Science Education

Published by Wiley

Online ISSN: 1098-237X


Print ISSN: 0036-8326


Teacher knowledge and use of population education materials: Report from national surveys
  • Article

October 1978


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Patricia J. O'brien


Susan Gustavus Philliber


Carl A. Huether
PIP The purpose of this paper is the examination of use and awareness of population education materials among 2 national samples of population education teachers. A 1974 sample included 593 teachers taken from 3 sources: participants in workshops, institutes, and training programs in population education between 1971-73; subscribers to the Population Reference Bureau publication, "Interchange," and population educators named by principals in a random sample of 1000 secondary schools. A 1976 survey sampled from lists of secondary school teachers maintained by the National Science Teachers Association, stratified to reflect national proportions of teachers of general science, environmental and earth science, social studies, and biology. Both surveys used mail questionnaires, with response rates of 47 and 46% resepctively. Educators were asked about their use and awareness of 20 population education materials (2 bogus materials were also included to check for overstatement). Data were also gathered form publishers of the materials to assess the availability and dissemination strategies of these materials. The inescapable conclusion is that, with few exceptions, these materials are finding little use in U.S. secondary school classrooms. The majority of the actual materials were reportedly used less than the bogus materials. Some evidence was found that suggest that training of teachers in population education increases to some degree the utilization of the materials. If dissemination of population materials is to be successful, materials have to be provided to larger numbers of teachers and instruction must be given on how best to utilize them within already established curricula.

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August 2006


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