PublicationsBusiness Education Forum

 

Business Education Forum Highlights
April 2004, Volume 58, Number 4

FORUM FEATURE
Windows on the World: How Specialty High Schools and Programs Apply Learning in Real-World Contexts - "The education reform movement has inspired changes in how curriculum is delivered, including reinventing what schools—particularly high schools—"look like." Among the "new faces" are specialty high schools, career academies, and specialty programs that are housed within traditional high school settings (see sidebar, "Trends: The Changing Face of Schools"). This article profiles three examples of the variety of ways curriculum can be delivered and still meet standards. All have one thing in common—smaller learning communities that use the world as their classroom."

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
InfraRed: A Store at the Head of Its Class - "InfraRed, run by students with teacher Sue Schleicher acting as owner, is consistently profitable, with a sales volume in the top 4% of school-based enterprise projects (DECA, 1999). In fact, says Kenosha vendor Rick Hansen, "That little store makes more money than some of my Subway stores do. The kids have a level of professionalism [far beyond what] any other high school student would have." Other vendors interviewed for this story seconded Hansen’s opinion, and given the opportunity, would hire an InfraRed employee in a nanosecond."

NABTE REVIEW, Spring Edition
Business Students' Perceptions of Job Interview Etiquette - "Because of the importance of first impressions, smart job seekers realize that securing employment in today’s competitive market will depend not only on their educational credentials and job skills, but also on their social skills. Being knowledgeable about job interview etiquette can often distinguish one applicant from a large pool of applicants and can increase the person’s chances of getting the position. Recent events in the workplace have affected job seekers. Specifically, the trend toward more casual dress has caused confusion. Job seekers wonder whether it is appropriate to dress casually for the interview when interviewing at a company where casual dress is the norm every day (Hayes, 1999). The increased use of technology has also raised questions. For example, is it proper etiquette to e-mail the letter of appreciation following the interview?"

Differences by Gender in Perceptions of Learned Report Writing Skills: Results from a Cross-Sectional Study - "Researchers report a need to better understand gender differences and to change existing gender notions (Taylor, 2002; Visser, 2002). Numerous longitudinal studies have been done that focused on gender differences (Ai, 2002; Leahey & Guo, 2001). In addition, researchers have investigated male and female differences in perceptions at various student levels (Tench, 2001; Young, 2001). However, studies comparing perceptions by gender of report writing skills at the college level and tracking changes in perceptions over time are limited. Although the importance for students to possess report writing skills is evident, what is not evident is whether males and females differ in their perceptions of report writing skills and if those perceptions change over time."

 

CURRICULUM FORUM

Accounting
Integrating Writing into the Accounting Curriculum: Practical Exercises - "As a discipline-specific course, accounting presents a challenge for educators who would infuse more writing into the course content (Stocks, Stoddard, & Waters, 1992), but research indicates that continual writing practice improves students’ skills. As a result, accounting educators are being encouraged to include more writing assignments in the curriculum (Smith, Nelson, & Moncada, 1998)."

Administration and Supervision
Teacher Mentoring...An Added Dimension - "A 1995 survey of 201 beginning teachers by Gayle Wilkinson at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, found that the required mentor teacher in the local district frequently did not satisfy the teachers’ preferences for help. Instead, Wilkinson found that "the mentoring programs were designed around what administrators thought would be helpful for new teachers" (Wilkinson, 1995). The Missouri Business Education Associ- ation’s (MBEA) informal mentoring program was faltering due to lack of volunteers, no structured program guidelines, no ongoing monitoring, and difficulty matching new teachers with mentors."

Basic Business
Enhancing Financial Literacy: Integrating Math into the Secondary Basic Business Curriculum - "Personal financial knowledge has always been important, but considering the fluctuating nature of American business, that knowledge is becoming more critical than ever. Lifelong employment with its accompanying pension plan is no longer the workplace norm. Many employers are dropping company-sponsored retirement programs in favor of employee-managed 401(k)s or similar plans. This means that responsibility for managing retirement plans will be placed with employees (Glenn, 2001). Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill echoed that fact when he said that financial literacy is more important than ever because workers are having to make their own investment decisions, especially where pension plans are concerned (Crutsinger, 2002). Adding to the task is the fact that "The financial world has become increasingly complex, as the explosion of choices requires people to look more critically at their options before making decisions" (Aversa, 2003, 1E)."

Communication
For and About Text Messaging - "While AT&T Wireless’ promotion of text messaging on the American Idol show propelled it into the public’s imagination as a communication tool, this "new" technology is not all that new. Japanese and European teenagers have been using it for several years, and in a previous century Nobel prizewinner Guglielmo Marconi, known best as the father of radio, is credited with sending the first text message on August 8, 1898. He sent his message from out at sea to Queen Victoria on the grounds of the Osborne House, seeking permission to hold a cricket match between two ships’ officers. She replied favorably (Weightman, 2003). But while wireless text messaging has been around a long time, the use of it as a business tool is new."

International Business
Internationalizing the Business Curriculum: Goals and Approaches - "Arpan’s (1993) framework for internationalizing the business education curriculum can assist business educators who want to develop their students’ (and their own) understanding of international business knowledge and practices. This practical, multi-layered framework promotes the need to first identify the goals of the internationalized curriculum (e.g., awareness, understanding, and competency) and, second, to develop the strategies of infusion, inclusion, or specialized courses for meeting the goals. Using Arpen’s framework, business educators can incorporate international business fundamentals, including cultural appreciation, into the existing business education curriculum. By first understanding the goals and approaches for internationalizing the curriculum, and then by considering these goals from the student’s perspective, business educators will be better prepared to take the needed steps towards building a successful globalized curriculum."

Marketing
Advancing Student Achievement in Marketing Through Contextual Learning - "Contextual learning is also far more than students using worksheets. Instead, students are put into contexts in which the information is being used. As is often the case in marketing education, they experience marketing in school and in community-based projects. However, for the experiences to be contextual, they need to be challenging and meaningful. For example, for the cooperative education phase of the program, the students would collaborate with marketing managers on the development of marketing plans, rather than just cashiering. In school, the students would develop a business plan for a school-based enterprise, rather than just selling supplies in a school store."

Methods
Rubrics: Roadmaps to Success - "This article is concerned with a critical part of the academic journey—evaluation—and the use of rubrics as scoring tools. Rubrics, when well designed, are useful roadmaps, guiding students on the journey to quality performance. Students can take many routes to the finish; rubrics help students select the most efficient path."

Technology
Teaching Technology Appropriate Use Issues - "Workers readily admit to using the Internet while at work for personal enjoyment and to conduct personal business. They realize that doing so uses company resources including bandwidth, time, and technology, but workers often do not consider the abuse serious. The findings of a survey conducted by Websense indicate the majority of US workers spend 10 to 60 minutes each work day online for personal reasons. Spending over an hour each day was reported by 24% of the workers (Wilde, 2002). Organizations are taking more aggressive action to prevent misuse. A common tactic is to install monitoring software to track workers’ Internet and e-mail usage. Blocking software is used to prevent employees from using instant messaging services or visiting certain Internet sites such as gaming or dating services. When inappropriate use is detected, the employee may be disciplined or fired. The purpose of this article is to provide business educators with an overview of Internet misuse issues and suggestions for ways to incorporate technology responsible use issues into class activities."