An assessment of teacher competency in consumer education/economics/personal finance Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/rb68xf286

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  • One purpose of this study was to develop a valid and reliable instrument based on the Oregon Personal Finance Education Guide which would measure teacher competency in consumer education/economics/ personal finance. A second purpose of this study was to assess the level of competency possessed by persons teaching consumer education/ economics/personal finance in Oregon's public schools and to compare this competency according to the subject-matter backgrounds represented by the teachers. Procedures There were two procedural phases in this study. The first phase consisted of developing the competency assessment instrument and involved generating, validating, and pretesting items which were directly related to the five concepts outlined in the Oregon Personal Finance Education Guide. The second phase of the study consisted of mailing the validated instrument to consumer education/economics/personal finance teachers in Oregon's public schools and analyzing responses to determine the characteristics of the instrument and to test for differences in overall and concept area scores attained on the instrument between teachers in the four subject-matter groups. The population was made up of 320 teachers, including four samples of 80 each, with each sample representing a subject-matter background in business education, home economics, mathematics, or social studies. After the first mailing, a follow-up postcard reminder, and third complete mailing to non-respondents, 185 (57.81 percent) of the subjects responded with usable returns. Findings Item analysis data and reliability indices obtained for the instrument varied somewhat for each of the four subject-matter groups included in the study. Results indicated, however, that the developed instrument was an effective device for measuring teacher competency in consumer education/economics/personal finance in Oregon when used with a crosssection of teachers representing the subject-matter areas of business education, home economics, mathematics, and social studies. A summarization of the scores attained on the instrument indicated that approximately two-thirds of the consumer education/economics/ personal finance teachers in Oregon had deficiencies in knowledge in at least 30 percent of the material it is recommended they teach. Deficiencies existed in all five concept areas included in the Oregon Personal Finance Education Guide but varied between subject-matter groups. Results of the analysis of variance and Newman-Keuls indicated that teachers in all four subject-matter groups were equally prepared to teach comprehensive courses in consumer education/economics/personal finance based on the content outlined in the Oregon Personal Finance Education Guide. However, teachers with backgrounds in mathematics appeared better prepared to teach the money management aspects of consumer education/economics/personal finance than teachers with backgrounds in the other three subject-matter groups. Recommendations In view of the findings, it was recommended that inservice training sessions be organized to address the knowledge deficiencies discovered among consumer education/economics/personal finance teachers in Oregon and that preservice programs be evaluated and reorganized, if necessary, to ensure that the discovered areas of need are given attention. It was also recommended that separate programs be organized for each disciplinary area and/or that preservice and inservice programs be individualized to meet varying needs between subject-matter groups. A further recommendation was that responsibility for teaching comprehensive consumer education/economics/personal finance courses in Oregon's public schools be delegated to all of the subject-matter areas of business education, home economics, mathematics, and social studies rather than to only one or another of them. It was felt, however, that consumer education/ economics/personal finance teachers in Oregon with subject-matter back grounds in mathematics should either be delegated responsibility for teaching the money management aspects of consumer education/economics/ personal finance or be included in the instructional planning process.
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