SESTEM- Supporting Gender Equality in Science Technology and Mathematics related choices of careers
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The study "SESTEM"(Supporting Equality in Science Technology and Mathematics related choices of careers) addresses the wide problem of gender imbalance in STEM. In the EC, there is evidence to suggest that the problem on access and retention of females in STEM remains an unresolved issue.
Likewise we lack tools so as to allow to reflect on good practices in supporting choices making for careers in STEM by girls. It focuses on issues related to gender differences across this triangulation factors: family, school and individual.
The low uptake of Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) constitutes a research and policy concern world wide for some time now. In the EC, while the related benchmark appears to have been achieved there is evidence to suggest that the problem on access and retention of females in STEM remains an unresolved issue. Likewise we lack tools so as to allow to reflect on good practices in supporting choices making for careers in STEM by girls.
SESTEM is built on the premise that the study of the uptake of STEM studies by girls and their retention in the field can benefit from investigation into the triangulation of family-individual and school (secondary and tertiary) factors. Under this scope SESTEM aims to conduct four interrelated comparative studies engaging students, pupils, parents and teachers (both secondary and tertiary levels). Both qualitative (in depth interviews, conceptual mapping, tandem based dialoguing and review into existing literature) and quantitative (collection and analyses of data from across the Member States using on-line survey methods, and meta-analyses of existing statistical data) methods will be applied.
SESTEM presents a review of the key discussionstaking place in Europe focusing on gender and student’s motivations regarding orientation and career’s choices. This provided a basis for the qualitative and quantitative study, giving preliminary reflections on possible actions that could be developed to reverse the situation.
SESTEM, through its studies aims to deepen understanding into the process of decision making in career choices, the process of enhancing school-family collaboration in support of girls' engagement in STEM and into the contextual, cultural and social conditions that support retention of women in STEM related fields of studies especially beyond the level of a Bachelors' degree. The consolidation of studies results will define and articulate a set of composite indicators (complemented with parental and teacher good practice guidelines) for supporting policy reflection and monitoring progress towards supporting to girls towards choices of careers in STEM and related fields, then achieving equity in STEM.
The project's tangible outputs are to be localized in the languages of GR, FR, DE, EN, ES and PL. It is envisioned that project in the short term will have an impact on parental-school collaboration and on the long term on increasing girls retention in STEM.