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Who wants to be a GEESer? Perceptions of the GEES disciplines Helen King & Alison Stokes.

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Presentation on theme: "Who wants to be a GEESer? Perceptions of the GEES disciplines Helen King & Alison Stokes."— Presentation transcript:

1 Who wants to be a GEESer? Perceptions of the GEES disciplines Helen King & Alison Stokes

2 Background Increasing exposure of GEES disciplines in the media This does not appear to translate into increasing demand for student places WHY?

3 Perceptions of GEES disciplines On the form provided cross through the box which corresponds to your own discipline or area of expertise. You have 30 seconds left……. You have 2 minutes to write down as many words as you can think of relating to the remaining discipline(s).

4 Perceptions of GEES disciplines Study 1: School student perceptions of the GEES disciplines (GEES) –Piloted on 10 schools in south Wales (Years 7, 10 & 12) –Revised questionnaire to 10 further schools (Year 12 only) –Total sample size of 946 students in across 20 schools Study 2: Undergraduate student and staff conceptions in environmental and natural sciences (Experiential Learning CETL) –University of Plymouth students and staff in GEES disciplines –650 undergrads and 44 academic staff (~70% of total) –Longitudinal study running until 2009-2010

5 Research questions Study 2 (CETL): What do you think geography / geology / environmental science is about or concerned with? Study 1 (GEES): Geography / geology / environmental science: what do you think this is all about?

6 School students: geography I think that geography is about the world e.g. population, planets, rocks the sea and the weather. It is also split into human, physical and the environment (Year 10) I think it is all about maps and weather. Learning about countrys [sic] (Year 7) The study of the physical and human processes of the earth (Year 12) The study of the earth – natural issues, people in the environment and how they affect each other (Year 12)

7 Undergrads & academic staff: geography The interconnections between the physical aspects of the world and the people who live on it (Stage 2) The world and everything in it. Concerning people as well as natural things (Stage 1) The relationship between people and places over space and time (Stage 3) Where things are and why theyre there. The distribution of phenomena across space, and activities occurring within, and relating to, particular place/space (Staff)

8 School students: geology Studying rocks (all Years) Rocks (all Years) Rocks and volcanoes (Year 7) The study of rocks mineral that make up the world and how the earth is made and proceses [sic] in the earth (Year 12)

9 Undergrads & academic staff: geology The earth and earth systems focusing on rocks and its industrial application (Stage 2) Nature of the earth, its history and about how it is changing (Stage 1) The processes that exist on the planet. To understand them and to apply the knowledge for conservation of the earth in the future (Stage 3) Geology is concerned with understanding the physical processes that have created the planet earth (Staff)

10 School students: environmental science I think its about pollution and how things affect us (Year 7) The environment (all Years) Its about science and environment around us (Year 10) Dur. The science of the environment (Year 12)

11 Undergrads & academic staff: environmental science The study of the environment and how everything interacts. Especially the role of man and the environment. (Stage 2) Environmental science is concerned with the state of our planet, problems and possible solutions. (Stage 1) Studying, understanding, monitoring & preserving the natural world of earth and how human activity influences it. (Stage 3) To develop an understanding of the way in which environmental systems work using the integration of scientific theories as well as socio economic concepts (Staff)

12 Year 7, 10 & 12 students: geography

13 Undergrads & academic staff: geography

14 Year 7, 10 & 12 students: geology

15 Year 12 students: geology

16 Undergrads & academic staff: geology

17 Year 7, 10 & 12 students: environmental science

18 Undergrads & academic staff: environmental science

19 Key findings & implications School students appear to know what geography is about, but have a limited awareness of geology and environmental science. There is no indication that they are equating GEES-related topics in the media to academic disciplines. Differences between student and staff conceptions of disciplines may have implications for retention.

20 What on Earth… do GEESers do?

21 What career or job do you want to do when you finish your education? Named job or vocation (e.g. teacher, doctor, lawyer) –Year 7 (11 yrs): 68% –Year 10 (15 yrs): 76% –Year 12 (17 yrs): 78% Dont know / No Response Sport Vocation Topic

22 % of Students who Named a Vocation for GEESers

23 ??? Misperceptions about possible careers e.g. archaeology, architecture and engineering. If school students tend to think about named jobs – will they dismiss GEES? 9 out of 946: Geologist (3) Oceanographer (2) Conservationist (1); Environmentalist (1); Volcanologist(1); Environmental Manager(1)

24 % of Students who Suggest Study or Look at Year 7Year 10Year 12 (Geo) Year 12 (Non-Geo) Geography42%15%37%35% Geology27%24% 11% (Geology ) 45% (Geography ) 44% Environmental Sciences32%21%27%34% No. who want to research0004

25 Awareness of Relevance --- Recruitment Conceptions Mismatch --- Retention More in-depth research with schools + Pro-active / high impact strategies There is a cumulative process of evolving perceptions and achievement that influences degree subject choice and, for most people, that starts well before the age of 14 years.


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