Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural Education and Studies

First Advisor

Alan A. Kahler


The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived importance of teaching critical thinking in vocational agriculture students in the United States. The specific objectives identified for investigation were to: (1) determine the importance of emphasizing critical thinking skills in vocational agriculture students; (2) identify teaching methods that encourage students to think analytically, objectively, and critically; (3) identify techniques used in evaluating students in vocational agriculture programs; and (4) determine the relationship between descriptive information about the respondents and the emphasis being placed on critical skills development in vocational agriculture students;A questionnaire was mailed to 750 vocational agriculture teachers. A proportionate random sample was employed for the investigation. Respondents were asked to evaluate critical thinking concepts in the teaching, learning, and achievement assessment process that they employ in their instructional programs;Cronbach's alpha was calculated for the scaled items of the survey instrument and for the factors identified through factor analysis;Vocational agriculture instructors indicated that the most important factors among the student learning activities studied were: learning to make decisions, solving problems, recognizing relevant information, expressing problems clearly and concisely, and interpreting factual information;The achievement assessment activities that had the highest mean scores were: giving written examinations, completing statements, matching terms and concepts, discerning between right and wrong statements, and announcing quizzes;The highest mean scores among activities in the teaching-process activities were: the teacher being a facilitator or guide to learning, learning activities be provided to promote creative thinking, methods of teaching be varied, an atmosphere be created that is conducive for making decisions, and students define terms appropriate to agricultural education;Findings from this study suggested that teaching strategies be revamped to emphasize the development of knowledge, skill, and analytical thinking in vocational agriculture students.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Connie Marie Ware



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

110 pages