|Abstract or Summary
- All individuals are part of a family, and are confronted with
all the complexities that accompany family life during some portion
of their lifetime. Thus, inter-relationships between all family
members are an important aspect of education.
The school curriculum should be relevant to the needs of youth.
Family life education is a vital aspect in meeting these needs. Interrelationships
from the simplest to the most complex can be considered
in family life education. A variety of teaching methods should be
utilized, particularly those that add "life" and bring reality to classroom
learning and aid in meeting the needs of students.
A review of current literature provided a basis for the development
of criteria for making and/or choosing case studies. These
criteria were later used as an aid in writing and evaluating case
studies for possible use.
In order to utilize one specific teaching material, a series of
15 case studies was developed to be used in teaching family life
topics at the 12th grade level. Interviews with 30 individuals,
either engaged or married, provided the background information
for the case studies. Concept, sub-concept(s), generalization(s),
and objectives were identified by the writer for each case study to
provide a framework for the teacher. A series of questions
corresponding to the objectives was developed to aid the teacher
in using each case study.
The criteria in the form of an evaluation instrument were
critiqued by 23 graduate students enrolled in Evaluation of Home
Economics Education at Oregon State University, summer term
1970. Their evaluation was utilized to revise the criteria. The
final evaluation instrument combined the criteria with a rating
scale in which one equalled excellent and four equalled poor.
Thirty-nine home economics educators were asked to evaluate
the case studies using the revised instrument. Eight were teaching
or had taught a semester or year long family life course at the high
school level, 14 were teacher educators, and 17 had been enrolled in
Family Life Education in the Junior and Senior High School, summer term 1970, at Oregon State University. Responses were received
Each home economics educator was asked to evaluate two of
the case studies. Thirteen of the case studies were distributed for
evaluation by five home economists and two case studies were
evaluated by six home economists. Each case study was evaluated
by at least one evaluator from each category. Analysis of data was
done item by item, any item, receiving an average rating of 2.5 or
higher was given careful consideration. Eight of the 15 case studies
The case studies were used with three senior homemaking
classes with a total enrollment of 55 students, during the 1970-71
school year. The case studies were one of many teaching techniques
employed by the writer in the units of marriage preparation, marriage
adjustments, and prenatal development and care. After use, students
evaluated the case studies higher than any other instructional methods
The writer believes that case studies can bring reality into the
classroom if carefully selected and used in conjunction with other
teaching methods and materials. Case studies easily dovetail with
other instructional methods to provide a complete background for
students. Students need to be properly prepared for the use of case
studies and receive teacher guidance during use.