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Worrying trend in student subject choice watch

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    I'm not thinking we should have fewer students in these subjects necessarily, but perhaps more in physics and science, maths, technology generally. Is Britain putting its future economic and scientific power in jeopardy?
    You can't have people studying something they don't want to.
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    (Original post by zaf1986)
    You can't have people studying something they don't want to.
    Perhaps they 'don't want to' because not enough is being done to make science an attractive option. If more emphasis was placed on career options after graduation, more young people would recognise the value of science/technical degrees.
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    Sciences wern't at all popular in my 6th form. There was only 4 doing A level chemistry about 1 doing physics and 7 doing biology.
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    I agree that it is rather worrying but this trend is primarily due to society encouraging less academic people to go to university and they ultimately study less academic subjects.
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    (Original post by edders)
    http://www.hesa.ac.uk/holisdocs/pubi...ubject0304.csv

    Looking at this table on the subjects modern students are studying, is anyone else worried that there are a mere 13,360 students (total) in physics, while other (argubaly less strategically important) subjects have much more. For instance, 'cinematics & photography' has 12,035 students, almost as many as physics; psychology has 64,480; American studies 4,430.

    I'm not thinking we should have fewer students in these subjects necessarily, but perhaps more in physics and science, maths, technology generally. Is Britain putting its future economic and scientific power in jeopardy?
    Perhaps it is worrying, but on a more egocentric note (for you) doesn't it make you happy that you'll be earning quite a bit of money as a result?
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    Science is boring because it’s predominantly theory based. Science should be exciting and ‘hands on’, it needs to grab the attention – its needs a “wow” factor!

    Students should learn the theory by seeing ‘science in action’. It’s absolutely pointless sitting in a classroom, listening to a teacher go on about the theory, for example, an electric circuit. Why not let the student’s experiment putting one together, and seeing how it works?

    We seriously need to look at the way science is taught in schools. In the United States, the space program has been, and still is to a large extent, a fantastic way of teaching science and technology to students. I think schools should teach a lot more astronomy, planetary science, astronautics…

    What do others think??
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    (Original post by Evil Muffin)
    Perhaps it is worrying, but on a more egocentric note (for you) doesn't it make you happy that you'll be earning quite a bit of money as a result?
    Not really, I'm more worried about this country's future scientific prestige. We have a history of producing great scientists; it would be a pity to let that come to an end as students choose 'soft' subjects instead.
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    (Original post by edders)
    Perhaps they 'don't want to' because not enough is being done to make science an attractive option. If more emphasis was placed on career options after graduation, more young people would recognise the value of science/technical degrees.

    VERY VERY WELL SAID!
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    (Original post by martynwilliams)
    Science is boring because it’s predominantly theory based. Science should be exciting and ‘hands on’, it needs to grab the attention – its needs a “wow” factor!

    Students should learn the theory by seeing ‘science in action’. It’s absolutely pointless sitting in a classroom, listening to a teacher go on about the theory, for example, an electric circuit. Why not let the student’s experiment putting one together, and seeing how it works?

    We seriously need to look at the way science is taught in schools. In the United States, the space program has been, and still is to a large extent, a fantastic way of teaching science and technology to students. I think schools should teach a lot more astronomy, planetary science, astronautics…

    What do others think??
    I'm not sure. On one hand having more involvement in science rather than theory would interest students but on the other hand understanding the theory and making conjunctures is an integral part of science. Making people interested in explosions and flashing lights will not produce future scientists.
    Maths is about as hands on as it gets but not many people want to go on to study it...
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    (Original post by martynwilliams)
    Science is boring because it’s predominantly theory based. Science should be exciting and ‘hands on’, it needs to grab the attention – its needs a “wow” factor!

    Students should learn the theory by seeing ‘science in action’. It’s absolutely pointless sitting in a classroom, listening to a teacher go on about the theory, for example, an electric circuit. Why not let the student’s experiment putting one together, and seeing how it works?

    We seriously need to look at the way science is taught in schools. In the United States, the space program has been, and still is to a large extent, a fantastic way of teaching science and technology to students. I think schools should teach a lot more astronomy, planetary science, astronautics…

    What do others think??

