The effects of curriculum integration on the academic achievement of secondary career and technical students

Patricia Anders Jones, Tennessee State University


Using a causal-comparative design, this quantitative study investigated whether or not the curriculum integration of academic subjects with career and technical education classes affected secondary students’ academic performance as assessed by scores on standardized tests. The purposive sample was drawn from students in Trade and Industry classes at the cooperating institution during the 2007-2012 school years. The experimental sample consisted of 58 students who had been in a career academy and the control group consisted of 58 students who were matched with the experimental group on gender, home school, and year of graduation. The independent variable was the students' enrollment in a career academy where academic and CTE teachers work together to integrate the curriculum. The dependent variables were the students' scores earned on the Tennessee English II and Algebra II End of Course exams, the TCAP 11th Grade Writing Assessment, and ACT reading, English, math, and composite scores. Also, the mean predicted ACT composite scores were compared to mean actual ACT composite scores. The students’ PLAN test scores were used as baseline data. Seven null hypotheses were tested at α = .05 using independent sample t-tests, and five null hypotheses were tested at α = .05 using Mann-Whitney U-tests. All 12 null hypotheses were retained; there were no significant differences in test scores of the experimental group compared to the control group. Recommendations for practice include continued professional development for teachers who are participating in academic integration, the consistent use of research-based strategies which have been shown to have a positive effect on integration, and that teachers should have sufficient time to collaborate on integrated lessons. Further research into the effect of the integration of academic and CTE curricula on students' ACT scores is recommended, as well as research to investigate the effects of extraneous variables such as gender and students with disabilities.

Subject Area

Pedagogy|Curriculum development|Vocational education

Recommended Citation

Patricia Anders Jones, "The effects of curriculum integration on the academic achievement of secondary career and technical students" (2012). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3552913.