Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Perceived Efficacy of an Empowerment Model of Youth Development among Vermont Educational Leaders
by Woods, Barbara A., Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2006, 124; 10835733
Abstract (Summary)

Family and Consumer Sciences Education (FCSE) expresses a vision of emancipatory education through an empowerment model of human development, as reflected in the FCSE National Standards. Despite strong evidence supporting the need for such education, FCSE has been increasingly marginalized and experienced serious decline in public education.

Research demonstrates that the attitudes and perceptions of key stakeholders are central to the success of innovation or change. As such, the purpose of this study was to explore the attitudes and perceptions of educational leaders concerning the efficacy of FCSE National Standards to serve as an empowerment model for youth development in public education.

The target population was Vermont secondary school administrators (N = 312): principals and directors of curriculum, special education, and career-technical education. An online survey instrument was used to collect data on the FCSE National Standards with respect to: (1) Importance of all students having access to learning opportunities before graduating from high school; (2) Estimates of current student access; and, (3) Support for increased access for all students, as defined by education policy and funding. Internal consistency estimates were calculated at .96 using Cronbach's Coefficient Alpha. Frequencies, percentages, and median values revealed the majority of respondents indicating high levels of importance, minimal student access, and strong support for increased access. Kruskal-Wallis analysis showed no significant difference in responses among professional position subgroups, although the small size of samples may warrant further investigation with a larger population.

Review of the literature and findings of the study provide sound evidence for the FCSE National Standards to potentially serve as an empowerment model for youth development in public education. The areas identified as being of greatest importance were career education, interpersonal relations, and parenting education. Current student access showed the greatest deficit in the areas of consumer resource management and parenting education. Although some concerns were expressed regarding the many demands facing educators today, there remained strong consensus of support for increased access to instruction, particularly in the areas of employability skills, financial literacy, diversity, interpersonal relations, and parenting education.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sweetland, Scott
School: The Ohio State University
Department: Educational Policy and Leadership
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education Policy
Keywords: Education policy, Education standards, Family and consumer sciences education, Positive youth development, School change
Publication Number: 10835733
ISBN: 978-0-355-96714-2
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