Factors related to the adoption of the consumer and homemaking curriculum by home economics teachers in Virginia secondary schools

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The purpose of this study was to identify and examine selected factors related to the adoption and implementation of curriculum change by home economics teachers in Virginia's public secondary schools. The major objective was to determine the relationship between the adoption of curriculum change and: (1) participation by home economics teachers in curriculum development activities and (2) selected demographic data.

The population selected for the study were the consumer and homemaking teachers employed in Virginia's public secondary schools for 1973-1974. Stratified systematic sampling procedures were employed in which the teachers were divided into two subpopulations. The first subpopulation were teachers who participated directly in curriculum development activities. The second subpopulation were teachers not directly involved in curriculum development activities. A total of 180 teachers were included in the study; 161 responded for a response rate of 89 percent.

The instrument (questionnaire) contained a list of fifty-one items. The three sections of the questionnaire included demographic data and participation and implementation inventories. A likert-type scale, ranging from one (strongly disagree) to six (strongly agree) was used to determine the strength of disagreement and agreement on the selected statements pertaining to participation in curriculum development and implementation of curriculum change.

The responses were analyzed statistically by factor analysis, canonical correlations, bivariate correlation coefficients, tabulation and cross tabulations, and Pearson's correlation coefficients were computed to test the null hypotheses. Factor analysis of the responses resulted in the identification of three factors rotated for both the fourteen statements and the twenty-three statements. Canonical correlations and bivariate correlation coefficients were computed to determine if there was a significant relationship between the factor scores and each of the demographic variables. Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficients were computed to test the null hypotheses for significance.

The findings indicated that there was no significant relationship between participation and adoption of curriculum change. A significant relationship was found between the age of the teacher, type of school, and manner in which the teachers received the Guide and teachers' adoption of curriculum change. No significant relationship was found between the level of educational preparation, area of undergraduate preparation, number of years experience, years in present system, source of school population, size of school enrollment, presence of a local supervisor of home economics education and adoption of curriculum change. Findings indicated a significant correlation between teachers who reported teaching in high school, teaching in rural communities, receiving the Guide at the annual Vocational Home Economics Teachers Conference, less number years of home economics teaching experience and participation perceived to be useful and essential to curriculum change and adoption.

In view of the findings of this study, it is recommended that careful consideration should be given to the selection of teachers for participation in curriculum development activities and the manner in which curriculum materials are presented and disseminated to teachers. It is recommended that the Guide be re-evaluated as to its appropriateness for students in the middle, junior, and/or intermediate schools. It is further recommended that factors identified in this study which have a relationship to adoption and implementation of curriculum change should be considered in future curriculum development activities.