Date of Award
Master of Science
Agricultural Education and Studies
Robert A. Martin
Literature suggests that the integration of science and technology knowledge is necessary for the agricultural industry to succeed. Many science and technology advances have changed agriculture significantly. Therefore, teaching science and technology assumes importance for the success of agricultural education. There are many nonformal and formal agricultural education institutions in the United States with the high school agricultural education being the most common one for youth development.
The purpose of this study was to determine the level of importance of selected science and technology topics as perceived by high school agricultural educators in Iowa when integrating these topics into their instructional programs and to identify teachers' needs for professional development in these topics.
Data were collected from high school agricultural teachers in Iowa by using an expert panel-reviewed and reliability-tested electronic questionnaire. Two hundred and twenty teachers served as the target population for this census study. The findings were based on 69 usable questionnaires out of the 71 that were returned.
It was found that a typical Iowa high school agricultural teacher was a middle-aged man with substantial years of work experience in a variety of discipline areas and held a bachelor's degree. Teachers perceived most of the selected science and technology topics to be important and were in need of inservice education on a majority of these topics. It was further found that the perceptions of high school agricultural teachers toward the selected science topics have changed during the past twenty years. Equipment, funding, and curriculum resources availability were cited as the main limitations when integrating science and technology topics into their instructional programs. One-way ANOVA analysis and Cramer's V indicated that demographics including the years of work, the highest degree held, owning or operating a farm and involvement in organizations influenced high school agricultural teachers' attitudes toward some topics and barriers.
Ultimately, the findings from this study brought greater understanding of the current situation of Iowa high school agricultural teachers' perceptions and needs toward the integration of science and technology into their curricula. Agricultural education professionals can benefit from addressing the results and the recommendations of this study in order to improve the integrated agricultural science curriculum in Iowa.
Feng, Shaohong, "Importance of selected science and technology topics in the instructional programs to Iowa high school agricultural educators" (2012). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 12581.