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The Effectiveness of the High School Progam in Home Economics

The Effectiveness of the High School Progam in Home Economics: A Report of a Five-Year Study of Twenty Minnesota Schools

Copyright Date: 1952
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 340
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  • Book Info
    The Effectiveness of the High School Progam in Home Economics
    Book Description:

    The Effectiveness of the High School Program in Home Economics was first published in 1952. Because the goals of home economics have changed markedly within recent years, facts are needed to chart its future course. This report presents more pertinent facts than any previous study of home economics in the public schools. The report is based on a five-year study, from 1943 to 1948, of the home economics program in twenty Minnesota high schools, a study which Mrs. Arny directed. The report discusses the strong and the weak points of the home economics program, shows the factors which seem to influence its effectiveness, and suggests ways in which the program may be improved. Appraisals were made by means of a wide variety of techniques and evaluations made at intervals during the study determined the extend of improvements made in the schools. A significant aspect of the study was an examination of the facilities and effectiveness of homemaking instruction in schools which received reimbursement from state and federal vocational funds. Data from these schools were compared with data from similar schools not receiving the subsidy. Recommendations - admittedly provocative and probably controversial - are based upon the results of the analyses of these data. This report should be stimulating and helpful to school administrators, home economics teachers and supervisors, government officials, and parent and civic groups who wish to improve homemaking education.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6119-0
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-2)
  3. CHAPTER I Purposes of the Study and Procedures Employed
    (pp. 3-21)

    The project which is described in this report was carried on between and 1948 under the direction of the author in twenty Minnesota schools. Home economics was used as the medium for the investigation, but the implications of the findings are not limited to home economics and should be of interest to educators in other fields.

    Those who were responsible for directing and financing the project believed that research which deals with educational problems can portray the situation that exists, bringing to light its strengths and its weaknesses, and can point the way to what needs to be done to...

  4. CHAPTER II The Participating Schools
    (pp. 22-48)

    Considerable information was collected regarding each of the participating schools, as explained in the preceding chapter. The following pages deal with the similarity of the reimbursed and the non-reimbursed departments, the representativeness of the sampling included in the investigation, the location and physical facilities of the home economics department and the school lunchroom, certain administrative and financial practices, the home economics enrollment, the rate of turnover of teachers, and the post-high-school education of the girls graduating from the schools.

    Table 3 shows that the two groups of schools were so closely matched with respect to seven factors, in addition to...

  5. CHAPTER III The Home Economics Teachers in the Participating Schools
    (pp. 49-74)

    Several types of information were collected regarding the home economics teachers who taught in the participating schools in addition to their undergraduate records, such as the number of years of teaching experience, the pattern of their interests, and the responsibilities they carried. The types of assistance offered to the teachers in these schools during the course of the project and evidence of the effectiveness of their teaching are also discussed in this chapter.

    Several types of analysis were made of the undergraduate records of the 48 home economics teachers who had been employed in the schools during the period of...

  6. CHAPTER IV The Curriculum and Methods of Instruction
    (pp. 75-85)

    Consistent efforts were made to determine what was taught at the different grade levels, the time devoted to the various aspects of home economics, and the instructional methods used in the participating schools.

    No definite efforts had been made before the last year of the project to improve the curriculum in these schools, that is, the content taught and its organization and grade placement. The director believed that it was more important to discover what was being taught and the methods employed and then to analyze the outcomes of such instruction than it was to recommend modifications. These would, in...

  7. CHAPTER V Characteristics of Girls in the Participating Schools and Their Environment
    (pp. 86-108)

    In addition to evaluating the achievement of the students, a number of different types of information were collected about them, their families, and the communities in which they lived.

    “Making provision for individual differences” is a phrase which rolls glibly from the lips of the modern educator, and all teachers recognize that there is considerable range in ability and achievement among students; but few of them realize how great the differences are.

    Try to visualize what it means to make adjustments for individual differences when the intellectual ability of the students in any ninthgrade class is likely to range from...

