Concepts and practices of career education in two elementary school districts in Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/d217qt295

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  • This study was conducted to discover whether two elementary school districts, one committed to career education and the other not committed, would show a significant difference in their response to 60 statements about career education and its practice. The study was also designed to determine to what degree students and teachers would differ in their response. Other important objectives were to ascertain whether the integration of academic and vocational education is perceived as a viable career education method of instruction. Additional aims were discerning the characteristics which identify career education generally and career awareness specifically as well as identifying the various methodologies used for career awareness education. A questionnaire, refined by a jury panel of career educators and two field tests, was administered to 140 sixth grade students and 12 sixth grade teachers from each district. Responses were given on a five-point Likert type of scale. The readability level was set at early fifth grade using the Fry graph. Means and standard deviations were computed for each item and the data were analyzed to test three hypotheses: H₁ There is no school effect, H₂ There is no personal effect, and H₃ There is no interaction effect. The F statistic was the basis for computing the analysis of variance. The critical significance level was set at α = . 05. Five H₁ hypotheses were rejected, twenty H₂ hypotheses were rejected, and four H₃ hypotheses were rejected. The data showed that the career education district teachers were much more in agreement with identified career education concepts and practices than were the teachers in the non-career district. However, little congruity was indicated between all students and all teachers concerning career education concepts and practices, while considerable agreement between students was indicated. Both teacher groups showed less variability of response on their answers than did students. The literature indicated a broad definition for career education. Career awareness is defined with more agreement. Work preparedness was presented by most career education authors as central to the career education movement. An integration of various school disciplines was seen as an essential teaching method as was the assimilation of career education into all levels of the existing curriculum. In a total school articulation career awareness is presented as the time to become aware of the variety and value of work and the awareness of self within the knowledge of the possibilities in the world of work. It was recommended that this or similar studies be made on the elementary, junior and senior high levels to determine to what extent the findings of this study might be duplicated. The study also points out the need for teacher training institutions to provide more extensive pre- and in-service career education instruction dealing with both the concepts and practices (methodology) of career education.
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