Co-operative education and the development of self-esteem, an internal locus of control and work habits
Wettlaufer, Helen E. B.
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This study compared approximately 50 grade 12 students studying In th~ co-operative education mode with approximately 50 grade 12 students studying in a traditional English course. Measures of self-esteem, locus of control and work habits were compared before and at the conclusion of one semester's involvement in the different programs. Using Coopersmith's Self-Esteem Inventory, the students who had chosen to study in the co-operative education mode scored significantly higher than the students in the traditional course. At the end of the semester, the co-operative education students' scores remained significantly higher than the English students'. Although the test showed no sjgnifi~ant changes in self-esteem. anecdotal reports indicated that co-operative education students had increased self-esteem over the semester. No significant differences in locus of control were observed between the two groups at any time. Significant differences in work habits were observed. While both groups had the same number of absences and the same marks before taking these courses, students who were involved in co-operative education had significantly fewer absences and significantly higher marks than the students studying in the traditional course. Anecdotal reports also indicated an improv~ment in work habits for students who had been involved in co-operative education. Recommendations of the study are for further research to determine more exactly how self-esteem and work habits develop in co-operative education students. Also. students. parents, teachers. and administrators need to be made aware of the success of this program.