This article explores why some Flemish secondary school studentsu8217 study choices are content-wise not in line with their career aspirations and, to some extent, follow gender and ethnic patterns. We use 83 semi-structured interviews, conducted with students in academic and technical tracks in three Flemish secondary schools. Compared to female pupils, male pupils are more likely to enrol in lower status tracks whose curricular substance prepares them for a STEM career (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Ethnic majority female pupils seem to adjust their study choices better to their aspirations, or the other way round. However, especially when changing track or field of study, ethnic majority female pupils are more likely to adapt their aspirations consistent with gender norms. While ethnic minority female pupils are more likely than ethnic majority female pupils to have STEM aspirations, their goals do not always seem to correspond with the study choices they have made. Additionally, perceived discrimination and family aspirations further impact both study choices and aspirations of ethnic minority pupils. Gendered study recommendations and choices, favouring male pupils in STEM careers, especially make that female pupils make study choices that are in terms of curriculum not always in line with their aspirations.
|Number of pages||24|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|