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A Model of STEM Learning and Career Orientation Based on Social Cognitive Theory

, , , University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Jacksonville, Florida, United States ISBN 978-1-939797-07-0 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


This research examined motivational and psychological processes underlying middle school youth science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning and career orientation. The study was conducted within the framework of summer robotics camps, which provided an ideal context because educational robotics is an integrative technology platform that draws upon all of the STEM disciplines. Structural equation modeling procedures were used to test the proposed path model. Consistent with social cognitive theory, youth STEM learning appears to be fostered by their self-efficacy and interest in these subjects. STEM career orientation is influenced by youth expected outcomes for such careers, with interest again playing an indirect, mediating role. The influence of the educator was more potent than that of peers or family in impacting youth STEM interest, showing that teachers' influence can extend beyond learning to promotion of interest in pursuing a STEM career.


Nugent, G., Barker, B. & Welch, G. (2014). A Model of STEM Learning and Career Orientation Based on Social Cognitive Theory. In M. Searson & M. Ochoa (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2014--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 1432-1440). Jacksonville, Florida, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 22, 2019 from .

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