Research and Reports
Vocational Programs Gain in Popularity, but Financing Lags
Student enrollment in vocational-education programs increased by 96.4 percent from 1972 to 1979, while total expenditures for vocational education during the same period rose by only 51 percent, according to a comprehensive report prepared by the National Center for Education Statistics. (See related story on page 10.)
The 257-page report, The Condition of Vocational Education, notes that in 1978, 19.6 million students were enrolled in schools that offered vocational programs.
"Federal support in constant dollars actually decreased as a share of the total," the report says. Federal grants rose from $466 million in 1972 to $658 million in 1979, a 14.3-percent decline after inflation. U.S. funds provided 17.5 percent of total costs in 1972 and only 9.9 percent in 1979.
At the same time, states and school districts dramatically increased spending on vocational programs, according to Mary A. Golladay, author of the report. State and local expenditures nearly tripled, from $2.19 billion in 1972 to $5.99 billion in 1979--a 65.9-percent increase in constant dollars.
Copies of the report are available for $7 from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 20402. The catalog number is 065-000-00115-2.
Teachers to Release Anti-Klan Manual
A 72-page anti-Ku Klux Klan manual will be released on Sept. 26 by the Connecticut Education Association.
Violence, the Ku Klux Klan and the Struggle for Equality is designed to give teachers information about the Klan's history and its doctrines of "racism" and "white supremacy." It also contains advice on teaching about the Klan.
According to Robbins Barstow of the teachers' group, the manual was developed in response to teacher requests for information about the Klan following a Klan cross-burning and rally in Connecticut last year.
A 15-member cea task force on the Ku Klux Klan, in cooperation with the Council on Interracial Books for Children and the National Education Association, prepared the manual.
The Connecticut association will distribute free copies to every school, library, and university in the state and will sell them nationwide, Mr. Barstow said. And nea will distribute copies and conduct workshops on the material at affiliates' request.
Individual copies may be purchased for $4.95, postpaid, from the Council on Interracial Books for Children, 1841 Broadway, New York, N.Y., 10023.
Young Adults Leery of Scientific 'Gains'
The post-Sputnik boom in science education had a positive and lasting effect on the students of the time, according to a preliminary analysis of survey data by the National Science Foundation. A national survey of more than 1,600 people found that those between the ages of 25 and 44 are more favorably disposed toward science and technology than are other age groups.
But young adults aged 18 to 24--who started school in the middle-to-late 1960's--were far more suspicious of science and technology than the older generation. They were the least likely of all age groups to agree with the statement that "Scientific discoveries make life healthier, easier, and more comfortable"--a sentiment with which 81 percent of the total sample agreed.
The survey will be published later this year in the foundation's annual Science Indicators report.
Children of Divorce Need Special Help
Even a "friendly" divorce can lead to profound emotional conflict in children, which may linger for years and may manifest itself both physical and emotional symptoms.
Dr. Michael S. Jellinek, writing in the September 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, cautions that a growing number of children need skilled help in resolving those conflicts. Professionals who work with children should be alert for the symptoms, he advises.
"If divorce ends conflict between parents, a child may have fewer problems once it happens," Dr. Jellinek writes. "But if divorce does not end the bitterness, the ongoing discord drains the family's emotional resources and leaves the child feeling guilty, angry, and alone."
The number of children who face such conflicts is growing daily: Between June, 1979, and June, 1980, 1.2 million divorces occured, adding 1.2 million children to the 17 million who already were living in single-parent homes.
Elementary-school teachers are far more prone to report job-related stress than are secondary-school teachers, according to researchers at Southeastern Louisana University.
Professors John J. Gorrell and Thomas Lipscomb said they were surprised that their study, which was presented at the American Psychological Association convention in Los Angeles recently, showed such high levels of tension among elementary-school teachers.
Approximately 200 elementary-school, secondary-school, and student teachers from a small town in Louisiana were asked to report how much stress they feel with regard to five areas of responsibility: discipline and classroom management; student progress; personal relationships with students; institutional demands; and facilities and supplies.
The elementary-school teachers reported significantly higher levels of stress in four areas and slightly more stress with regard to pupil progress.
Professor Gorrell said one possible reason for the difference is that elementary instructors tend to be "person-centered" and to take classroom incidents personally. Elementary-school teachers consistently reported that they do not have enough time away from their students, he noted.
Copies of the report can be obtained from Professor Gorrell or Professor Lipscomb at Southeastern Louisiana University, Box 443, Hammond, La., 70402.
Vol. 01, Issue 02, Page 3