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Student Decline in Maths and Science Subjects to be Examined

Aug 3rd 2014

It has been revealed that a high number of high school seniors are abandoning the traditional subjects of mathematics and science, as they are becoming less of a requirement for many courses of further education at university. The head of a NSW curriculum authority has stated that over the past ten years the majority of NSW universities have completely dropped such subject requirements for many of their degree courses. The president of the NSW’s Board of Studies, Tom Alegounarias, understands the problem and sees that if students do not have to struggle to maintain high marks in these difficult subject to gain a university place then they simply won’t. The trend begins in year 12, where the number of students studying science and maths has decreased drastically on the last twenty years.

A recent study by Trends in International Mathematics and Science concluded that 14% of Australian year 4 pupils said that they did not enjoy science, and that the figure grew to 33% by year 8. Mr Alegounarias argues that these telling figures are linked to the growing number of new subjects that are on offer in schools, with students preferring to write custom essays over more calculated, correct/incorrect answer based subjects. John Kennedy, a science teacher from Sydney, however, believes that this shift in subject preference occurs much earlier, with many children turning away from maths and science in their very early school days. After seeing notable changes of attitude in students from their time in year 7 to their time in year 10, Mr Kennedy plans to undertake a longitudinal study to gain a better understanding of exactly, why, when, and how school students become less likely to choose science and maths subjects in favour of others in their final school years. 

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