School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Marsha Coker


family and consumer sciences, home economics, gatekeeper theory, school administrators, principals, attitudes, perceptions, school counselors


Curriculum and Instruction | Education


The purpose of this quantitative study was to identify which factors may predict the perception of family and consumer sciences curriculum (FCS) programs by administrators and school counselors. The study was centered around Kurt Lewin’s Gatekeeper theory, in which an individual or group acts as a gate through which information passes. Principals and school counselors were chosen as the sample for this study because of their role as gatekeepers in a school, deciding which programs are offered and which information is conveyed to students. A Likert-scale survey was sent to all Virginia public high school principals and school counselors. Data analysis followed a predictive correlational design, utilizing a multiple regression statistical analysis. There were four predictor variables, region of Virginia, gender, total years of experience, and knowledge of FCS content as measured by the Value of FACS in Public schools Survey; with a criterion variable of perception of FCS. Knowledge of FCS content was the only predictor variable that can predict both an administrators’ and school counselors’ perception of FCS. A multiple regression was used for statistical analysis. The linear combination of the four predictor variables indicated there was a significant relationship related to an administrator’s and a counselor’s perception of FCS. Overall results from the survey indicated both administrators and counselors have a generally positive perception of FCS. Recommendations for future research included replication in Virginia due to the low number of responses for a more accurate picture. It is also recommended to add district level staff, including but not limited to: CTE coordinators and directors, director/superintendent of student learning, etc. Decisions made by stakeholders in these positions also act as gatekeepers in an indirect way to FCS programs compared to administrators and school counselors.