Assessing children's career aspirations: do children aspire to be scientists? Find out what your students think about potential careers, and join a national study!

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Date: April-May 2008
From: Science and Children(Vol. 45, Issue 8)
Publisher: National Science Teachers Association
Document Type: Article
Length: 701 words
Lexile Measure: 1300L

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In the past several years Science and Children has invited preservice and inservice teachers to participate in national studies of students' ideas about scientists (Barman 1997), animals (Barman et al. 2000), and plants (Barman et al. 2003). You are invited to participate in an additional study that will examine children's career aspirations.

One previous study found that 8- to 11-year-old students' career aspirations were linked to that of their parents as well as other community members (Trice 1990). The choice of professional athlete as the number one career choice for boys in two different studies is particularly troubling (Bobo, Hildreth, and Durodoye 1998; Morton et al. 1997) since students' knowledge related to potential (and reality-based) careers appears lacking. Additional exposure to potential careers (including the necessary educational requirements) in the sciences may increase students' opportunities, particularly students from low socioeconomic backgrounds or traditionally underrepresented populations (Bobo, Hildreth, and Durodoye 1998). However, as teachers we need to determine what students already know (or think they know) about careers, including science-related careers.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A179135654