Volume 49 - Number 3 - 2008 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2008.03056

 

Abstract:

Agricultural education has been criticized for publishing research lacking many of the rigorous qualities found in publications of other disciplines. A few agricultural education researchers have suggested strategies for improving the rigor with which agricultural education studies report on methods and findings. The purpose of this study was to determine whether studies in agricultural education have followed the methodological suggestions proposed by these select researchers. Every study published in the Journal of Agricultural Education between 2000 and 2006 (N = 244) was examined using content analysis techniques. Specifically, quantitative, inferential studies were assessed with regard to the conveyance of practical significance, the stating of research hypotheses, and explicitly acknowledging how statistical assumptions were addressed and confirmed. Of the 88 inferential studies published in the Journal since 2000, 52% did not convey the practical significance of their research findings and 74% did not explicitly state research hypotheses. Nearly 80% did not acknowledge how the assumptions associated with statistical tests used were addressed and confirmed. Studies that conveyed practical significance, stated hypotheses, and addressed statistical assumptions are cited as examples to follow. Perhaps an increase in pages allotted to each article would provide authors with adequate space to report such items.

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