    In England you have oral exams in languages and practicals in science!!! In my Spanish school, I never went to a lab!!!
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    (Original post by martynwilliams)
    Science is boring because it’s predominantly theory based. Science should be exciting and ‘hands on’, it needs to grab the attention – its needs a “wow” factor!
    Yes, 'hands on' science is quite a good idea, but it's not the only solution. I'm not so bothered about playing with circuits etc (it's too fiddly!), and personally enjoy the theory aspect of physics more. Another way to enthuse students would be to make the relevance of the subject to everyday life clearer; for instance by linking electromagnetism with mobile phones. Mentioning the latest scientific studies would also make science seem more vibrant rather than a collection of dusty old facts; for instance mentioning the hunt for the Higgs Boson when talking about Newton's Law of Gravitation.
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    Psychology is an important subject, I don't think you have any right to put it down. I can see you are worried that people are styudying subjects that aren't scientific (although Psychology is, we have modules in biology, neuropsychology etc) but really it's their choice. If somebody wishes to get a degree in, say, American Studies, it's up to them! I personally wouldn't devote 3 years to it, but I can think of a number of degree courses which I think are verging on ridiculous, and people still do them.

    I think what I'm saying is people have the right to study what they choose to. If we all did the same then we'd be really boring!
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    I think what I'm saying is people have the right to study what they choose to. If we all did the same then we'd be really boring!
    But it isn't right when people go to university to predominantly get drunk and enjoy themselves while pretending to study media at the expense of the tax payer, while people doing physics etc. may have to pay for their course.
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    I agree. When I applied for English through UCAS one of the institutions actually rang me and suggested chemistry instead (I did chem A Level) but it just didn't appeal. Science just isnt glamourous. Maybe they should offer science busaries like they have with teaching.
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    (Original post by Gaz031)
    But it isn't right when people go to university to predominantly get drunk and enjoy themselves while pretending to study media at the expense of the tax payer, while people doing physics etc. may have to pay for their course.
    Pretending to study media? I think you'll insult a lot of peple by saying that.

    But, also, people who do media will still have to pay their student loan back so really people doing physics won't be paying for them.
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    (Original post by * gemchicken *)
    Psychology is an important subject, I don't think you have any right to put it down.
    I'm not putting it down: it is an important subject. But do we really need 64,000 people studying it? I would imagine a number of those students are on the fringes of learning something academically/economically useful.

    (Original post by * gemchicken *)
    I think what I'm saying is people have the right to study what they choose to. If we all did the same then we'd be really boring!
    It is up to the individual student to choose what subject they study, of course, but should the government be funding all those subjects more than science? (as teaching funding is allocated on the number of students being taught). The govt. should be more active in 'selling' science to prospective students.
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    its very alarming when some unis are closing down certain science courses etc.
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    (Original post by * gemchicken *)
    If somebody wishes to get a degree in, say, American Studies, it's up to them! I personally wouldn't devote 3 years to it
    To be honest though, doing American Studies really isnt any different than doing a degree in English and History
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    (Original post by edders)
    I'm not putting it down: it is an important subject. But do we really need 64,000 people studying it? I would imagine a number of those students are on the fringes of learning something academically/economically useful.


    It is up to the individual student to choose what subject they study, of course, but should the government be funding all those subjects more than science? (as teaching funding is allocated on the number of students being taught). The govt. should be more active in 'selling' science to prospective students.

    OK I see what you're saying but what I'm saying is people who study subjects that aren't science will still have to pay back their student loan! Also I think if 64,000 people want to study psychology then that's entirely up to them, the fact that so many people do, means it will be hard for graduate to find a job in the area, but when applying for Psychology, I knew that, and so have taken the risk of not having a job when I graduate. Saying that, many psycho graduates end up in completely different careers. It's just I love Psychology, and can't really imagine studying anything else, so if someone told me I should study chemistry I still wouldn't, even if I was paid to do it, or got a grant like teaching, I'd choose Psychology every time. Not all students think about the money, they choose a subject as they like it!
 
 
 

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