Perceptions and activities of agriculture education teachers in US institutions of higher education regarding internationalization of the agricultural education curriculum
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As the perceived distances from country to country and from continent to continent continue to diminish, the responsibility of U.S. institutions of higher education to prepare students for life in the future takes on added dimensions. The question is whether an ever-growing number of our agricultural education graduates are educated to a more thorough understanding of the international forces that are shaping their careers and their world;The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions held by agricultural education teachers in U.S. institutions of higher education regarding internationalization of the agricultural education curriculum;Two hundred and sixty questionnaires were mailed to agricultural educators in 81 U.S. institutions of higher education. Two hundred and five or 81.1% were returned;An instrument comprising the perceptions of agricultural education teachers regarding internationalization of the agricultural education curriculum, activities conducted to add international perspective to the agricultural education curriculum, and factors which agricultural education teachers feel are critical to adding international perspective to the agricultural education curriculum was used to collect data for this study;Respondents considered a respect for and a knowledge of the global community as important components of a college curriculum. A genuine commitment by the Dean of the College of Agriculture, availability of funding, and faculty willingness to change were among the factors considered most critical to adding international perspectives to the agricultural education curriculum. Encouraging class discussions about other peoples' points of view, and providing examples from diverse cultures were the most used activities to adding international perspectives to the agricultural education curriculum;Respondents who had traveled to foreign countries had more favorable perceptions for curriculum internationalization than those who had not. Respondents who had spent a longer time in foreign countries favored curriculum internationalization than those who had spent a shorter time. Significant differences were found between respondents' perceptions and the activities used to internationalize agricultural education curriculum;Although respondents had favorable perceptions for curriculum internationalization, very little had been done to infuse international content into the agricultural education curriculum.