Wei-Cheng Mau: Social/Cognitive/Cultural Factors of STEM Career Aspirations and Decision-Making

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GEebQPOfQ Over the last decades, Taiwan has experienced great success in recruiting and preparing students to enter the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) work force. This video presents findings from a study that explores factors related to STEM career interests of Taiwanese students, as guided by Social-Cognitive Career Theory. Wei-Cheng Joseph Mau is a professor of Counseling, Educational Leadership, Educational and School Psychology at Wichita State University, in Wichita, Kansas. His research focuses on educational and vocational aspirations of women and minority students. He currently serves as the Program Chair and Graduate Coordinator of the Counselor Education Program.

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Social, Cognitive, and Cultural Factors of STEM Career Aspirations and Decision-Making in Taiwan

         I am so lucky and grateful for the opportunity to conduct my Fulbright research in Taiwan. For most of my fellow grantees, Taiwan is a new place. But for me Taiwan is like home. Returning to Taiwan means returning to my cultural roots, for that’s where I was born. Although I have visited Taiwan several times since I left in 1983, this is the first time in 33 years that I was able to have Chinese New Year Eve dinner (nianye fan年夜飯 or  tuanyuan fan 團圓飯)with my family. This is also the first time I was able to visit my father and father-in-law’s tombs on the Tomb-Sweeping Day, known in Chinese as the Qingming 清明 Festival. Recently, I attended a high school reunion for the very first time since graduating 40 years ago. Reconnecting with so many classmates and learning about their career paths, I realize all that I missed during Taiwan’s economic heyday of the 1980s and 1990s. Taiwan was then one of Asia’s success stories, and was designated one of the four Asian Dragons 亞州四小龍. I discovered that several of my classmates are listed among Taiwan’s most successful businesspeople.           The

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