Role model and prototype matching: Upper-secondary school students’ meetings with tertiary STEM students
Keywords:role models, educational choice, prototype matching
Previous research has found that young people’s prototypes of science students and scientists affect their inclination to choose tertiary STEM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Consequently, many recruitment initiatives include role models to challenge these prototypes. The present study followed 15 STEM-oriented upper-secondary school students from university-distant backgrounds during and after their participation in an 18-months long university-based recruitment and outreach project involving tertiary STEM students as role models. The analysis focusses on how the students’ meetings with the role models affected their thoughts concerning STEM students and attending university. The regular self-to-prototype matching process was shown in real-life role-models meetings to be extended to a more complex three-way matching process between students’ self-perceptions, prototype images and situation-specific conceptions of role models. Furthermore, the study underlined the positive effect of prolonged role-model contact, the importance of using several role models and that traditional school subjects catered more resistant prototype images than unfamiliar ones did.
LicenseAuthors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).