Saucier, R. P., Vincent, S. K., & Anderson, R. G. (2014). Laboratory Safety Needs of Kentucky School-Based Agricultural Mechanics Teachers. Journal of Agricultural Education, 55(2), 184-200. doi: 10.5032/jae.2014.02184


Abstract:

The frequency and severity of accidents that occur in the agricultural mechanics laboratory can be reduced when these facilities are managed by educators who are competent in the area of laboratory safety and facility management (McKim & Saucier, 2011). To ensure teachers are technically competent and prepared to manage an agricultural mechanics laboratory, teacher educators and state supervisory staff must provide a comprehensive pre-service education and professional development opportunities in the area of agricultural mechanics that improve teacher retention, program continuity, and ensure a future supply of fully qualified and highly motivated teachers (Osborne, 2007; Saucier, Terry, & Schumacher, 2009). In this study, data were collected with a web-based questionnaire designed to determine Kentucky agriculture teachers' perceptions of the importance of 14 agricultural mechanics laboratory safety competencies and their self-assessed ability to perform those competencies. The Borich (1980) Needs Assessment Model was used to assess these teachers' needs. Researchers found subjects were in need of continuing education in the area of laboratory safety. To improve teachers competence, educators should receive professional development through technical workshops, winter and summer conferences, and via webinars (Barrick, Ladewig, & Hedges, 1983; Birkenholz & Harbstreit, 1987; McKim & Saucier, 2011; Saucier, et al., 2009).

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