Article Research Problem to be Solved
This study aims to identify the internal and external factors that influence the inclusion of STEM education in curriculums for higher education fashion merchandizing courses.
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Article Research Goals
Fashion merchandizing requires both style and business strategy. It requires one to handle a wide variety of customers while staying within the set budget and marketing strategy.
For a successful career in fashion merchandizing, one needs proper education in both fashion and marketing. The input of business knowledge will be required when it comes to forecasting, cost analysis and so on. The fashion aspect is concerned with the design and production of the actual garments.
Fashion merchandizing classes usually begin with general education courses in mathematics, science, English, and social studies. There are also basic courses in the fashion industry like advertising, buying and selling, and personnel management.
In a typical fashion merchandizing class, students use various software applications to design patterns and garment specifications, and come up with mass production details. Fashion merchandizing students need to posses the necessary STEM skills and the capability to analyze new trends. The following research questions are to be addressed:
- What internal factors influence the inclusion of STEM education in fashion merchandizing courses?
- What external factors influence the inclusion of STEM education in fashion merchandizing courses?
- Which particular STEM education skills are necessary for fashion merchandizing courses?
Type of Research
This was a descriptive research on internal and external influences on program level curriculum development in higher education fashion merchandizing programs.
Limitations of the Study
The major limitation of the study was the small sample used since only institutions in the United States participated. It was also assumed that the faculties participating in the study would all give accurate responses.
Data was collected from 96 faculties offering apparel and textile programs from all over the United States.
Instruments and methods of data collection
The researcher used electronic means to invite the chosen faculties to participate in the study. The survey instruments used were questionnaires that were sent through email to the relevant faculties. The respondents were then expected to load and send the filled questionnaires through the same means.
Conclusions Drawn by the Researcher
The data revealed that internal influences had more impact on curriculum development than external influences. The main internal influences included faculty background and program mission, while the major external influence was employers/marketplace.
The study revealed that the goals and objectives outlined by external influences usually impact on the curriculum through state and federal laws, the funding of programs and in the requirements for accreditation and licensing.
Significance of the Study
This study emphasized the importance of including a STEM educational background in fashion merchandizing courses. Institutions that provide fashion merchandizing as a career course ought to adequately prepare their students for the fashion marketplace by putting special emphasis on STEM related educational skills. This should be reflected in their faculty disciplines and program missions that are usually determined internally.
The recommendations of this research support my study in many ways. First of all it recognizes the importance of STEM education in the teaching of fashion merchandizing courses.
It also recognizes that many institutions providing fashion merchandizing and related courses don’t put a lot of emphasis on STEM education, and there is need to change that. Lastly, it is calling on all stakeholders to work towards the inclusion of STEM education in fashion merchandizing and related courses in order to better prepare the students for the fashion world.
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King, J. E. (2010). Internal and External Influences on Program-Level Curriculum Development in Higher Education Fashion Merchandising Programs. East Eisenhower Parkway: ProQuest LLC