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The professional identity development of STEM-students; identity status and development phase : An exploratory study in higher vocational education in the Netherlands

Kostermans, Alieke (2019) The professional identity development of STEM-students; identity status and development phase : An exploratory study in higher vocational education in the Netherlands.

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Abstract:The professional identity development of STEM students has not yet been investigated much, while there is a need to bridge the knowledge gap on providing the STEM students with the appropriate support and guidance in their professional identity formation. The current study was exploratory in nature with a cross-sectional design and a mixed methods approach. In total 71 first- and third-year STEM higher vocational education students participated in the online survey with mixed methods design; a quantitative and a qualitative measurement. This study showed that STEM students develop through different phases of professional identity development and that these phases are characterized by different features; internal vs. external defined professional self and the variations in the level of commitment and exploration. Also, this study proposes that internship experience (i.e. represented by first- and third academic year students) tends to be associated with the professional identity development and even may accelerate the formation, but this needs to be further investigated. This study provides insights in the phenomenon of the professional identity development of STEM students. On its turn, these insights provide understanding in where STEM students’ growth opportunities lie and how to guide them in the wide range of choices they can make regarding potential professional routes.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/77923
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