MOTIVATION: Promoting positive images of SET in young people


MOTIVATION (2010-2012) focused on different socialisation agents and their influence on young people's job decisions, and on initiatives to change images of science, engineering and technology (SET).

MOTIVATION aimed to change the image of SET professions in public discourse by investigating the different influences of socialisation agents on young people, and to develop measures to change attitudes towards SET in young people, socialisation agents and the media.

The specific objectives were:
•    Information exchange about existing research is the field
•    Evaluation of content, methods and didactics on SET from gender perspective
•    Understanding interdependencies of various factors in career choice
•    Collecting and analysing good practice, and creating new effective methods for changing the public image of SET

The project focused on the following issues:
•    Youth, gender and SET in the media
•    Teachers and advisors
•    Young people's self-image connected to job decisions, good practices.

Basic information

Country: Austria, France, Germany, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden

Coordinator: Bergische Universitaet Wuppertal, Germany,

Programme: FP7

Project Acronym:

Target groups: education authorities, policy makers, researchers

Topic: Engineering, Technology, Education, Other

Start year: 2010

End year: 2012

Url: not available

Contact person: Jennifer DAHMEN, jdahmen (at)

The research work of the project included an analysis of SET in popular daily ‘soap operas' on TV, and analysis of school textbooks in each participating country.

Additionally, the partners conducted focus group discussion with diverse groups of pupils (e.g. young people with migrant background or gay youngsters) and interviews with organisers of inclusion initiatives.

The findings and recommendations of the projects include:
•    More diverse and realistic job images should be integrated into youth media like magazines and soap operas. To change the situation editors and producers should look for support from industry and universities. It is essential that they meet teenagers' interests in presenting SET as relevant topics for the audience.
•    Choosing science subjects in school does not automatically mean pupils choose them as a career. A more attractive curriculum can contribute in stimulating interest in SET.
•    Teacher training is necessary, especially in gender sensitive pedagogy.
•    Initiatives to attract young people to SET should start at an early age; their organisers should secure funding for years ahead including funding for evaluation. Activities for secondary school students may involve visiting and working in academic SET environments.
•    Initiatives and projects should establish a network with other initiatives for different age groups and at the same time foster cooperation with academic and also non-academic institutions and companies.

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