  8. CHAPTER VI Food Habits and Their Improvement
    (pp. 109-129)

    There has been widespread concern over the fact that practically all studies made in recent years have shown that large numbers of children in this country do not have good diets. This situation exists despite all the efforts that have been made to teach people what they should eat and to make food available, and despite the fact that the income level has been at an all-time high.

    How can diets be improved? The following proposals are frequently made:

    Spread the knowledge of nutrition by every possible means—school instruction, newspapers, radio, magazines, and books Raise income levels or provide...

  9. CHAPTER VII Homemaking Activities
    (pp. 130-149)

    Modern educators believe that what is taught within the school should be related to life activities and experiences of students and should result in changes in their behavior, thinking, and feeling. It is usually difficult to obtain evidence that such changes are taking place; but the research staff decided that one measure of the carry-over of homemaking instruction might be expressed in terms of the scope and degree of responsibility students assumed for various activities within their own homes. A check list was therefore developed on which students indicated how much responsibility they took for each of the activities listed...

  10. CHAPTER VIII The Achievements of Students
    (pp. 150-188)

    The achievement of both girls and boys was measured over a period of four years. Various types of tests and other forms of measurement were employed with students who had had from one to five years of instruction in home economics, and also with those who had none. The first section of this chapter is devoted to a discussion of the four measures of performance which were applied in the first year of the project and again after one or more years had elapsed. The second section is devoted to the tests of taste in house furnishing and of knowledge,...

  11. CHAPTER IX Content Learned at Different Grade Levels
    (pp. 189-198)

    For the past quarter of a century there has been considerable discussion of the grade levels at which the various aspects of home economics should be taught; but the wide differences in practice which exist today indicate that no general conclusions have been reached. Within the limited sampling of the twenty participating schools there were such variations as the following: in grade seven the percentage of time devoted to clothing ranged from 0 to 56 and that in personal and family relations and care of children from 0 to 30; in grade nine the percentage of time devoted to foods...

  12. CHAPTER X Evaluation of the Home Economics Program
    (pp. 199-209)

    The data collected during the first two years of the project seemed to indicate that there was little difference in the achievement of pupils in the home economics departments in Minnesota which were reimbursed from federal vocational funds and in those which did not receive this subsidy. Consequently, members of the staff of the Home Economics Education Service of the U.S. Office of Education proposed that a subproject be undertaken to “. . . determine significant characteristics which have a definite relation to an effective home economics program.”¹

    One of the research assistants, Sara E. Blackwell, was challenged by this...

  13. CHAPTER XI Apprasial of the Project
    (pp. 210-225)

    As the study drew to a close, the superintendents and teachers who had been in the participating schools for either of the last two years were asked to make a critical appraisal of the project. It had been decided at the final conference held on the university campus in October 1947 that these appraisal statements might well deal with three types of material:

    Improvements made in the schools during the course of the project

    which seemed to have been influenced by it

    The relative value of the different types of contacts provided

    Descriptions of significant incidents which had occurred or...

  14. CHAPTER XII Summary of the Project and the Findings
    (pp. 226-243)

    The research project was undertaken to locate the strengths and weaknesses in the home economics programs in a representative group of Minnesota high schools; to learn as much as possible about the factors which appeared to influence their effectiveness; and to discover ways in which the programs might be improved.

    The procedures used in collecting and analyzing the data are summarized and the significant findings described in the following pages.

    The twenty participating schools were selected from the area within a radius of about 100 air-line miles of St. Paul. As many as possible of those having home economics departments...

  15. CHAPTER XIII Generalizations with Supporting Evidence and Suggestions for Strengthening the Homemaking Program
    (pp. 244-292)

    The generalizations stated and the recommendations made in this final chapter of the report are based upon the findings of the five-year study of twenty Minnesota schools. They have been reinforced by reference to a few other studies in which the findings were particularly pertinent. The schools participating in the project were representative of the state in many ways, but no positive assurance can be offered that another sampling would have produced the same results. It is hoped that comparable investigations may be made elsewhere. Only then can one learn to what extent the findings of this study are typical...

  16. Appendix Exhibits
    (pp. 293-306)
    (pp. 309-311)
  18. INDEX
    (pp. 312-319)