Blackburn, J.J., Robinson, J.S., & Field, H. (2015). Preservice agriculture teachers' perceived level of readiness in an agricultural mechanics course. Journal of Agricultural Education. 56(1), 172-187. doi: 10.5032/jae.2015.01172
This longitudinal trend study sought to compare the perceptions of preservice agricultural education teachers, enrolled in a Metals and Welding course at a land grant university, on their welding related skills at the beginning of the semester to their final course grade at the end of the semester. Preservice agriculture teachers (N = 240) who completed the course between the Fall 2006 and Spring 2012 semesters served as the population for the study. Although the course is designed, specifically, to facilitate learning in metal fabrication, not one preservice teacher in any semester perceived an excellent ability in performing the welding related skills. However, skills related to shielded metal arc welding and gas metal arc welding were rated higher than those related to gas tungsten arc welding or oxyacetylene welding. The course instructor should be made aware of this discrepancy and encourage students to seek additional experiences in metals and welding. Further, the course instructor should continue to collect these data at the beginning and end of the course to determine the impact these changes have on students' ability to perform and teach the skills as future instructors. Similar studies should be conducted in other areas of agricultural mechanics, such as small gasoline engines, plumbing, and agricultural structures.