An investigation of the meaning of work to high-school students in pre-vocational, industrial arts, home economics and academic programs in selected Newfoundland schools

Webb, Neville (1980) An investigation of the meaning of work to high-school students in pre-vocational, industrial arts, home economics and academic programs in selected Newfoundland schools. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Purpose of the Study -- The purposes of this study were: (1) to determine the extent to which pre-vocational programs provided high school students with perceptions of the meaning of work and (2) to investigate variations in the meaning of work according to the variables of sex, grade level, and exposure to either a pre-vocational or an industrial arts - home economics, or an academic curriculum environment. -- Procedure -- Pre-vocational data were drawn from a total of 280 subjects enrolled in the grades nine through eleven levels in Holy Spirit School, Manuels, Queen Elizabeth Regional High School, Foxtrap and Laval High School, Placentia. These subjects attended pre-vocational programs at either district vocational school Conception Bay South or Placentia. -- Grade eight baseline data were provided by 131 subjects drawn from Holy Spirit School, Manuels, Foxtrap Junior High School, St. Peter's Elementary School, Jerseyside and Most Holy Rosary Elementary School, Freshwater. -- Comparative industrial arts - home economics populations comprised 218 subjects drawn from grade eight through eleven in Partanna Academy - John Burke Regional High School, Grand Bank and Central High School, Marystown. -- Control academic populations comprised 140 subjects drawn from grades nine through eleven in Central High School, Mount Carmel and Enright Memorial School, Salmonier. -- The Neff Work Sort (NWS) was administered to all subjects. The Q-sort comprised sixty statements about work. Each subject was required to sort a set of sixty statement cards in a forced choice distribution, (scale 1-9), from most characteristic to least characteristic. Test re-test reliability of the NWS was determined as 0.86. -- Kendall's coefficient of concordance, Kendall's tau and the Pearson correlation coefficient were used to determine the measures of agreement between the rankings of the NWS items and average cell scores. Tests on the null hypotheses were made at the 0.05 level of significance. -- Results and Conclusions -- Results of the study indicated that no significant difference existed between samples on the meanings attached to work according to NWS items on the variables of sex, grade level and curriculum environment. -- Descriptive data showed that work was most characteristically perceived in terms of satisfaction with an almost equal focus on "self" and "others", associated with the needs of self-esteem, esteem for others and creativity. -- Within the limitations of this study it was concluded that: 1. A common perception of work was held by males and females. 2. Perceptions about work appear to be formed early in life and may remain constant over the grade levels examined. 3. Adolescents may perceive work in idealistic terms. 4. Whatever advantages may accrue to students as a consequence of exposure to the pre-vocational curriculum environment these advantages were not differentiated by the NWS.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7595
Item ID: 7595
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 153-162.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1980
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Work; Career education

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