Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date



Statement of Problem. The purpose of this study was two fold: (1) to analyze those competencies needed for selling which should be included in a distributive education curriculum and (2) to ascertain what relationships may exist between the perceptions of the student-learners, employers, and distributive education teacher-coordinators in regard to the instructional content which is believed necessary to be taught in distributive education programs.

Procedure. Q-sort decks containing 75 competencies of Knowledges and Understandings, Skills, and Attitudes which are needed in sales-related occupations were sorted by distributive education teacher-coordinators, student-learners, and employers into the following categories: (1) Quite Impor­tant, (2) Somewhat Important, (3) Neutral, (4) Somewhat Unimpor­tant, and (5) Quite Unimportant. The scores obtained from the participants’ reactions were statistically analyzed using Spearman's rank order correlation coefficient to determine the agreement between paired groups and the t test was used to ascertain the significance of the correlations. As a measure of overall agreement among the three groups of respondents, Kendall’s coefficient of concordance was computed and the chi-square formula was used to test for significance.

Results. The data collected for this investigation enabled the researcher to rank in descending order the competencies within the categories of Knowledges and Under­standings, Skills, and Attitudes. When disagreement existed among the three groups concerning the importance of compe­tencies, the preference of the employers was used in deter­mining the new priority so that the recommended curriculum content might be correlated with the needs of the jobs.

The relationships among the perceptions of the respondents were statistically significant at the .05 level which was established as acceptable for this study. Kendall's coefficient of concordance for Knowledges and Understandings, Skills, and Attitudes were .73, .69, and .70, respectively, indicating a moderately strong agreement among the respondents. When the Spearman's rank order coefficients were obtained for paired groups, there was stronger agreement between the student-learners and employers and student-learners and distributive education teacher-coordinators than between the teacher-coordinators and the employers on each of the three categories of competencies.

The Knowledges and Understandings which were ranked highest were those which pertained to: (1) making change, (2) friendly service, (3) product information, (4) store procedures, and (5) operating a cash register. Skill compe­tencies which were ranked highest included: (1) courtesy to customers, (2) determining correct change and following company sales procedures, (3) service to customers according to management desires, (4) use of tact in dealing with customers, and (5) coordinating merchandise in related sales. The Attitude competencies which received the highest rankings were the following: (1) giving the best service to customers, (2) keeping promises made to customers, (3) possessing a high interest in the merchandise or service being sold, (4) being enthusiastic toward merchandise when making a sale, and (5) overcoming objections.

Conclusions and Recommendations. A discrepancy existed between the perceptions of the distributive education teacher-coordinators and the employers as to the priorities of competencies needed in selling. All of the competencies in the research instrument should be included in the dis­tributive education program; however, since some of the competencies are more important than others, each should be introduced in the curriculum according to its position of priority in the new rank order. It is recommended that each of the 75 competencies be included, according to priority, in one of the following distributive education instructional units which pertain to selling: (1) The Cash Register, (2) Customer Relations, (3) Salesmanship Techniques, (4) Store Management Procedures, and (5) Merchandise Display Fundamentals. The competencies which are recommended for each unit have been listed in priorities one, two, and three as to the degree of importance for inclusion in the distribu­tive education curriculum.

Document Type




Degree Name

Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

William Barton Runge

Second Committee Member

Alvin Wendell Howard

Third Committee Member

Bonner Milton Crawford