The business experience of business teachers in the northern twenty-one counties of Illinois (excluding the city of Chicago)
Baumann, Merlin Herbert
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The problem of this study was to determine the extent and the value of the business experience of a selected group of business teachers in the northern twenty-one counties of Illinois (excluding the City of Chicago). The 1964-1965 Business and Distributive Education Annual Directory was consulted to obtain the names of business teachers employed in the senior high schools of those counties. A representative sample of 200 business teachers was selected from the 934 business teachers who taught in those schools. A questionnaire and letter of transmittal were sent to the 200 teachers. A total of 176 (88.0 per cent) of the questionnaires was returned. Two of these forms were not usable. Therefore, data from 174 questionnaires were reported in this study. The following findings are based on data reported in the study: 1. No high school required business experience of business teachers as a precondition for employment. 2. Only 10.3 per cent of the 126 schools represented by teachers in this study granted leaves of absence so that business teachers could obtain business experience. 3. Most of the teachers (89.7 per cent) secured business experience after graduating from high school. 4. The majority of teachers (61.5 per cent) obtained business experience within the last five years. 5. Approximately three fourths of the teachers secured business experience during summer months and vacation periods. 6. More than one half of the teachers obtained their business experience in clerical, stenographic, or sales positions. 7. More than one half of the teachers who had taught the following subjects believed that their business experience was of great value in teaching these subjects; Transcription, typewriting, shorthand, general business, clerical practice, secretarial practice, business communications, Business English, sales* and marketing. 8. More than three fourths of the teachers believed that their business experience enabled them; a. To do a more efficient job of teaching. b. To become better informed of the needs and requirements of business employees. c. To present more factual information about business. d. To provide more effective vocational guidance. 9. More than one half of the male teachers (60.2 per cent) believed that business experience should not be a requirement for the certification of beginning business teachers. Although 39 (44.3 per cent) of the female teachers favored the requirement, 38 (43.2 per cent) did not favor the requirement. Since neither figure represents a majority for the negative or the affirmative position, no definite conclusion can be drawn from the responses of the female teachers. The following conclusions are based on data reported in the study: 1. Business teachers should obtain business experience because such experience is an asset in teaching business subjects. 2. Business teachers should seek employment in several businesses and renew this experience periodically so that they may become acquainted with a variety of business procedures and business machines. 3. School administrators should grant leaves of absence so that business teachers can obtain business experience. 4. Although business experience is an asset in teaching business subjects, it should not be required for certification of beginning business teachers. The following recommendations are based on data reported in the study: 1. Studies should be conducted to determine the teaching effectiveness of business teachers before and after they have obtained business experience. 2. Studies should be conducted to determine whether or not business teachers would obtain business experience if schools granted leaves of absence for this purpose and provided extra compensation when the teachers secured such experience. 3. The business education departments of teacher-training institutions should conduct surveys to determine whether or not business teachers would enroll in cooperative education programs to obtain business experience.