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Access to opportunities affects physics majors' interest and choice of methods specialization
written by Pedro Cardona, Dina Zohrabi Alaee, and Benjamin M. Zwickl
Physics is a degree that supports many career paths, and students often develop preferences for particular methods, such as theoretical, computational or experimental. However, it is not well understood how those preferences develop and affect students' later career decisions. We used Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) as the basis for interpreting students' decision-making processes. SCCT provides a framework for connecting learning experiences, self-efficacy, and outcome expectations with students' interests, goals, and decisions. Semi-structured interviews with 8 physics students were conducted. This analysis focuses primarily on a single student to provide space to explore all three method specializations (theory, computation, and experiment) in more depth. We find that the availability of resources and learning opportunities had a significant impact on students' career choices. Theoretical and computational experiences were readily available through classwork, undergraduate research, and could be worked on at home and in peer study groups. Students lacked the ability to work on experimental physics outside of infrequent classroom opportunities and could not build peer networks that supported their experimental skill growth, which was linked to lower interest and self-efficacy in regards to experimental physics.
Physics Education Research Conference 2021
Part of the PER Conference series
Virtual Conference: August 4-5, 2021
Pages 87-92
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Careers
Education - Basic Research
- Cognition
= Cognition Development
- Student Characteristics
= Affect
- Upper Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
https://doi.org/10.1119/perc.2021…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the published article's author(s), title, proceedings citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
DOI:
10.1119/perc.2021.pr.Cardona
Keyword:
PERC 2021
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created September 28, 2021 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
September 29, 2021 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
October 10, 2021
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Record Link
AIP Format
P. Cardona, D. Zohrabi Alaee, and B. Zwickl, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2021, Virtual Conference, 2021, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15730&DocID=5464).
AJP/PRST-PER
P. Cardona, D. Zohrabi Alaee, and B. Zwickl, Access to opportunities affects physics majors' interest and choice of methods specialization, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2021, Virtual Conference, 2021, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15730&DocID=5464>.
APA Format
Cardona, P., Zohrabi Alaee, D., & Zwickl, B. (2021, August 4-5). Access to opportunities affects physics majors' interest and choice of methods specialization. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2021, Virtual Conference. Retrieved July 4, 2022, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15730&DocID=5464
Chicago Format
Cardona, P, D. Zohrabi Alaee, and B. Zwickl. "Access to opportunities affects physics majors' interest and choice of methods specialization." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2021, Virtual Conference, August 4-5, 2021. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15730&DocID=5464 (accessed 4 July 2022).
MLA Format
Cardona, Pedro, Dina Zohrabi Alaee, and Benjamin Zwickl. "Access to opportunities affects physics majors' interest and choice of methods specialization." Physics Education Research Conference 2021. Virtual Conference: 2021. 87-92 of PER Conference. 4 July 2022 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15730&DocID=5464>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Pedro Cardona and Dina Zohrabi Alaee and Benjamin Zwickl", Title = {Access to opportunities affects physics majors' interest and choice of methods specialization}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2021}, Pages = {87-92}, Address = {Virtual Conference}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {August 4-5}, Year = {2021} }
Refer Export Format

%A Pedro Cardona %A Dina Zohrabi Alaee %A Benjamin Zwickl %T Access to opportunities affects physics majors' interest and choice of methods specialization %S PER Conference %D August 4-5 2021 %P 87-92 %C Virtual Conference %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15730&DocID=5464 %O Physics Education Research Conference 2021 %O August 4-5 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings %A Cardona, Pedro %A Zohrabi Alaee, Dina %A Zwickl, Benjamin %D August 4-5 2021 %T Access to opportunities affects physics majors' interest and choice of methods specialization %B Physics Education Research Conference 2021 %C Virtual Conference %P 87-92 %S PER Conference %8 August 4-5 %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15730&DocID=5464


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