In order to improve the education of our future generations – in an era of rapidly changing technology and new career paths being created – it is imperative that we have a thorough understanding of the effectiveness of traditional teaching methods, so that we can develop new programs and consider career intervention activities focused on making the career decision process easier for students.
In Australia there has been a real lack of research in this field and so in 2006 the REA Foundation, in association with the University of South Australia, began longitudinal research with the desired outcome of offering advice to the Engineering profession and industry. Our goal was to aid in the development of strategies for attracting students towards careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
This research sought to examine and understand the Motivational Drivers of Children’s Career Decision Choices and to identify if any relationships existed between their motivational drivers and specific elements of the programs of REA which had proven to be so successful. It also examined the differences in the motivational drivers which exist for boys as compared to girls.
REA engaged students from across the nation from late primary to high school final year.
The results of the research confirmed that REA Foundation’s “applied learning” programs have a significant impact on the career motivations of children. 64% of boys and 35% of girls indicated that REA influenced a change in their career motivations toward STEM.
The research has also provided a foundation for rethinking the way in which we develop interest in engineering for boys and girls and REA’s goal is to now use this knowledge to lift the power of influence of the program on girls to over 50%.
If you would like a copy of the REA Foundation research white paper paper please contact us today.