The identification of competencies and criteria required of home economics teachers in the area of foods Public Deposited


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  • The purpose of this study was to determine competencies that practicing home economics teachers believe future teachers must possess to show proficiency in the area of foods. The objectives were: 1. To evaluate, revise, and expand the competencies that have been identified by the Oregon State University Home Economics Education Department for assessing a student's behavior in the subject matter of foods. 2. To develop criteria in the taxonomic levels of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis and synthesis that would set a standard against which behavior can be judged. 3. To seek professional opinions from secondary home economics educators currently in the field to determine the performance indicators which exemplify competencies necessary for future teachers in the subject matter of foods. Procedures A mail survey questionnaire containing 98 criteria items with a five-point Likert-type scale was used to collect data. The criteria items consisted of foods subject matter content statements. The dependent variable was the score judgmentally assigned by the respondents to each criterion item. This score denoted the level of proficiency they believed a novice home economics teacher should possess. A randomized sample of 250 practicing Oregon home economics teachers were sent introductory postcards asking their willingness to participate in the study. All 131 indicating a desire to participate were sent questionnaires. One hundred-one questionnaires (77%) were returned; 98 were used for data analysis which consisted of factor analysis, using the R- and Q-techniques, and the computation of mean scores and standard deviations, of the criteria items. Selected Findings The Q-technique analysis provided a measure of commonality among respondents as it indicated that secondary home economics teachers resembled one another according to the criteria items in the study. The R-technique analysis generated criteria items with a high degree of correlation into factors. A three-factor solution accounted for 53 criteria items, with two items overlapping in two factors. All items were accounted for as either clustering within a factor with a factor loading of ± 470, or under a factor as a spurious criterion item. The three factors were identified and assigned titles by the researcher as follows: Factor I: Influences that Contribute to Food Choices and Safety in Food Handling Factor II: Preparation Principles of Various Food Groups Factor III: Influences of Chemical Composition and Physical Properties on the Use and Quality of Foods The mean score and standard deviation for each criterion item were determined. Twenty-six criteria items had mean scores of ≥4. 00, 55 had mean scores in the 3. 00-3. 99 range, and 17 had mean scores below 3.00. Conclusions The clustering of criteria items listed in the questionnaire into the factors generated in the R-technique analysis revealed three groups of criteria items that had high levels of correlation. The factors derived from this study may be used as one reference from which to develop curriculum in foods subject matter. In some cases the factors generated overlapped in terms of content and showed a lack of content congruence within a factor. A possible explanation for this occurrence was that the criteria statements may not have been specific enough to clearly group the items into discernible factors. The mean scores derived in this study for each of the criteria items were concluded to be of significance and should be considered in curriculum development in the subject matter of foods.
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