The chapter ‘Grade 10 Girls’ Experiences in Choosing STEM subjects in Rakwadu Circuit, South Africa’ is written by Israel Kibirige and Shapule Edith Modjadji. It appears in the volume ‘Advances in Research in STEM Education’.
The chapter opens by noting that the issue of the gender disparity in STEM professions is of global concern, and that very few girls choose to study sciences in secondary schools in South Africa. If we are able to understand the reasons for this, education stakeholders can ensure they support and motivate more girls to choose sciences.
Data was collected from three secondary schools in Limpopo Province. Five themes emerged as motivators in the girls’ experiences of choosing to study STEM subjects:
- Anticipated value
- The class environment
- Home influence
- Social influence
The findings showed that many girls in rural Limpopo schools did not choose to take STEM subjects in grade 10, which prevents them from following related careers. Stakeholders need to find ways to increase girls’ motivations to study STEM subjects, which will assist in closing the gender gap. This, in turn, will assist in creating more STEM graduates to support South Africa’s economy.