STEM outcomes of second-generation immigrant students with high-skilled parental backgrounds

Svetlana Chachashvili-Bolotin, Sabina Lissitsa, Marina Milner-Bolotin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

This large-scale study (N=173,636) examines between-group differences in Israeli high school STEM enrolment and average grades between five groups of Israeli-born Jews. Four of them comprise second-generation immigrant students with high-skilled parents, from North America (NA), South America (SA), France, and the Former Soviet Union (FSU). The fifth group comprises non-immigrant students. The study's conceptual framework combines expanded Segmented Assimilation Theory and Bourdieu's concepts of habitus and cultural capital. NA students had the highest family educational and economic levels, while the FSU students had the highest percentage of high-skilled parents, albeit with the lowest economic background. We found that the non-immigrant students did not have an advantage in STEM enrolment in high school as compared to the second-generation immigrants. The FSU students had the highest STEM enrolment. The average STEM grades among the NA, SA, and French students were similar compared to the non-immigrant students, while the FSU students' average STEM grades were the lowest. Our findings suggest that both Segmented Assimilation Theory and Bourdieusian concepts of habitus and cultural capital should be considered to account for the educational STEM outcomes of immigrant children. These findings may inform educational policy and intervention programmes aimed at increasing high school STEM enrolment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2465-2483
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Volume41
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - 22 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • STEM educational achievements
  • STEM enrolment
  • Segmented Assimilation Theory
  • cultural capital
  • high-skilled immigrants
  • science habitus
  • second-generation immigrants

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