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RIDE. Revista Iberoamericana para la Investigación y el Desarrollo Educativo

versão On-line ISSN 2007-7467

Resumo

MORAN SOTO, Gustavo  e  BENSON, Lisa. Factors that influence students’ decisions to pursue engineering as a major for students with different mathematics abilities. RIDE. Rev. Iberoam. Investig. Desarro. Educ [online]. 2019, vol.9, n.18, pp.654-682. ISSN 2007-7467.  https://doi.org/10.23913/ride.v9i18.440.

This multimethod study explores the factors that affect college student motivation for selecting an engineering major, especially for students who have different levels of mathematics abilities and preparation in high school. Data from 560 students were collected at a U.S. public university, focusing on the personal high school academic experiences of those students during high school. This information was analyzed using inferential statistics where students were separated in two groups based on mathematics abilities (high and low) and compared in terms of their decision to pursue an engineering major. Being a male student was found to be the most influential factor for choosing an engineering major, followed by having a strong mathematics preparation in high school; these results were more pronounced for the low mathematics ability group. Findings also showed that participants in the high mathematics ability group were more motivated by interest in engineering and its applications, while participants in the low mathematics ability group were more motivated for the money and social status that getting an engineer career could bring them.

Palavras-chave : mathematics abilities; engineering; major selection.

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