This chapter consists of the background of the study, statement of problem, research questions, research objectives and research hypotheses, along with theoretical framework and conceptual framework. This chapter also describes the details of the scope of study, definitions of terms and significance of the study.

Background of the Study

Mathematics as the “critical filter” that effectively rule out the students for prestigious careers (Sells 1973). The National Council of Teacher of Mathematics (NCTM 2000) has issued a report stating that mathematics is one of the basic skills for industry work place. As it is student’s interest and motivation toward their career the first step start with selecting the educational program in secondary level as per their choice and perception toward their carrier and field of study. The first step is the most important factor for every student as it leads them toward their path and carrier which student aspiring (Hansen 1976).

Career aspiration of secondary grade students guide them toward the study of science program or art science and enable them choose the right subjects which can boost their ability toward their goal(Linderman 2010). As many students consider mathematics and science irrelevant (National Research Council, 1996), these students choose art stream to achieve their goal and those who are aspire to field engineering and medical they select science stream in secondary level. Menzin and Golman, (1987) reported that mathematician have an opportunity to contribute in society with selecting diverse fields. Due to many factors such as of individual’s goal and perception career aspiration may vary from student to student. Many countries including Thailand have established an assessment that allows mathematics, science and reading achievement of students can measured within the member country, as organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development(OECD) which is responsible for Program for International student assessment(PISA) and international Association for Evaluation of Educational Achievement(IEA). High level mathematical achievement leads to purse career which demand logical, investigational, critical and analytical skills. Students who aspire to pursue career in medicine, engineering. Computer science, business and commerce must achieve high grade during their high school (Harju and Eppler 1997). Mathematics is the fundamental subject for teenager and it has the close resemblance with technology and innovation. Mathematics is the essential and key subject for the science and technology and also critical element for new technological professional. Mathematical achievement is emphasized by the students who desire to have the career related to science field (NCTM 2000). Selection of carrier is most important and an inevitable event in the life for Grade 12 students (Sells 1973).

Students under English program of Assumption college are belong to very reputed family and as per the aim of Assumption College maximum numbers of student should get selected into the prestigious institute after grade 12. The grade 12 students have to work hard to fulfill the demand of their school and demands of their parents as well. They have to maintain the good academic record.

The maximum number of student wants to join field of economics after their school which observed during class discussion with researcher. To get into the field of economics students have to have sufficient knowledge in mathematics with higher order thinking skills. The student under English program seeks the admission in their desire field and many are succeeded in year of 2016 as per school administrators but it observed students from Math-English program still lagging somewhere.

The students of Math-English program have low cognitive skill which affecting their grades and they not aspire to career in field of mathematics. There is a direct relationship between students’ mathematics achievements and mathematics anxiety (Beilock 2014) and which is the reason students under Math-English program are less competitive than students of Math-Science program.

Statement of the Problem

It is difficult for teachers to understand the reason why it seems to be tremendous difference between the student’s academic achievement in mathematics as comparing Math-English and Math-Science programs of Assumption College Bankrak Thailand. There is huge gap in student’s academic achievement in mathematics compared between both programs and students under Math-English program are less competitive than students in Math-Science program as per academic data of past 3 years. There are large marginal gap in the student’s average score in mathematics for both programs can observed by seeing their SAT score of past few years. There is difference between cognitive skills of the students under both programs observed by mathematics teachers. The academic achievement in mathematics of students under both programs can be differentiated based on their mathematics academic record and scoring in the SAT subjects. The career aspiration of students varied between the both programs which is observed by the teachers. Including all these factors, it is difficult for the teachers to apply the same pedagogical techniques for students under both programs.

1. There is huge gap in students’ mathematics grade in both programs of Assumption School.

2. Most of the students under Math-English program have less SAT score in Math than the students of Math-Science.

3. Math -Science students have the high career aspiration than Math-English program.

4. Math teachers need to put more effort to teach the students Under Math-English program than for the students in Math-Science program.

5. Teachers can observe difference in goal and focus of students under both programs.

6. Students under Math-science program are more focused toward their career as compared to Math-English program.

Considering all above stated problems the researcher would like to conduct a study in the order to explain the Grade-12 students’ Mathematics achievement according to their career aspirations.

Research Questions

The following are the research questions of this study.

1. What are the career aspirations of the Grade 12 students under Math-science and Math-English program of Assumption College Bankrak, Thailand?

