(Not) Liking a Subject
© 25 Apr 2012 Luther Tychonievich
Licensed under Creative Commons: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
other posts


Why do students like (or not) particular subjects?


In computer science education, one of the big issues is how to find the students needed to fill the demand for jobs. This is motivated by job growth projections like the following:

2008–2018 projected to show 3:1 jobs to workers in computing, while every other STEM field has more workers than jobs; computing also has almost 2/3 of the total STEM jobs.

As I have attended various workshops and presentations on this topic, I have been impressed by one element that seems to be missing in most, if not all studies. Few researchers ask the students if they like the pedagogical innovations they report and even fewer ask why or why not. From a research design perspective, I completely understand this decision. But it does leave me wondering if researchers are anywhere near the truth.

When students decide they don’t like some particular topic, why do they make that decision? A few possibilities that come to mind:

I am certain I could add others to this list too…

So, why do you like what you like? When did you decide you liked it? Do people even know why they like what they like? If we want to end up with more interested students in a particular field, what elements of interest can we influence?

Looking for comments…

Loading user comment form…