Twenter, J. P., & Edwards, M. C. (2017). Facilities in school-based agricultural education (SBAE): A historical inquiry. Journal of Agricultural Education, 58(3), 275-292. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2017.03275
Vocational education, including SBAE, reoriented as its role in U.S. public schools and society changed. However, the types of facilities in which to teach SBAE have remained somewhat consistent, even as the program’s curriculum became less dominated by a production agriculture orientation. We examined the historical evolution of learning spaces and related resources for teaching SBAE. Findings revealed the need for specialized facilities in SBAE was emphasized by several early 20th century education philosophers and elected officials. The work of these early supporters of vocational training coupled with significant national and international events contributed to enactment of key federal legislation, which provided impetus to states and local schools to fund learning spaces for SBAE. The spaces included classrooms, agricultural mechanics laboratories, greenhouses, land laboratories, and food processing centers as locations for students to learn, apply, and develop knowledge, attitudes, and skills. Going forward, we suggest a diverse stakeholder group examine the facility and equipment needs of SBAE as related to enhancing its ability to prepare students for career pathways and/or pursue postsecondary education aligned with entry into STEM-related occupations. We also recommend systematic efforts to forecast trends likely to presage the facility and equipment needs of SBAE in the future.