Volume 42 - Number 1 - 2001 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2001.01011
Over the years agricultural education has not done an adequate job of effectively defining or describing its meaning and purpose. As with the broad agricultural industry, the view of agricultural education varies between and among groups, within and outside of the profession, and has evolved according to global, regional, and local pressures including those originating from political, societal, and technological changes (National Research Council, 1988). This qualitative study investigated the perceptions held by individuals involved in agricultural education or the broadly defined agricultural industry as to how agricultural education can be promoted as a viable alternative for the instruction of academic and workplace skills, reducing some of the image problems associated with vocational education. Results indicate that participants believe agricultural education should remain a community-based program, and should incorporate more science-based instruction, but there is much confusion as to how traditional program goals such as FFA and SAE can be met with these changes. The conclusions and recommendations focus on a set of questions developed to guide future research on these issues.