Choices and Changes: Eccles’ Expectancy-Value Model and Upper-Secondary School Students’ Longitudinal Reflections about their Choice of a STEM Education

Publikation: Forskning - peer reviewTidsskriftartikel


  • Eva Lykkegaard
    Eva Lykkegaard
  • Lars Ulriksen
    Lars UlriksenInstitut for Naturfagenes Didaktik
  • Center for Scienceuddannelse
During the past 30 years, Eccles’ comprehensive social-psychological Expectancy-Value Model of Motivated Behavioural Choices (EV-MBC model) has been proven suitable for
studying educational choices related to Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Mathematics (STEM). The reflections of 15 students in their last year in upper-secondary school
concerning their choice of tertiary education were examined using quantitative EV-MBC surveys and repeated qualitative interviews. This article presents the analyses of three
cases in detail. The analytical focus was whether the factors indicated in the EV-MBC model could be used to detect significant changes in the students’ educational choice
processes. An important finding was that the quantitative EV-MBC surveys and the qualitative interviews gave quite different results concerning the students’ considerations about
the choice of tertiary education, and that significant changes in the students’ reflections were not captured by the factors of the EV-MBC model. This questions the validity of the EVMBC
surveys. Moreover, the quantitative factors from the EV-MBC model did not sufficiently explain students’ dynamical educational choice processes where students in parallel
considered several different potential educational trajectories. We therefore call for further studies of the EV-MBC model's use in describing longitudinal choice processes and
especially in investigating significant changes.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Science Education
Sider (fra-til)701-724
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2016

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