A study to determine the need and use of business mathematics in vocational education in small Montana high schools
Fisher, Gerald George
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The purpose of this study was to determine the use and need of business mathematics in vocational education in small Montana high schools. The population included all 96 small high schools in Montana. A questionnaire was used as a survey of the principals and vocational education teachers to determine the use and need of business mathematics; The data was analyzed on a percentage basis of those responses returned. The percentage was determined by the number of respondents to each question, since every question was not answered by every school. The conclusions of the study were: (I) Business mathematics is available in most small Montana high schools with class size being small thus aiding in the learning process. (2) Students in all grade levels are allowed to enroll in business mathematics making it easily accessible for all students to take the course at some time in their high school education. (3) The vocational instructors have a reasonable amount of teaching experience thus aiding in the well-rounded and complete education of the student. (4) The following areas of study in business mathematics all received a total average emphasis ranking above 3.95, thus indicating a strong need and use of these areas in vocational education: basic operations, fractions, decimals, percents, personal money records, borrowing, saving and investing money, taxes, buying problems, and home expenses. (5) The following areas of study in business mathematics all received a total average emphasis ranking below 3.85, thus indicating less time and emphasis should be placed on these areas in preparing students for vocational education: the metric system, wages and commissions, business problems, selling problems and transportation problems. The recommendations of the researcher were: (1) Business mathematics should be taught by the business education teacher in order to provide a vocational background to the areas of study, (2) Class size should be kept small, preferably under 20, so as to promote more open discussions involving various areas of business mathematics and applications of them to the student 's vocational interests. (3) The business mathematics course should be taken by all juniors and seniors so as to provide a sound foundation for their careers in the business world. (4) The business mathematics instructor should place an extremely strong emphasis on the basic operations. for these are the basis" on "all other areas of study involving mathematics and business. (5) The business mathematics instructor should place a strong amount of emphasis on the areas of fractions. decimals and percents. These concepts are used in all aspects of the business world and therefore should be thoroughly understood by all students entering into a career. (6) The areas of personal money records, borrowing, saving and investing money. taxes, buying problems and home expenses should receive a reasonable amount of emphasis in the business mathematics course. These areas are used by the consumers, which is everyone, and therefore a knowledge of them is vital for the success of our economy. (7) Receiving emphasis of a lesser degree should be the areas of the metric system. wages and commission, business problems, selling problems, and transportation problems. Even though these are as are of importance, they are not as crucial to one's success and survival as the above-mentioned areas receiving more emphasis. (8) There is definitely a need and use for business mathematics in vocation education and its content should be promoted and used to the utmost.