Title

A Comparison of Alabama Citizens' and Career Technical Education Teachers' Perceptions of Career and Technical Education In Alabama Schools

Date of Award

2005

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

First Advisor

Wanda Maulding

Advisor Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Abstract

This research was designed to determine the difference in the perceptions of career and technical education between citizens and teachers of career and technical education in Alabama. The researcher based the need for this research on the fact that very limited current published data are available regarding perceptions of career and technical education in Alabama, the need to create a prepared workforce in Alabama through career and technical education, and to help justify funding for career tech programs across the state by increasing participation in programs as a result of positive perceived value. A survey instrument entitled Citizens' Opinions about Career/Technical Education in Alabama was produced by Southern Opinion Research in 2004. In a telephone survey, this instrument investigated the perceptions of career and technical education from 500 registered voters in Alabama. This instrument and study were commissioned by the Alabama State Department of Education. The researcher received permission to use these data and compare the results of the 500 citizen respondents to 272 teacher respondents. The 272 teacher participants were voluntary participants in attendance at the summer conference for career and technical education teachers in Birmingham, Alabama, in July 2005. Perceptions were defined by 10 questions. Additionally, citizens and teachers were asked to provide demographic information regarding their education, income levels, and residence type. The data available from this study may provide the State Department of Education in Alabama with information to make decisions to change career and technical education's image in Alabama. The data from this study were provided to the state of Alabama Department of Education to assist with the assessment process to determine the effectiveness of career and technical education in the state of Alabama and in developing future communications plans for the state. The researcher hopes that by sharing the findings of this study with the state department of education, perceptions of career and technical education will be changed and participation in career tech programs will increase and have a positive impact on the workforce in the state of Alabama.