Attitudes and perceptions of selected educators, administrators and legislators toward agriculture

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Schumacher, Leon
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Agricultural Education and Studies

The Department of Agricultural Education and Studies was formed in 1989 as a result of the merger of the Department of Agricultural Education with the Department of Agricultural Studies. Its focus includes two these fields: agricultural education leading to teacher-certification or outreach communication; and agricultural studies leading to production agriculture or other agricultural industries.

The Department of Agricultural Education and Studies was formed in 1989 from the merger of the Department of Agricultural Education and the Department of Agricultural Studies.

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The purpose of the investigation was to determine the attitudes and perceptions of selected Iowa educators, administrators and legislators. Specific objectives were to determine: (1) their perceptions toward agriculture, (2) their attitudes toward agriculture, (3) the demographic factors associated with their attitudes and perceptions expressed toward agriculture, and (4) differences between their attitudes and perceptions expressed when grouped by associated demographic characteristics;A survey instrument was mailed to teachers, school board presidents, school administrators, and state legislators. Simple random sampling and stratified random sampling were employed for the investigation;Cronbach's alpha was calculated for the scaled items of the survey instrument and for the ten perception factors and six attitude factors identified through factor analysis;Respondents were most knowledgeable about the usage of agricultural chemicals and agricultural mechanization in Iowa. The respondents were observed to be less knowledgeable about agriculture as a way of life, current agricultural economic conditions and new agricultural technology. The only factor that the legislator group appeared more knowledgeable of was agricultural economic conditions;It was observed that the industry of agriculture was more important to the respondents than the other attitude factors and that if the respondent's perception of an issue was higher, the respondent placed less importance on the corresponding issue;The researcher concluded that: (1) several events in the respondents' lifetime influenced their perception and attitude toward agriculture; (2) respondents with past agricultural involvement, being raised or having lived in a region of the state more directly involved with agriculture, were more knowledgeable about agriculture; (3) respondents closest to agriculture were knowledgeable about agriculture and placed more importance on agriculture; and (4) legislators were least knowledgeable and placed less importance on agriculture than any of the other respondent groups.

Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1987