A Comparison of Cooperative Education and Traditional Instrumental Models in Career Technical Health Care Programs Geared Toward Women
Carol Elaine Johnston
California State University, Sacramento
Statement of the Problem
The educational demands of the health care field include a strong academic foundation, high technical skills, and intra-team communication abilities. The skill level and knowledge of the future health care workforce is critical for the delivery of quality health care. Research reports that 75% to 90% of all trained health care workers in this country are women. Our educational system must develop health care programs for women that will afford them the greatest opportunity for successful careers.
This study will help provide health career educators with the information helpful when designing curriculum and implementing quality instructional programs that meet the needs of adult women entering the health care field. The insights regarding female participants’ perception of effective institutional concepts, (cooperative instructional setting or traditional instructional model) as well as health care professionals perception of those concepts on the participants was studied.
Sources of Data
Two Regional Occupational Program (ROP) health care courses training adult and high school students (primarily women) in the field of dental assisting were selected for this study. Each of the 39 subjects were tested for course content knowledge and surveyed to determine their classroom work style. In addition, a written student survey, ascertaining the students’ perception of her learning experience and preparedness of the inter-ship experience was administered. A final survey of the subjects training site-supervisor was conducted, focusing on whether material learned cooperatively or traditionally was more transferable between classroom training and the work site. The data was reviewed for patterns within each program and for corresponding patterns across programs. Themes were identified across programs, and across instructional settings.
Results of this study indicated that the cooperative instructional model provides female students the opportunity to develop social and problem solving skills as they relate to skill specific tasks necessary in the health care environment. Given the research results of this study as well as numerous others, there is ample evidence that the cooperative instructional model offers female students the greatest opportunity for successful careers in the health care field.