Gottfried, M. A. (2015). The influence of applied STEM coursetaking on advanced mathematics and science coursetaking. The Journal of Educational Research, 108(5), 382-399.

Advanced mathematics and science coursetaking is critical in building the foundation for students to advance through the STEM pathway—from high school to college to career. To invigorate students’ persistence in STEM fields, high schools have been introducing applied STEM courses into the curriculum as a way to reinforce concepts learned in traditional mathematics and science classes and to motivate students’ interests in a long-term pursuit of these areas. The author examines the role of taking applied STEM courses early in high school on taking advanced mathematics and science courses later in high school. The results suggest a positive link between early applied STEM coursetaking and later advanced mathematics and science coursetaking—one that is delineated by specific type of applied STEM course and by individual-level demographic characteristics. The findings of this study thus support policymakers and practitioners’ efforts to expand the STEM curriculum beyond traditional subjects. Continuing to do so may be one way to expand the number of students persisting in STEM.

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