# 'Should I stay or should I go'?: Rural and remote students in first year university STEM courses

Journal article

Wilson, Sue, Lyons, Terry and Quinn, Frances. (2013) 'Should I stay or should I go'?: Rural and remote students in first year university STEM courses.

*Australian and International Journal of Rural Education.*23(2), pp. 77 - 88.

Authors | Wilson, Sue, Lyons, Terry and Quinn, Frances |
---|---|

Abstract | Research on the achievement of rural and remote students in science and mathematics is located within a context of falling levels of participation in physical science and mathematics courses in Australian schools, and underrepresentation of rural students in higher education. International studies such as the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA), have reported lower levels of mathematical and scientific literacy in Australian students from rural and remote schools (Thomson et al, 2011). The SiMERR national survey of science, mathematics and ICT education in rural and regional Australia (Lyons et al, 2006) identified factors affecting student achievement in rural and remote schools. Many of the issues faced by rural and remote students in their schools are likely to have implications on their university enrolments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses. For example, rural and remote students are less likely to attend university in general than their city counterparts and higher university attrition rates have been reported for remote students nationally. This paper examines the responses of a sample of rural/remote Australian first year STEM students at Australian universities to two questions. These related to their intentions to complete the course; and whether - and if so, why- they had ever considered withdrawing from their course. Results indicated that rural students who were still in their course by the end of first year were no more or less likely to consider withdrawing than were their peers from more populous centres. However, almost 20% of the rural cohort had considered withdrawing at some stage in their course, and their explanations provide insights into the reasoning of those who may not persist with their courses at university. These results, in the context of the greater attrition rate of remote students from university, point to the need to identify factors that positively impact on rural and remote students' interest and achievement in science and mathematics. It also highlights a need for future research into the particular issues remote students may face in deciding whether or not to do science at the two key transition points of senior school and university/TAFE studies, and whether or not to persist in their tertiary studies. This paper is positioned at the intersection of two problems in Australian education. The first is a context of falling levels of participation in physical science and mathematics courses in Australian universities. The second is persistent inequitable access to, and retention in, tertiary education for students from rural and remote areas. Despite considerable research attention to both of these areas over recent years these problems have thus far proved to be intractable. This paper therefore aims to briefly review the relevant Australian literature pertaining to these issues; that is, declining STEM enrolments, and the underrepresentation and retention of rural/remote students in higher education. Given the related problems in these two overlapping domains, we then explore the views of first year rural students enrolled in STEM courses, in relation to their intentions of withdrawing (or not) and the associated reasons for their views. |

Year | 2013 |

Journal | Australian and International Journal of Rural Education |

Journal citation | 23 (2), pp. 77 - 88 |

Publisher | Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia |

ISSN | 1839-7387 |

Web address (URL) | http://ezproxy.acu.edu.au/login?url=http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=430573255849361;res=IELIND |

http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=430573255849361;res=IELIND | |

Page range | 77 - 88 |

Research Group | School of Education |

Publisher's version | File Access Level Controlled |

Place of publication | Australia |

https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/88zw7/-should-i-stay-or-should-i-go-rural-and-remote-students-in-first-year-university-stem-courses

## Restricted files

### Publisher's version

*(1 files)*

##### 6

total views##### 0

total downloads##### 0

views this month##### 0

downloads this month

*These values are for the period from 19th October 2020, when this repository was created.*

## Export as

## Related outputs

##### Bibliotherapy to address mathematics anxiety in primary pre-service teachers

Wilson, Sue Anne. (2019)*Bibliotherapy to address mathematics anxiety in primary pre-service teachers*[PhD Thesis]. Australian Catholic University School of Education https://doi.org/10.26199/acu.8vyv9

##### Using critical incident technique to investigate pre-service teacher mathematics anxiety

Wilson, Sue. (2015) Using critical incident technique to investigate pre-service teacher mathematics anxiety. In K. Beswick, T. Muir and J. Fielding-Wells (Ed.).*Climbing Mountains, Building Bridges. 39th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Hobart, Australia..*Hobart, Australia: Psychology of Mathematics Education. pp. 313-320

##### "I was in year 5 and I failed maths": Identifying the range and causes of maths anxiety in first year pre-service teachers

Wilson, Sue. (2015) "I was in year 5 and I failed maths": Identifying the range and causes of maths anxiety in first year pre-service teachers. In M. Marshman, V. Geiger and A. Bennison (Ed.).*38th Annual Meeting of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia.*Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. pp. 643 - 650

##### "Change my thinking patterns towards maths": A bibliotherapy workshop for pre-service teachers' mathematics anxiety

Wilson, Sue and Raven, Monica. (2014) "Change my thinking patterns towards maths": A bibliotherapy workshop for pre-service teachers' mathematics anxiety. In J. Anderson, M. Cavanagh and A. Prescott (Ed.).*Curriculum in focus: Research guided practice (Proceedings of the 37th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia).*Australia: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. pp. 645 - 652

##### The influence of school science teachers: The differential importance attributed by males and females to encouragement from science teachers

Wilson, Sue, Lyons, Terry and Quinn, Frances. (2014) The influence of school science teachers: The differential importance attributed by males and females to encouragement from science teachers.*STEMplanet Journal.*1, pp. 1 - 4.

