A factor analysis of the occupational competence of vocationally certified teachers of business education subjects Public Deposited



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  • The Purpose of the Study The central purpose of this study was to identify the common competency elements deemed necessary for entry-level vocational certification and to develop these elements into groups that would serve as a basis for use in an occupational competency test. Questions to be answered from the responses to the questionnaire were: can essential competencies common to all business teachers be identified, are there significant differences in the competencies needed by teachers in the three cluster areas, can inservice business education teachers identify those competencies essential to successful teaching, and can suitable groups of competencies be established as a resource bank for the development of performance-based competency tests. Procedures The construction of the occupational competence questionnaire was accomplished through the use of the Oregon Board of Education cluster guides, review of related literature, and the expertise of business educators in secondary and post-secondary institutions within the state of Oregon. A mail survey questionnaire containing 75 occupational competencies with a five-point Likert scale was used for the study. The dependent variable was the score judgmentally assigned to each competency by business teachers. The population for the study utilized vocationally certified business education teachers currently teaching the major curriculum content of one of the three business education clusters. The sample consisted of 25 teachers from each of the three clusters--Accounting, Clerical, and Steno-Secretarial. Data were coded, keypunched, and verified from the returned questionnaires prior to processing. The Data The F statistic was used to analyze contrasts between the mean scores for each competency with the .05 level of significance being used to determine if differences existed between cluster groups. A test of Least Significant Difference was used on rejected competencies where differences exceeded the ± .50 factor loading. Further analysis was accomplished through the R-technique which was used to cluster the competencies according to factors. Factor titles were assigned, representative of the Oregon clusters, after the data were analyzed. Selected Findings The basic business occupation competencies were scored uniformly by each of the three cluster groups. Generally, there was disagreement as to the importance of factors as they became more specific for specialty occupations. Those competencies listed in Factor I, Basic Business Operations, showed the highest correlation of agreement. The ten highest ranking competencies, none of which could be considered skill development curriculum courses such as typewriting and shorthand, were contained in this factor. In total, 60 of the 75 competencies were judged to be acceptable to these clusters. Those competencies not normally a part of the business education curriculum in the majority of schools were rejected. Classic examples of minimal or unnecessary competence were (1) taking machine shorthand and (2) operation of the Varityper. Those competencies peculiar to accounting specialization tended to have the greatest difference as judged by the accounting instructors as compared to the business teachers in clerical and steno-secretarial curriculums. The use of computer technology was generally ranked low by all respondents.
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