Volume 44 - Number 2 - 2003 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2003.02061
The purpose of this study was to examine the degree to which agricultural education research has adhered to a structured approach over the past decade. Specifically, the study sought to determine the types of research conducted in agricultural education, the extent to which researchers used conceptual and theoretical frameworks, the extent to which conclusions addressed conceptual and/or theoretical frameworks, and to assess how the formation and use of conceptual and theoretical frameworks had changed over the past decade. The researchers evaluated all research articles published in the Journal of Agricultural Education from 1990 through 1999. Findings revealed that the majority of the research conducted in agricultural education over the past decade has been quantitative, applied survey research. Only 29% of the articles reviewed cited an appropriate theoretical framework. However, over 87% cited an appropriate and clear conceptual framework. It was found that researchers cited a limited number of references in establishing conceptual and theoretical frameworks, and often failed to relate their findings back to those frameworks. Selection and use of theoretical frameworks improved over the decade, although the number of studies with appropriate frameworks was still considered low. Articles accepted to the journal exhibited less well-developed conceptual frameworks as the decade progressed.