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Development of case studies focusing on engagement and early marriage for use in family life education Public Deposited

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  • 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 from 34. 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 were revised. 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 used. 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.
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