##### 'Fail at maths and you fail at life': Learned barriers to equal opportunities - Mathematics anxiety and quality of life

Wilson, Sue. (2014) 'Fail at maths and you fail at life': Learned barriers to equal opportunities - Mathematics anxiety and quality of life. In*Quality of life and intellectual disability: Knowledge application to other social and educational challenges*pp. 71 - 87 Nova Science Publishers.

##### Mature age pre-service teachers' mathematics anxiety and factors impacting on university retention

Wilson, Sue. (2013) Mature age pre-service teachers' mathematics anxiety and factors impacting on university retention. In V Steinle, L Ball and C Bardini (Ed.).*Mathematics Education: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (MERGA36).*Australia: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. pp. 666 - 673

##### Investigating rural pre-service teachers' mathematics anxiety using the Revised Mathematics Anxiety Scale (RMARS)

Wilson, Sue. (2013) Investigating rural pre-service teachers' mathematics anxiety using the Revised Mathematics Anxiety Scale (RMARS).*Australian and International Journal of Rural Education.*23(3), pp. 1 - 11.

##### Bibliotherapy: A framework for understanding pre-service primary teachers' affective responses to learning and teaching mathematics

Wilson, Sue and Thornton, Steve. (2012) Bibliotherapy: A framework for understanding pre-service primary teachers' affective responses to learning and teaching mathematics.*Southeast Asian Mathematics Education Journal.*2(2), pp. 45 - 60.

##### Drivers and blockers: Embedding education for sustainability (EfS) in primary teacher education

Wilson, Sue. (2012) Drivers and blockers: Embedding education for sustainability (EfS) in primary teacher education.*Australian Journal of Environmental Education.*28(1), pp. 42 - 56. https://doi.org/10.1017/aee.2012.5

##### Bibliotherapy: A powerful tool to address mathematics anxiety in pre-service primary teachers

Wilson, Sue. (2012) Bibliotherapy: A powerful tool to address mathematics anxiety in pre-service primary teachers. In In A L White and U H Cheah (Ed.). pp. 317 - 329 SEAMEO RECSAM.##### Teaching for abstraction: Teacher learning

White, Paul, Wilson, Sue and Mitchelmore, Michael. (2012) Teaching for abstraction: Teacher learning.*Southeast Asian Mathematics Education Journal.*2(2), pp. 11 - 30.

##### Investigating pre-service teachers' mathematics anxiety using the Revised Mathematics Axiety Scale (RMARS)

Wilson, Sue. (2012) Investigating pre-service teachers' mathematics anxiety using the Revised Mathematics Axiety Scale (RMARS). In J Dindyal, L P Chang and S F Ng (Ed.).*Mathematics education: Expanding horizons. Proceedings of the 35th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia.*Singapore: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. pp. 777 - 784

##### Pre-service teacher action research using bibliotherapy to address mathematics anxiety

Wilson, Sue. (2011) Pre-service teacher action research using bibliotherapy to address mathematics anxiety. In B. Ubuz (Ed.).*Proceedings of the 35th conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education: developing mathematical thinking.*Turkey: International Group for the Psychology of Mathemati.... pp. 353 - 360

##### "My self-esteem has risen dramatically": A case-study of pre-service teacher action research using bibliotherapy to address mathematics anxiety

Wilson, Sue and Gurney, Shannon. (2011) "My self-esteem has risen dramatically": A case-study of pre-service teacher action research using bibliotherapy to address mathematics anxiety. In J. Clark, B. Kissane and J. Mousley (Ed.).*Mathematics: Traditions and [new] practices: Proceedings of the 2011 AAMT-MERGA conference.*Australia: AAMT and MERGA. pp. 804 - 812

##### Pre-service teachers constructing positive mathematical identities: Positing a grounded theory approach

Wilson, Sue. (2010) Pre-service teachers constructing positive mathematical identities: Positing a grounded theory approach. In L. Sparrow, B. Kissane and C. Hurst (Ed.).*Shaping the future of mathematics education: proceedings of the 33rd annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia.*Australia: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. pp. 642 - 648

##### Teacher Education for Sustainability (EfS): Drivers and blockers to embedding EfS across a primary teacher education course

Wilson, Sue. (2010) Teacher Education for Sustainability (EfS): Drivers and blockers to embedding EfS across a primary teacher education course.*Conference Handbook & Abstracts.*Australia: Australian Teacher Education Association. pp. 1 - 10

##### "Better You Than Me": Mathematics Anxiety and Bibliotherapy in Primary Teacher Professional Learning

Wilson, Sue. (2009) "Better You Than Me": Mathematics Anxiety and Bibliotherapy in Primary Teacher Professional Learning. In Roberta Hunter, Brenda Bicknell and Tim Burgess (Ed.).*Crossing Divides: Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA).*Palmerston North, New Zealand: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. pp. 603 - 610

##### Critical numeracy and abstraction: percentages

White, Paul, Mitchelmore, Michael, Faragher, Rhonda Muriel and Wilson, Sue. (2009) Critical numeracy and abstraction: percentages.*Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom.*14(1), pp. 4 - 8.

