ERIC Number: ED198050
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jan-30
Reference Count: 0
Competency Testing for Teachers: A Case Study in Economic Education.
Diem, Richard A.
This paper explores problems inherent in requiring elementary and secondary school social studies teachers to teach economics and be tested with regard to their knowledge of economics without requiring any academic preparation in economic education. Information is based on test scores of 34 elementary and secondary school Texas social studies teachers who participated in a 1980 nationally administered Test of Economic Literacy (TEL). Although all teachers in the sample had taken inservice training in economics education in 1979-1980, only 59% of the group had taken formal academic course work in economics. The TEL consisted of 46 questions covering seven broad categories of economics--basic economic problems, economic systems, microeconomics, macroeconomics, the world economy, economic institutions, and concepts for evaluating economic actions and policies. Findings from an analysis of test results indicated that the sample of Texas teachers ranked in the upper 50th percentile when compared to national norms, the mean scores for teachers without economics course work were lower than those for teachers who had economics preparation, high school teachers performed better than junior high and elementary school teachers, and preparation in economics was a more important indicator of test scores than were any other factors relating to teacher background or characteristics. The conclusion is that because teachers tend to know more about a subject in which they have received academic training, state legislatures should provide teacher preparedness in a field before they mandate subjects of study in the elementary and secondary curriculum. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Test of Economic Literacy; Texas
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Southwest Education Research Association (Dallas, TX, January 30, 1981).