A study of the status of economics in grade XI as perceived by students and teachers in the Roman Catholic School Board District of St. John's

Doyle, Brendan J. (1978) A study of the status of economics in grade XI as perceived by students and teachers in the Roman Catholic School Board District of St. John's. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The dynamic nature of society today, particularly in the economic realm, has made it impossible to avoid economic considerations in making political decisions at the level of citizenship. The wisdom of our political decisions, then will largely depend on the level of economic literacy of citizens and most of our youth must rely on the high schools for the acquisition of basic economic understanding. -- The major purpose of this study was to investigate the status of Economics in Grade XI as perceived by students and teachers in the Roman Catholic School Board District of St. John's. While the study was limited to one aspect of economic education, the intent was to provide some basis upon which further research could be initiated. -- One thousand and twelve Grade XI students and twenty-four social studies teachers in five high schools received questionnaires that were devised by the researcher. Eight hundred and fifty-one students and twenty-three teachers completed the questionnaires (representing a 84.1 percent and 95.8 percent response respectively). Data from the completed questionnaires were tabulated and processed by the SPSS system of computer programming. Descriptive statistics were used and the results presented in tabular form. -- Analysis of the data concerning students and Economics revealed that, in spite of an apparent absence of much attention to economic education in the schools to date, the subject has been well received by students. Present scheduling and subject grouping practices for academic and general students in the schools serve to limit student enrolment in Economics, especially for the academically oriented students. However, the high level of interest in Economics relative to other subjects, as expressed by those students surveyed, lends support for an expanded program of economic education for all high school students. -- Analysis of the data concerning teachers and Economics clearly indicated that the pre-service level of preparation of social studies teachers for economic education is inadequate, a situation that is further aggravated by the absence of planned in-service activities designed specifically to assist in the teaching of economics. A very large proportion of the teachers surveyed indicated that Economics was not ideally suited for the non-academic student, yet student enrolment in the subject was found to be higher for these students than for academically oriented students. Also, nearly all of the teachers expressed support for the designation of Economics as a compulsory subject for all high school students at some point in their studies. -- The compiling of data for the whole Province similar to that reported in this study was suggested for further research. It was recommended that a comparison be made between students with Grade XI Economics and those without this course to determine if the subject should be prescribed for a greater number of students. Finally, it was recommended that further research be undertaken in the Province to: (1) test the level of economic understanding of all social studies teachers; (2) explore the possibility of offering separate Economics courses for teacher-trainees; (3) evaluate the number of economic concepts contained in social studies textbooks; and (4) identify effective in-service activities for teachers in the field of economic education.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7676
Item ID: 7676
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 123-127.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1978
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--St. John's
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Economics--Study and teaching (Secondary)--Newfoundland and Labrador

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