##### The crims (context rich integrated mathematics and science) projects

Wilson, Sue. (2008) The crims (context rich integrated mathematics and science) projects.*Reflections (North Ryde) (print version).*33(1), pp. 31 - 33.

##### Teaching percentages: Professional learning in three regional Catholic schools

White, Paul, Mitchelmore, Michael, Wilson, Sue and Faragher, Rhonda. (2008) Teaching percentages: Professional learning in three regional Catholic schools.*Journal of Catholic School Studies.*80(2), pp. 55 - 62.

##### Bibliotherapy: Utilising mathematics anxiety to improve pre-service teachers' self-concepts as learners and teachers of mathematics

Wilson, Sue. (2008) Bibliotherapy: Utilising mathematics anxiety to improve pre-service teachers' self-concepts as learners and teachers of mathematics.*Reflections (North Ryde) (print version).*33(1), pp. 73 - 75.

##### 'The factor that makes us more effective teachers': Two pre-service primary teachers' experience of bibliotherapy

Wilson, Sue and Thornton, Steve. (2008) 'The factor that makes us more effective teachers': Two pre-service primary teachers' experience of bibliotherapy.*Mathematics Teacher Education and Development.*9, pp. 21 - 35.

##### A new approach to teaching percentages

White, Paul and Wilson, Sue. (2008) A new approach to teaching percentages.*Reflections (North Ryde) (print version).*33(1), pp. 15 - 18.

##### Sustainable assessment and lifelong learning: Standards for excellence and the development of teacher identity

Wilson, Sue Anne and Thornton, Steve. (2007) Sustainable assessment and lifelong learning: Standards for excellence and the development of teacher identity. In In .s Frankl and Steve (Ed.).*Enhancing Teaching and Learning through Assessment: Deriving an Appropriate Model*pp. 128 - 137 Assessment Resource Centre, Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

##### My struggle with maths may not have been a lonely one: Bibliotherapy in a teacher education number theory unit

Wilson, Sue. (2007) My struggle with maths may not have been a lonely one: Bibliotherapy in a teacher education number theory unit. In J. Watson and N. Beswick (Ed.).*Mathematics: Essential Research, Essential Practice. Proceedings of the 30th Annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia..*Hobart, Australia: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. pp. 816 - 823

##### Percentages as Part Whole Relationships

White, Paul, Wilson, Sue, Faragher, Rhonda and Mitchelmore, M.. (2007) Percentages as Part Whole Relationships. In J Watson and K Beswick (Ed.).*Mathematics: Essential Research, Essential Practice. Proceedings of the 30th Annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia..*Hobart, Australia: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. pp. 805 - 814

##### The context rich integrated maths and science (CRIMS) projects

Wilson, Sue. (2007) The context rich integrated maths and science (CRIMS) projects. In K. Milton, H. Reeves and T. Spencer (Ed.).*Mathematics: Essential for learning, essential for life Proceedings of the 21st Biennial Conference of the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers Inc..*Adelaide, Australia: Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers. pp. 396 - 403

##### To heal and enthuse: Developmental bibliotherapy and pre-service primary teachers' reflections on learning and teaching mathematics

Wilson, Sue and Thornton, Steve. (2006) To heal and enthuse: Developmental bibliotherapy and pre-service primary teachers' reflections on learning and teaching mathematics. In P. Grootenboer, R. Zevenbergen and M. Chinnappan (Ed.).*Identities; Cultures and Learning Spaces: Proceedings of the 29th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia.*Sydney, Australia: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. pp. 35 - 44

##### If we don't shout loudly: We might be forgotten

Brady, Josephine, McLoughlin, Catherine, Wilson, Sue Anne and Arnold, Stephen Mark. (2006) If we don't shout loudly: We might be forgotten. In In T. Lyons (Ed.).*Science; ICT and Mathematics Education in Rural and Regional Australia*pp. 88 - 99 University of New England.

##### The year in which my love of maths changed : Pre-service primary teachers' self-image as mathematicians

Wilson, Sue and Thornton, Steve. (2005) The year in which my love of maths changed : Pre-service primary teachers' self-image as mathematicians.*Making mathematics vital : The twentieth biennial conference of the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers Inc..*Adelaide, South Australia: Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers. pp. 268-274

##### I am really not alone in this anxiety: Bibliotherapy and pre-service primary teachers' self-image as mathematicians

Wilson, Sue and Thornton, Steve. (2005) I am really not alone in this anxiety: Bibliotherapy and pre-service primary teachers' self-image as mathematicians. In P. Clarkson, A. Downton and D. Gronn (Ed.).*MERGA 28: Building connections: Research theory and practice. Proceedings of the annual conference held at RMIT Melbourne 7th - 9th July; 2005..*Sydney, Australia: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. pp. 791 - 798