Title

Perception of the Future Need for Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers in North Dakota's Public Schools

Date of Award

8-1-2006

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

Abstract

Family and consumer sciences (FACS) school programs provide some of the earliest opportunities for students to leam relationship, communications, teamwork, and decision-making skills that support and strengthen family life and to make healthy lifestyle choices that have a positive impact on all of society. Unfortunately, research data document a shortage of FACS teachers across the nation. Without an increasing supply of teachers, many programs may be weakened and some may be eliminated.

The purpose of this study is to identify the future need for FACS teachers in the North Dakota public schools. A secondary purpose is to identify the reasons why FACS middle and secondary programs are closing and what North Dakota could do to stop this trend. A survey was sent to 185 FACS teachers in North Dakota public schools and to 147 of their principals. Completion and return rates for FACS teachers were 157 surveys (85%) and the principals were 77 surveys (52%).

Frequency distribution and percentages was computed on the teachers’ and principals’ personal and teaching or administrative data, career plans, and their beliefs about the future of FACS as a teaching profession. Total means were computed for the sections using the five-point Likert-type scales for each time period (next year, five years, and ten years) and for both the teachers’ and principals’ surveys. A t-test was used to determine if there was a significant difference between the FACS teachers’ verses the principals’ beliefs about the future of FACS as a teaching profession.

The FACS teacher crisis will happen in the next five years and steadily continue for ten years. Retirements will decrease the supply, thus not meeting the need of middle and secondary programs. North Dakota State University FACS education graduates will not keep up with the retirements. The reason why FACS middle and secondary programs are closing is because of the lack of qualified teachers. The solution: Encouraging 7-8th graders to acquire additional life and occupational skills from high school FACS classes and to pursue a FACS teaching career by updating the curriculum and image of both the FACS teacher and the program.

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