NOTES FROM THE EDITOR

The Journal of Career and Technical Education (JCTE) can be obtained in both paper and electronic form. This Fall 2001 issue (18-1) marks the 35th issue of JCTE in print and the 13th issue currently on-line. The printed journal is mailed to members and other subscribers around the world and is indexed in ERIC. The electronic journal is available worldwide on the Internet and can be accessed at the following case sensitive URL:

IN THIS ISSUE

The JCTE includes articles on a variety of topics in career and technical education. This issue provides readers with articles emphasizing results of quantitative and qualitative research.

M. Craig Edwards and Gary E. Briers share results of a study designed to determine selected characteristics of entry-phase agriculture teachers. Teachers responded to eight items describing personal, professional, and situational characteristics and to 51 items assessing their perceived competence. Results indicate that the entry-phase agriculture teachers in this study have a stronger commitment to remain in the profession beyond the first three years, with over half of the participants reporting that they expect to make agriculture teaching a career. Readers will learn how the authors examined selected characteristics for relationships and determined which characteristics explain teachers' expectations of teaching longevity.

Ali Yildirim and Hasan Simsek offer results from a qualitative study that assessed the effectiveness and efficiency of the curriculum development process in selected secondary vocational high schools in Turkey. Participants included administrators, school-industry coordinators, teachers, students, and managers and workers in selected companies. The authors assessed the current status of the vocational curriculum in the schools studied, as well as examined the schools' needs assessment activities and curriculum development efforts. For the readers, this study identifies reasons why some vocational schools do not perform needs assessments and obstacles to the curriculum development process. Encouraging results from some schools where curriculum development efforts do take place are also highlighted.

Through her study, Wanda L. Stitt-Gohdes sought to determine the preferred learning styles of a selected group of high school business education students. The Canfield Learning Styles Inventory was administered to 212 business education students at eight high schools in a large southeastern state. The author concludes that students in this study prefer personalized learning where the instructor is well acquainted with the whole student, the student is actively involved with others, and the student is participating in the learning activities. The author provides readers with suggestions useful to all teachers, including secondary business education teachers. One suggestion is that teachers need to determine their instructional preferences and their students' learning preferences.

The article written by Jay Paredes Scribner, Allen D. Truell, Douglas R. Hager, and Sothana Srichai presents findings from a study that employed an ex-post facto design to assess the level of empowerment among career and technical education teachers in a midwestern state. This study also sought to determine if differences existed in the level of empowerment based on selected career and technical education teacher and school characteristics. Selected characteristics included teaching area, school location, gender, and level of education. According to the authors, readers will glean from this study evidence as to the degree to which career and technical education teachers feel empowered and the ways in which educational leaders such as superintendents and principals can foster empowerment in these teachers.

The article written by J. Robert Owen and Aaron C. Clark presents findings from a causal- comparative study that analyzed the concept of cooperative education as it relates to preparing students for the workplace. Community college graduates from an engineering/technical graphics program that used cooperative education in its curriculum were compared with graduates from a comparable engineering/technical graphics program that was not involved with cooperative education. According to the authors, this inquiry revealed that in one particular community college setting, cooperative education has thus far not statistically substantiated an ability to enhance employee sense of power for initially-employed engineering/technical graphics graduates.

The article written by Melody W. Alexander, James E. Bartlett, Allen D. Truell , and Karen Ouwenga used a quasi-experimental design to examine the equivalence of online and paper and pencil testing methods as related to student performance in a computer technology course. Test score and completion time were the dependent variables used to assess students' performance. Findings showed that test scores were equivalent in both groups; however, time to complete the test was significantly different between the groups. According to the authors, from the score and time analysis, it is evident that online testing is more efficient for students in relationship to time. However, online testing was not shown to correlate with test score, as did the traditional testing method.

The article written by Andew A. Rezin and N. L. McCaslin presents findings from a correlational study designed to compare the industry success of graduates from both traditional campus-based programs and cooperative apprenticeship programs 3 years after graduation. The objective was to identify learning gains that justified the continued investment in these programs, expansion of this model within automotive programs, and consideration of this model in other college programs. The results indicated that cooperative apprenticeship program participants had higher related employment rates, annual income, career advancement, and satisfaction with industry preparedness than graduates of traditional campus-based programs. The authors conclude that the impact of the apprenticeship model in producing better-prepared workers sends an important message to private sector employers of graduates.

C. Gloria Heberley's qualitiative case study design employed findings from an earlier study of traditional preservice teacher education to develop a research framework for examining an alternative inservice teacher education program. The effectiveness of the research framework as a tool to extract information on particular program aspects was validated. Five concepts identified in the earlier study formed the basis for the five research questions employed in this study. Interestingly, themes emerged that collectively suggest a possible sixth concept, identified by this author as "generative" leadership. The author suggests that the concept of leadership that is planned from the outset to be multidirectional, transcending a hierarchy in all directions, can offer much to the educational and business communities and to society in general.

The Editor
Myra N. Womble
November, 2001

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ISSN: 1531-4952