you can do it in your own time working through each level or focusing on areas of interest.


Page last updated on 02 May 2013