|Abstract or Summary
- Exploration of job opportunities and student involvement in learning are important principles of education. Congress recognized and emphasized these principles through recent legislation expanding education in several fields. Expanded vocational education has especially stressed job exploration and involvement in work programs. In many cases, however, this has come too late in the life and education of the student. The State of Oregon loses approximately 6,000 students through dropout annually from its secondary schools. With the number of school dropouts remaining relatively constant, the search for desirable programs to help alleviate the problem is constantly expanding. The increasing number of work observation programs in conjunction with existing vocational programs at the secondary level seems to be attacking the problem; however, the tendency is for elementary schools to refrain from use of vocational programs. Schools which choose not to use vocational programs need to evaluate their ability to influence students to remain in school. Literature shows that potential dropouts may be identified as early as the fourth grade by considering reading levels, social achievement, family influence, and scholastic ability. The author in undertaking this study is proposing a work observation program at the eighth grade level for Wallowa County, School District 12. The primary objective of the program is to instill in eighth grade students a better understanding of the world of work and some of the particular skills required for specific occupations. Concurrently the student is motivated by firsthand learning experiences that in effect enrich and accelerate his education. With proper coordination of the program, it will enrich classroom studies and, hopefully, prevent some high school dropouts. Initiation of the Work Observation Program in District 12. The work observation program includes steps for organization, student selection, selection of observation sites, student placement, supervision, coordination with classroom studies, and evaluation. Initiation of the work observation program in District 12 consisted of selection of students and work observation sites.