, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 195-214

Factors affecting student career choice in science: An Australian study of rural and urban schools

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In 1990/91, a research study was undertaken in England on the Factors Affecting Schools’ Success in Producing Engineers and Scientists (FASSIPES). This study was conducted by Brian Woolnough at the Oxford University Department of Educational Studies, in conjunction with the Institute of Physics and the Institution of Electrical Engineers and National Power (Woolnough, 1991, 1994; Woolnough et al., 1997). Principally, Woolnough attempted to ascertain why young people chose to pursue a career in the physical sciences and engineering. In addition, characteristics of schools which appeared to influence students to pursue a study of science were investigated. A number of countries have since replicated this study as an international research cooperative and the National Key Centre for School Science and Mathematics, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia participated on behalf of Australia. Currently, the following countries have contributed to FASSIPES International in addition to England and Australia: Canada, China, Japan and Portugal.