- The Purposes of the Study
The primary purpose of this study was to identify common professional
education competencies needed by public school district
vocational education leaders. Other purposes were to (1) determine
if significant differences existed in vocational education leadership
competencies among respondents as categorized by state, type of
position held, proportion of time devoted to teaching, and number of
teaching subordinates, (2) identify the method recommended by
respondents for preparing individuals to perform each competency
included in the study, and (3) formulate implications to be considered
in the development of teaching strategies and curriculum for the preparation
of public school district vocational education leaders. The Procedures
The data were collected with a mail survey questionnaire
developed through a review of literature and a field test. Public
school district vocational education leaders responded to the questionnaire
regarding the level of proficiency (complete, considerable,
moderate, slight, no proficiency) necessary for each of the 98 competencies
in relation to their job. Likert-type scale values of 5 to 1
were assigned to the responses. Respondents also selected a method
(course work, internship, a combination of course work and internship)
for preparing personnel to perform each competency.
The study utilized a population from the four western states of
Arizona, California, Colorado, and Washington. One hundred and
three of the 112 public school districts which met predetermined
criteria agreed to participate in the study. A sample of 200 vocational
education directors and department heads was randomly selected
from the participating districts. Usable data were received from 147
respondents. The data were analyzed with the analysis of variance F
statistic and the Q- and R-factor analytic techniques.
Statistical comparisons using the one-way classification analysis
of variance were made on respondents who were grouped by state,
position held, proportion of time devoted to teaching, and number of teaching subordinates. Respondents grouped by state were alike in
their rating of all 98 competencies. Differences were detected with
the remaining groups, leaving 62 common competencies.
The Q-technique factor analysis revealed that all respondents
generally resemble one another with regard to values assigned to the
professional education competencies in the study.
The R-technique factor analysis was used to group competencies
for development of teaching strategies and curriculum. A five-factor
solution extracted 59 competencies that had factor loadings greater
than ± .50. The five factors were identified as follows:
1. Factor I: Program Management
2. Factor II: Program Planning, Development, and Evaluation
3. Factor III: State Criteria Interpretation
4. Factor IV: Staff Management
5. Factor V: Staff Relations
For each of the 98 competencies, a majority of the respondents
selected a combination of formal course work and internship as the
preferred method of preparing vocational education leaders to perform
the competencies in the study.
The review of literature, the questionnaire, and the results of
the statistical analysis provided the basis for the following conclusions: 1. Sixty-two competencies were similar for all respondents
and make up the common competencies.
2. Competencies related to Staff Management and Staff Relations
received relatively high mean scores and low standard
deviations, indicating general agreement that a high level
of proficiency is needed.
3. Competencies related to Program Management and Program
Planning received relatively low mean scores and high
standard deviations, indicating a difference of opinion
among the respondents concerning the level of proficiency,
but generally it was considered to be low.
4. Respondents grouped by state were alike in their rating of
all 98 competencies.
5. A combination of formal course work and internship was the
preferred method of preparing vocational education leaders
to perform the competencies in the study.
The following three selected recommendations are offered in
view of the findings and conclusions of the study:
1. Where identifiable groups are involved in vocational education
leadership training, responses of individuals representing
that group in this study should be examined. Those competencies rated high by that group should receive
preference in curriculum planning.
2. Experimentation should be conducted with the identified
competencies to compare the effectiveness of the individualized,
performance-based method of instruction and the
traditional method of instruction.
3. A composite data analysis should be completed on the concurrent
studies by Baltimore (1972), Martin (1972), and
Sundstrom (1972) to ascertain similarity of results. If
strong similarities exist, it is recommended that the
western states cooperate in establishing vocational education
leadership programs with a common competency base.