Volume 48 - Number 2 - 2007 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2007.02066
The purpose of this study was to gauge the perceptions of North Carolina secondary agricultural educators regarding the benefits and barriers to diversity inclusion in North Carolina secondary agricultural education programs. Additionally, the perceived solutions to increasing diversity inclusion in North Carolina secondary agricultural education programs were also assessed. Respondents agreed that diversity inclusion benefits include the development of leadership and character skills for minorities and women, in addition to the development of critical thinking skills in students. North Carolina secondary agricultural teachers reported that the barriers to diversity inclusion included prejudicial issues, the perception of agriculture itself, stereotypes, and guidance counselors. Study participants indicated that having agricultural education stakeholders focus upon varying student learning styles, examining educational materials for diversity content, multicultural education, infusing diversity competencies in agricultural teacher education programs, and mentoring were strategies agreed upon for increasing diversity inclusion in agricultural education. Final recommendations for increasing diversity inclusion included utilizing diversified curriculum materials, establishing collaborative relationships with school officials such as guidance counselors, and preservice and inservice multicultural training.