Byrd, A.P., Anderson, R.G., Paulsen, T.H., & Schultz, M.J. (2015). Does the number of post-secondary agricultural mechanics courses completed affect teacher competence?. Journal of Agricultural Education. 56(1), 20-31. doi: 10.5032/jae.2015.01020
Preparing teachers to teach agricultural mechanics is a difficult task since many topic areas are included in the curriculum. This study examines the effect of the number of college courses taken on a teacher's perceived competence to teach agricultural mechanics. Agricultural education teachers in Iowa ranked themselves according to their perceived, individual competence in 54 skill areas associated with agricultural mechanics curricula. Respondents also indicated the number of agricultural mechanics courses they completed in their teacher preparation program. Teachers who completed one or no courses had low to slight perceived level of competence while teachers who took two or more courses identified a moderate level of perceived competence in agricultural mechanics. Teachers indicating six or more classes completed exhibited a high-perceived competence. A positive correlation was identified between courses completed and perceived competence as the more courses taken the higher the self-perceived competence level of the teacher. To develop the competence of pre-service agricultural education teacher candidates it is recommended to examine the current agricultural mechanics curricula in teacher preparation programs. It is further recommended that professional development be offered in areas identified by agricultural education teachers as having low perceived competence.