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Journal of Vocational and Technical Education

Editor:
Kirk Swortzel:   kswortzel@ais.msstate.edu

Volume 13, Number 2
Spring 1997

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THE EFFECTS OF COOPERATIVE LEARNING METHODS ON ACHIEVEMENT, RETENTION, AND ATTITUDES OF HOME ECONOMICS STUDENTS IN NORTH CAROLINA

Rosini B. Abu
Universiti Pertanian Malaysia

Jim Flowers
North Carolina State University

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of the cooperative learning approach of Student Teams-Achievement Divisions (STAD) on the achievement of content knowledge, retention, and attitudes toward the teaching method. Cooperative learning was compared to non-cooperative (competitive) learning classroom structure using a quasi-experimental design. Multivariate analysis of covariance showed no significant difference among the dependent variables (achievement and retention) between the teaching methods used. There was also no significant difference in student attitudes toward the teaching methods.


ASSESSING TECH PREP IMPLEMENTATION

Rodney L. Custer
University of Missouri-Columbia

Sheila K. Ruhland
Western Wisconsin Technical College

Bob R. Stewart
University of Missouri-Columbia

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the time is right to initiate the process of assessing Tech Prep program effects and to determine the extent to which local Tech Prep implementation efforts are consistent with the Vocational Education Act. Due to the comprehensive scope and systematic nature of the Tech Prep concept, Stufflebeam's CIPP model was selected and adapted. Tech Prep components for each program assessment dimension (Context, Input, Process, Outcomes) were identified. Results from this study indicate that the four assessment dimensions be included throughout the planning, implementation and assessment phases of Tech Prep.


LESSONS FROM HISTORY: INDUSTRIAL ARTS/TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION AS A CASE

Patrick N. Foster
University of Missouri-Columbia

In focusing chronologically on the past century of American education, this study suggests that the current state of American practical and vocational education is not unique, even given the popularity of school-to-work legislation and programs, tech prep, applied academics, and the like. Furthermore, if history is any indication, these advances will be lost in the coming decades unless past mistakes are not repeated. Particular attention will be paid to the case of industrial education.


PERCEPTIONS OF LEADERSHIP IN POSTSECONDARY TECHNICAL INSTITUTES IN GEORGIA

Randy H. McElvey
Valdosta State University

Helen C. Hall
The University of Georgia

Richard L. Lynch
The University of Georgia

The LAI (Leader Attributes Inventory), which identified 37 leadership attributes, was used as the survey instrument to determine perceptions of presidents and faculty of technical institutes in Georgia toward the leadership attributes of the presidents. Data analysis was conducted based on data collected from 30 presidents and 354 faculty respondents at Georgia's 32 postsecondary technical institutes. Findings indicated that presidents and their faculty members did not agree on leadership attributes as demonstrated by presidents at technical institutes in Georgia.


ASSESSMENT OF WORK PLACE WRITING AND INCORPORATION INTO CURRICULUM

Vidya Singh-Gupta
Southern Illinois University

Eileen Troutt-Ervin
Southern Illinois University

Employers expect entry level employees in technical fields to possess excellent communication skills. The authors reviewed relevant literature and conducted a survey of technical Bachelor of Science degree graduates who had taken technical writing, in order to determine the usefulness of various course topics to their employment and the types of writing skills needed in the work place. Memos and business letters were written by 83.7% and 80.0% of the graduates respectively, proposals by 62.1%, progress reports by 57.3%, and procedural manuals by 48.9%. Executive summaries were written more often (35.1% of the time) than abstracts (21.9%). The course was rated as very useful to employment by 89.4%. The authors summarize topics that an English composition course may not include but were desired to meet work place needs. Recommendations are given for incorporating these topics into existing curriculum.


TECH PREP PROGRAMS: THE ROLE AND ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS

Bob R. Stewart, Professor
University of Missouri-Columbia

Don H. Bristow, Director Columbia Missouri Public Schools

The purpose of this study was to gain consensus from a panel of experts on the role and the essential elements for high quality tech prep programs. A modified Delphi process was used in this study. According to the magnitude of round three group mean and median responses, the panel was judged to have "strong agreement" with 28 and "some agreement" with 5 items. The panel strongly agreed tech prep programs will: include junior/community colleges, area vocational technical schools, and comprehensive high schools; have a role in helping reshape outcomes of schools districts; have a role in refocusing the need for career exploration and counseling; eliminate or blur the lines between college prep and vocational programs with the elimination of the general track; provide time for collaborative planning/development between the academic and vocational staff; include summer teacher internships with business for both vocational and academic teachers.


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