- An assessment of Oregon personal finance teachers'
beliefs and recommendations for secondary personal finance
curriculum was the major purpose of this survey. A questionnaire
based on the concepts and subconcepts in the Oregon
Personal Finance Education Guide was used for data collection.
All Oregon personal finance teachers who taught the
personal finance requirement during 1975-1976 and 1976-1977
comprised the sample for this study. Four hundred questionnaires
were sent and 182 questionnaires were returned,
representing 45.5 percent of the population. The findings
of this survey were based on these responses. Teachers
responded from all school sizes and geographic areas of Oregon.
The major disciplines represented were business education,
home economics, mathematics, and social studies.
Information received by the researcher was organized
in three sections. In the first section, the best combination
of the two semesters required for the personal finance
course was identified. With a choice of grades nine through
12, any combination of semesters at grades 11 and 12
received the support of 72.8 percent of the teachers.
In the second section, the five major concepts and
29 subconcepts of the Personal Finance Education Guide
were discussed. More specifically, the researcher sought
answers to the following questions:
1. What concepts and subconcepts are taught
in the personal finance curriculum?
2. What concepts and subconcepts are needed
in the personal finance curriculum?
The five major concepts are:
I. Employment and Income
II. Money Management
IV. Purchase of Goods and Services
V. Rights and Responsibilities in the Marketplace
All major concepts were taught and perceived as needed by
more than 85 percent of the personal finance teachers except
Concept I, Employment and Income. Forty two percent of the
respondents stated this concept was not taught, while 33 percent
felt it was not needed. While these teachers saw a
need for this information in the high school curriculum, they
stated that it was or should be taught in the career education
Comments concerning the concepts, the subconcepts, and
the Guide as a whole were also included in this discussion.
These remarks covered addition, deletions and organization
of the material. The most requested addition was taxation,
with 44 separate comments. Suggestions included federal,
state, and local taxes; income, property, and inheritance
taxes; appropriate methods of tax reporting; consequences
of improper records; and uses of tax money at all levels.
Fifty nine percent of the respondents requested a more
definitive approach to Concept IV, Purchase of Goods and
Services with specific units to include housing, transportation,
In section III of the survey the researcher hoped to
find the most popular curriculum sequence for the two
semester course. Only 62 percent of all respondents
completed this section. Those teachers who did respond
suggested Concept I, Employment and Income, and Concept II,
Money Management, be taught in the first semester. Concept
III, Credit, and Concept V, Rights and Responsibilities in
the Marketplace, belonged in the second semester, with
Concept IV, Purchase of Goods and Services, appropriate for
either semester. Those teachers who did not respond to this
section gave two explanations:
1. If both semesters of the personal finance
requirement were taught in the same year,
the curriculum sequence was unimportant.
2. Schools using the "unit topic" approach were
able to separate concepts and subconcepts
by semesters, but "process oriented"
programs, where concepts and subconcepts
overlapped, made semester divisions irrelevant.
The Oregon Personal Finance Education Guide is
scheduled for revision during 1978. The suggestions and
recommendations of the secondary personal finance teachers,
as presented in this survey, will be used in this revision.