Underestimated Swiss STEM potential? Bright light on an international PISA comparison

Esther Kaufmann, Werner W Wittmann
2018
So far, no study has used ability profiles to evaluate the "science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM) potential" (i.e. the capacity to engage in STEM professions) of Swiss students at the end of their compulsory education. In the current study, we use the proportion of high achieving students with a math-tilted ability profile as an indicator of STEM potential. Based on data from the Program for International Student Assessment, we assess Swiss students' STEM potential,
more » ... M potential, nationwide and in each Swiss canton, compared to students in other countries. Our analysis shows that Swiss students, especially Swiss female students, have high STEM potential compared with their peers in other countries. Despite regional differences in the compulsory education system, STEM potential was high across all of the Swiss cantons. Based on our results, we conclude that national as opposed to regional factors are mainly responsible for the high STEM potential of Swiss students. Abstract: So far, no study has used ability profiles to evaluate the "science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM) potential" (i.e. the capacity to engage in STEM professions) of Swiss students at the end of their compulsory education. In the current study, we use the proportion of high achieving students with a math-tilted ability profile as an indicator of STEM potential. Based on data from the Program for International Student Assessment, we assess Swiss students' STEM potential, nationwide and in each Swiss canton, compared to students in other countries. Our analysis shows that Swiss students, especially Swiss female students, have high STEM potential compared with their peers in other countries. Despite regional differences in the compulsory education system, STEM potential was high across all of the Swiss cantons. Based on our results, we conclude that national as opposed to regional factors are mainly responsible for the high STEM potential of Swiss students.
doi:10.5167/uzh-190140 fatcat:oqnenij6e5hupd5wkqlcsua2ue