Volume 47 - Number 2 - 2006 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2006.02093
Approximately 19% of the students enrolled in agricultural education in New Mexico are classified as special education students. The purpose of this descriptive-correlational study was to describe the challenges experienced by agricultural education teachers in New Mexico when including special needs students in their programs. A census of New Mexico secondary school agricultural education teachers received a mail questionnaire during spring and summer 2003. Most programs in the state offered instruction in a combination classroom and shop/laboratory format (85%) and a classroom-only (59%) format. Among disabilities/special needs, students with mental retardation and limited English proficiency were the most challenging to include in courses with the classroom-only format. In the laboratory/shop-only format, students with mental retardation, physical disabilities and emotional/behavioral disorders were most challenging. Mentally retarded students were the most challenging in the combination format. Older teachers and teachers on a regular schedule had lower perceptions of the degree of challenge in including students with special needs than younger teachers and teachers on a block schedule.