Best evidence: Does background influence students’ subject choice?

From experience to meaning...

There is a new Best Evidence in Brief and this time it was this study that caught my attention:

A Centre for Longitudinal Studies working paperfrom the UK examined the roles of social class, parental education, income, gender, and ethnicity on students’ subject choice at GCSE. GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) are high-stakes exams taken in a range of subjects by secondary students in England. Students choose their GCSE subjects in Year 9 (Grade 8) and normally take their exams in Year 11 (Grade 10). 

Morag Henderson and colleagues examined information from more than 11,700 young people taking part in Next Steps (formerly the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England), who were born in 1989-90 and attended state schools in England. They found that students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were less likely than their peers from higher socioeconomic backgrounds to choose GCSE subjects that would enable them…

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