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Educational and occupational aspirations of Oregon tenth grade girls Public Deposited

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  • Purposes and Method of Study The purpose of this study was to find out if tenth grade girls were aware of the probability that a majority of them would work at some time during their lives, and if they planned to prepare for this possibility. A questionnaire was designed and validated to attempt to determine these aspirations and expectations. Six hundred questionnaires were then sent to 24 Oregon high schools where the home economics teachers administered them to the sophomore girls in their classes, A total of 508 usable questionnaires were returned. The questions proposed for study were: 1. What do tenth grade girls aspire to educationally? 2. Are their educational goals related to the choices their mothers have made? 3. What are the future plans of the tenth grade girls ? a. Do sophomore girls see themselves in the future as mainly wives and mothers? b. If they plan to marry, do they reject working as a part of their life pattern? 4. For what reasons will they work? 5. What are tenth grade girls' views of what they will be doing at age 30 and after their children are grown? What are tenth, grade girls' preferences for their mothers' working or not working? How does this influence their choice for themselves? 7. What influences the opinions of sophomore girls about women working? 8. Are sophomore girls aware of the facts about women working today? 9. Is there a need to place more emphasis on wage-earning skills in the home economics curriculum or is there a need to continue to emphasize home and family living? Findings In general, the respondents aspired to graduate from high school. This choice was the same as the education the respondents° mothers received. The girls tended to see themselves mainly as wives and mothers, but a large majority included some work plans in the expectations for their lives. The respondents tended to be unrealistic about the reasons they might take jobs. Though most said that the need for money would be the main reason for working, the next two largest groups said that they would take a job because they erjoyed working arc in order to have something to do. They did not consider a husband's injury or death, divorce, or never marrying as good reasons for working. A majority of the respondents expected to be home taking care of their children at age 30. Forty-two percent expected to be working part time after their children are grown, but just a few less (38 percent) expected to be keeping a home during these years. The largest number of respondents preferred their mothers to keep a home full time, but in many cases made different choices for themselves than they made for their mothers. Most of the respondents felt that no one had influenced their opinions about women working. Many others felt they were mostly influenced by their mother's opinions, The respondents were quite accurate in estimating the average life-expectancy of teen-aged girls and the number of years they could expect to live after their children are grown. The respondents' estimates were not very accurate when they were asked to guess the average number of women working today (they estimated very high), and the average number of years a woman will probably work (they estimated very low). Implications The main implication of this study is that students do not seem to be realistic about planning their lives. They appear to be aware of the facts about how many women are working today, how long they will probably live, and how many years of life they will have after their children are grown. Of the 508 respondents, 80.3 percent planned to work, 56 percent after they married. Nevertheless, the respondents quite unrealistically did not plan to get very much training or education to prepare themselves for any type of job. Nearly one third of the respondents planned to go no further with their education than high school. Because of the unrealistic attitude of the girls toward preparation for their future employment, it seems that homemaking teachers need to find ways to help these girls to become more aware of the problems in the world of work, and to help them to learn skills that will make them more employable when they need or want to work. More than one fourth of the respondents expected to be working at age 30, and over half planned to be working after their children are grown. However, family life instruction is still a definite need. So few of the respondents answered that they would take a job if their husband died or was injured, or if there was a divorce, that it points to a need for more emphasis on family interaction and even realistic family finance. To leave out these teachings in favor of job training would be a mistake in light of these findings; but a combination of the two needs to be taught in the home economics curriculum.
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