2. What are the achievement levels in Mathematics of the Grade 12 students studying under Math-science and Math-English program of Assumption College Bankrak Thailand?

3. Is there as significant difference between perception toward career aspirations of Grade 12 students under Math-science and Math-English program Assumption College Bankrak Thailand?

4. Is there a significant difference in Mathematics academic achievement of Grade 12 students under Math-Science and Math-English program of Assumption College Bankrak, Thailand according to their career aspirations?

Research Objectives

The following research objectives are considered to provide answers to the research questions.

1. To determine the career aspiration of the Grade 12 students under Math-science and Math-English program of Assumption College Bankrak, Thailand.

2. To determine the academic achievement of Mathematics of the Grade 12 students under Math-science and Math-English program of Assumption College Bankrak Thailand.

3. To identify, is there any significant difference in the career aspirations of the Grade 12 students under Math-Science and Math-English program of Assumption College Bankrak, Thailand.

4. To find, is there any significant difference in the mathematics academic achievements of the Grade 12students under Math-science and Math-English programs of Assumption College Bankrak Thailand.

Research Hypothesis

The following are the research the hypnoses developed for this study.

1. There is significant difference in Mathematics academic achievement of Grade 12 students under Math-science and Math-English programs Assumption College Bankrak, Thailand significance level of .05.

2. There is significant difference in the career aspirations of Grade 12 students under Math-science and Math-English program of Assumption College Bankrak, Thailand at significance level of .05.

Theoretical Framework

In this section, the two major literacy methods on which this study is based, SCCT and CCDT.

Social cognitive career theory (SCCT)

Social cognitive career theory (SCCT) (Lent 2002) is a theory which explains following aspects of career aspirations of an individual

1. How basic academic achievement and career aspiration develop.

2. How career choice can be made

3. How academic achievement and career success can be obtained.

The theory has varieties of concepts including interests, abilities, and environmental factors that are t considered for career aspirations ( Lent, Brown, and Hackett 1994).

SCCT is mainly related to social cognitive theory(Bundra 1986) an important theory of cognitive and achievement which can leads to the study the areas such as academic achievement, career aspiration, and career development. Students’ focus and desire may vary in desire field and their behaviors for the required in many occupational domains. For example, one student might feel very confident in being able to accomplish tasks for successful entry into, and achieve in scientific fields but not feel much confident about his or her abilities in social or enterprising fields, such as sales. SCCT stat that individual are likely to become interested in one field, may choose to pursue, and achieve better in the activities in which they have strong desire, as one should have all the skills and environmental supports to perform these activities.

Career choices and Development Theory

Career choice and development theory(CCDT)(Brown 2002) attempts to answer such questions as, what is the best career for an individual, Why it is important for an individual and what factors that are influential and what are the important factor which one should consider in making career related decisions

Roe’s (1956) theory described the relationship of family and career choices of an individual. An individual can choose the career according their own desire or individual choose career according their family desire. Non-Personal desire career includes teacher, counselor, and nurse while personal desire career include engineer. Astronomer, programmer.

There are many primary factors related to career choice and achievements(Holland 1985). Students choose the career as per their dream but there are many factors affect their behavior toward their goal.

As per Krumboltz?s (1979) theory of career development, which describe social learning theory and behaviorism. This theory includes three major factors into the career decisions beginning with genetic which includes sex, race, talents, environmental conditions, cultural and economy, along with individual’s learning experiences, which guide the development of working habits and critical skill to deal with problems. The work of Ginzberg, Ginsburg, Axlerad, and Herma, (1951) and Linda Gottfredson(1981) will be reviewed in an attempt to better understand the developmental stage of 12th grade students as it relates to their career decision making process. Life span developmental theory (Super 1953) to career choice as a developmental process and outlined specific stages of career development through a person’s life, but unlike Ginzberg et al. (1951) and Gottfredson (1981) he did not focus his work on early developmental stages.

Conceptual Framework

The Grade 12 students of Assumption College, Bankrak studying under Math-English and Math-Science programs will be the participants for the research. There are 16 students in Math-English and 21 students in Math-Science program for academic year 2018-2019. The purpose of study is to compare the performance of students between two programs according to their perception toward career aspirations. The performance of students under both programs will be compared based on statistic data collection of their score in mathematics and a descriptive questionnaire will be conducted to determine their perceptions toward career aspirations.

Figure1. Conceptual framework.

Scope of the Study