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Science career aspiration and science capital in China and UK: a comparative study using PISA data

Du, X. and Wong, B. ORCID: (2019) Science career aspiration and science capital in China and UK: a comparative study using PISA data. International Journal of Science Education, 41 (15). pp. 2136-2155. ISSN 0950-0693

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2019.1662135


The concept of science capital has a growing influence in science education research for understanding young people’s science trajectories. Popularised in the UK, this paper aims to extend and evaluate the applicability of science capital in the context of China by drawing on PISA2015. More specifically, we make use of existing items in the PISA2015 survey as a proxy for operationalising the construct of science capital to explore the science career aspirations and attainments of 15-year-old Chinese and UK students (n=23,998). Our findings indicate that science capital has more explanatory power for understanding UK students’ science career aspirations than for Chinese students, where science attainment seems most important. We raise the potential challenge for Chinese students to convert their science capital into scientific self-efficacy and science career aspirations as we highlight the importance of recognising cultural and national differences in operationalising science capital.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:85805
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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