Volume 36 - Number 2 - 1995 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.1995.02054

 

Abstract:

The literature shows that a student's decision to enroll in agricultural education programs is affected by intrapersonal factors including interests, attitudes, and value systems, as well as perceptions of course content, pedagogical strategies, and career potential. Sociocultural factors, including gender and ethnicity, have also been shown to affect student attitudes, beliefs, and enrollment in agricultural courses is needed to facilitate recruitment and inform guidance counseling and curriculum development. Reasons tenth grade students use to enroll in agricultural courses were examined in twelve (12) geographically distributed pilot high schools in New York State participating in an Agricultural Technology Program. Students rated their agreement with twenty two (22) potential reasons for studying agriculture on a Likert type scale ranging from 1 = Strongly Disagree to 5 = Strongly Agree. Comparisons were made by gender and ethnicity. This study showed that student's reasons for enrolling in agricultural courses could be categorized in five conceptual domains including preparatory for job and higher education, developmental skills, academic enhancement, response to social pressure, and participation in activity centered learning. Few gender or ethnic differences were identified. Implications of results on curriculum development , guidance counseling, and recruitment in agricultural education and Tech Prep programs were discussed.

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