Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Dr. James R. Sanders
Dr. Robert A. Ristau
Dr. Uldis Smidchens
The status of economic education in Michigan elementary schools was examined to describe the level of programs in districts of differing state equalized valuation per state aid member (SEV), size, or stratifications by geographic region and community type. In addition, constraints and needs for curriculum development were identified and the status of economic education in Michigan elementary schools was compared to standards set by the Michigan Economic Education Council. A 15-item questionnaire was used to survey a random stratified sample of 178 principals to provide information regarding program configuration, concepts, materials, leadership, and constraints of implementation. Ninety-eight usable returns were received for a 55% response rate.
Findings revealed that nine school districts have economic education programs.
Respondents in most Michigan school districts, regardless of SEV, size, or geographic and community type, have at least a limited interest in providing economic education programs at the elementary level. Lack of instructional time, finances, and in-service training were cited as the primary constraints inhibiting economic education programs.
The most effective means of improving economic education were indicated by respondents as (a) staff development, (b) total integrated K-5 economic education curriculum, (c) free resource materials, (d) summer workshops for administrators, (e) State Department of Education mandated guidelines, and (f) college and university courses for teachers and administrators.
Respondents indicated that teachers and principals have been the driving forces for implementing economic education programs. Responsibility for curriculum development is shared among teachers, committees, and principals. However, responsibility for program coordination appears to rest with whomever in the district is available or generally responsible for coordination. Services from the Developmental Economic Education Program, Michigan Economic Education Council, Joint Council on Economic Education, and Michigan Council on Social Studies were generally received by responding school districts with SEVs greater than $74,000 per student. Schools surveyed with SEVs less than \$73,900 per state aid member report receiving no services from the above organizations during the past 5 years.
Social studies in Grades 3, 4, and 5 is the area of the curriculum into which economic education is most consistently infused by respondents.
Johnson, Barbara C., "A Status Study of Economic Education in Michigan Elementary Schools" (1990). Dissertations. 2060.