Perceptions of agricultural educators regarding the role of agricultural mechanization in the secondary agricultural education curriculum

Rosencrans, Carlos
Major Professor
Robert A. Martin
Committee Member
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Agricultural Education and Studies

The purpose of the study was to determine the perceptions of agricultural educators regarding the role of agricultural mechanization in the agricultural education curriculum in secondary schools throughout the Central Region of the United States. The study sought to draw implications to teacher education programs to provide direction for enrichment of the curriculum;The study was conducted using the descriptive survey method. A questionnaire consisting of three parts was mailed to a stratified random sample of high school agricultural teachers located in the 12 state area. There were a total of 2,465 programs, which resulted in a sample size of 335 for this study. Demographic information analyzed included age, years of experience, and enrollment size of their programs;The instructors were asked to identify areas of instruction they taught in agricultural mechanics and to indicate the extent to which they would consider expansion of instruction in these areas given the needed in-service education and instructional materials. Instructors were also asked to respond to ten questions dealing with their perceptions of the role of agricultural mechanization within agricultural education;Statistical procedures used to analyze data included were frequencies, means, standard deviations, and t-tests. Written comments from respondents indicated that agricultural mechanization remains a viable component of the Agricultural Education curriculum. The importance stemmed from the "hands-on" experiences involving physical skills, critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills;The major findings of this study indicate that teachers are following a traditional agricultural mechanics program; some new areas of instruction in agricultural mechanics are being added to the curriculum; there are a number of challenges to teaching agricultural mechanics; and that agricultural mechanics is an important instructional component of the curriculum in agricultural education. Based on this information a curriculum model was designed;Recommendations were to continue to include agricultural mechanization instruction as part of the secondary agricultural education curriculum, with revisions reflected in the Curriculum Model for Agricultural Technology Education. Also, in-service education should be provided for teachers in agriculture to expand instruction in selected areas of agricultural mechanization.