A survey of personal finance curriculum in Oregon secondary schools Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6682x645z

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  • 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 III. Credit 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 course. 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, and food. 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.
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