The 2015 Top 10 most popular summaries in the Education & Employers research library

16 December 2015

Each month at Education and Employers we provide summaries of research relevant to employer engagement in education, drawing on work from UK and international settings. Our research library is one of the most visited sections of our website and here we look at the most popular summary pieces from 2015.

Our research library is always growing, if you have any literature recommendations in the field please contact Rachael.Mckeown@educationandemployers.org.

At ten… Effect of women science career role models

Smith, W.S. & Owen, T. November 1986. ‘Effect of women science career role models on early adolescents’ attitudes toward scientists and women in science’. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 23(8), pp.667-676. Find the summary and article here.

This US study examined the impact of female science role models upon early adolescent students. The findings report positive benefits for boys and girls interacting with female role models, improving attitudes and enrolment on science courses and careers.

At nine… Advancing academic achievement through career relevance

Woolley, M.E. et al. May 2013. ‘Advancing academic achievement through career relevance in the middle grades: A longitudinal evaluation of CareerStart’. American Educational Research Journal, pp.1-27. Find the summary and article here.

The authors examine the influence of the CareerStart programme on student grades, which introduced career-focused education in the US. They found that CareerStart has a positive academic impact upon Maths attainment at seventh and eight grade.

At eight… Girls’ career aspirations

Ofsted. April 2011. Girls’ Career Aspirations. Ofsted school survey report. Find the summary and full report here.

This report looks at survey responses of girls within a UK education, questioning their career aspirations in gender-stereotyped roles and how barriers to careers can be removed. The report found that the majority of careers education delivered in English schools was not tailored sufficiently for challenges girls may encounter and could benefit from the inclusion of direct engagement with professionals.

At seven… The impact of entrepreneurship education

Oosterbeek, H., Van Praag, M. & Ijsselstein, A. August 2008. ‘The impact of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurship competencies and intentions: An evaluation of the junior achievement student mini-company program’. Institute for the Study of Labor Discussion Paper No. 3641. Find the summary and report here.

This Dutch study assesses the success of the Junior Achievement Student Mini-Company (SMC), which introduces entrepreneurial education with the aim of improving entrepreneurship competencies and intentions. The authors report no correlation between pupil participation in the programme and improved competency and a statistically negative relationship with entrepreneurial intentions.

At six… Improving middle school student engagement

Orthner, D.K., Jones-Sanpei, H., Akos, P. & Rose, R.A. December 2012. ‘Improving middle school student engagement through career-relevant instruction in the core curriculum’. Journal of Educational Research, 106, pp.27-38. Find the summary and article here.

The authors study the impact of CareerStart on children within 14 schools in the US, finding that teachers with CareerStart support nurtured pupils to value education and engagement more than those without.

At five… The effect of early entrepreneurship education

Huber, L.R., Sloof, R. & Van Praag, M. April 2012. ‘The effect of early entrepreneurship education: Evidence from a randomised field experiment’. Institute for the Study of Labour, Discussion Paper Series. Find the summary and report here.

This report evaluates the impact of BizWorld (an entrepreneurship education scheme) on the development of cognitive and non-cognitive skills in primary school children in the Netherlands. Findings show a positive impact between BizWorld and non-cognitive entrepreneurial skills, however there was a negative relationship between the scheme and intentions to become an entrepreneur. There was no relationship between cognitive entrepreneurial skills and BizWorld.

At four… ‘Not girly, not sexy, not glamorous’

Archer, L. et al. February 2013. ‘”Not girly, not sexy, not glamorous”: Primary school girls’ and parents’ constructions of science aspirations’. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 21(1), pp.171-194. Find the summary and article here.

This article explores the findings from a UK-based survey of 9,000 children and further interviews in relation to science and STEM career aspirations. The conclusions to be drawn are that girls who do not have science aspirations as a chosen career are more influenced by understandings of what they were already good at, and skills which they were developing through everyday activities.

Watch Louise Archer discuss young people’s career aspirations here and here.

At three… The role of work experience in UK Higher Education

Jones, S. July 2014. ‘The role of work experience in the UK Higher Education Admissions Process’ in Mann, A., Stanley, J. and Archer, L. (eds) Employer Engagement in Education: Theories and Evidence. London: Routledge. Find the summary and chapter here.

Jones examines the role of work-experience relating to Higher Education admissions and how this varies between students from different socio-economic backgrounds. Social capital is found to have a strong influence in the availability and quality of work-experience. Socio-economic factors also impact hugely on work-experience placements and therefore Higher Education admission procedures are unequal and should be reconsidered.

Watch Steve Jones discuss work experience in the context of HE admissions here and here.

At two… Employer engagement and labour market outcomes

Percy, C. & Mann, A. July 2014. ‘School-mediated employer engagement and labour market outcomes for young adults: Wage premia, NEET outcomes and career confidence’, in Mann, A., Stanley, J. and Archer, L. (eds) Employer Engagement in Education: Theories and Evidence. London: Routledge. Find the summary and chapter here.

The authors study young people’s entry into the labour market in the UK by analysing a 2011 YouGov survey. Data analysis found that students who experienced greater amounts of employer contacts were significantly less likely to be NEET and more likely to earn higher wages.

Most popular… How school work experience can widen student horizons or reproduce social inequality

Le Gallais, T. & Hatcher, R. July 2014. ‘How school work experience policies can widen student horizons or reproduce social inequality’ in Mann, A., Stanley, J. and Archer, L. (eds) Employer Engagement in Education: Theories and Evidence. London: Routledge. Find the summary and chapter here. Find the report from which this chapter emerged here.

This book chapter examines the relationship between work experience placements undertaken by UK students and their social class. Findings suggest that social inequalities can be replicated within work experience selections, when they are chosen by the students and influenced by parents. The authors offer five suggestions for a more inclusive work-experience policy to widen student horizons.


You may also be interested in our most popular research publications of 2015!

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