COGNITIVE AND NON COGNITIVE CORRELATES OF STUDENTS’ INTEREST IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND MATHEMATICS (STM)-BASED CAREERS
The study investigated Cognitive and Non Cognitive Correlates of Students Interest in STM-Based Careers. The main purpose was to find out how achievement in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics (cognitive variables), gender and school types (non cognitive variables) relate with interest in STM-based careers. Six research questions and six null hypotheses guided the study. The study adopted co-relational survey design. The population of the study was 4859 SS1 students from 47 government secondary schools in Obollo Education zone of Enugu State. Proportionate stratified random sampling technique was used to obtain a sample size of 710 comprising 380 males and 330 females. 363 students were from co-educational schools while 347 students were from single sex schools. Data were collected using STM-based Career Interest inventory (SCAII) with an internal consistency estimate of 0.90 and students’ result in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics at internal Examination. Data collected were analysed using Pearson product moment correlation, Mean and standard deviation, Regression analysis and t-test at 0.05 level of significance. Results revealed significant correlation between students’ achievement in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics, and interest in STM-based careers, Mathematics had lowest correlation value. Result also showed that there was no gender difference in students’ interest in STM-based career. Single sex schools students had higher interest in STM-based careers than their co-educational counterparts. Based on the findings, it was recommended that the government, parents, text book writers, science teachers and students should intensify their efforts towards improving achievement in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics as this will in turn predict students interest in STM-based careers. Also, Science teachers should implement Single sex classes or group work within coeducational schools when necessary. Finally, Science teachers should infuse STM career awareness and interest creation in the instructional plan and delivery especially in Mathematics.