STUDENTS’ MOTIVATIONAL ORIENTATIONS AND CAREER CHOICE IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: A COMPARATIVE INVESTIGATION IN FINLAND AND LATVIA
Authors: Jari Lavonen, Janis Gedrovics, Reijo Byman, Veijo Meisalo, Kalle Juuti, Anna Uitto
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This paper examines lower secondary school students’ motivational orientations on the characteristics of science and technology occupations. The survey data of 9th grade students were collected in spring 2003, in Finland from 75 schools (3626 students) and in Latvia from 39 schools (1065 students). An exploratory factor analysis was used to describe the students’ orientations towards the characteristics of or activities typical to occupations. The multi-group confirmatory factor analysis was used for the simultaneous analysis of Finnish and Latvian data and the factorial invariance across the two separate data was confirmed. The factors were named: Personally meaningful, Leadership, Craft, Nature, Innovation, and Social orientation. Characteristics related especially to Personally meaningful orientation, and also to Innovation and Social orientations appeared most important for choice of future occupations. Boys, on the average, were much more oriented towards conventional technology than girls, whereas girls had much stronger Personally meaningful, Nature, and Social orientations than boys reflecting traditional role models.