Kagay, R.B., Marx, A.A., and Simonsen, J.C. (2015). Student self-perceptions of leadership in two Missouri FFA chapters: A collective case study. Journal of Agricultural Education, 56(2), 76-92. doi: 10.5032/jae.2015.02076



The focus of this study is the self-perceptions of leadership engagement of FFA members in two FFA chapters in Missouri. This multiple case study used documentation of student self-perceptions, researcher observations, and focus groups. The two cases included 24 high school students comprised of FFA officers and members, who provided their perspectives on leadership. Six major themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) personal abilities and motivation as influencing student leaders; (b) barriers to leadership as perceived by officers and members; (c) support from others as influencing student leadership; (d) officers' perceiving that members are apathetic; (e) leadership as enhancing personal and professional development; and (f) perceived gender differences in leadership style. It is recommended that FFA advisors discuss diverse leadership styles and motivational factors with students. In turn, leading to the potential development of leadership skills and awareness by all students in a FFA chapter. The content of leadership education for adolescents also may need broadening to emphasize content beyond study of traits. Recommendations for student success include additional research into best practices of leadership development of all students and the ability to assist students in addressing identified barriers.

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