Volume 41 - Number 4 - 2000 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2000.04015
The purpose of this study was to analyze the status of agricultural awareness efforts in elementary grades (K through 6) in a selected seven county area in east central Iowa. The two objectives of this study were: (I) To identify elementary school teachers ' perceptions regarding the agricultural industry, the integration of agriculture into the elementary curriculum and the need for agricultural awareness; and (2) to identify selected agricultural activities being used in elementary school instruction. This study was conducted using a mailed questionnaire that measured teachers' perceptions. Agriculturally related activities were identified to indicate the extent to which these activities were conducted in elementary classrooms. Demographic information was also collected. Elementary teachers had positive perceptions about the agricultural industry, the need for agricultural awareness, and the integration of agriculture into the elementary curriculum. Elementary teachers use numerous agricultural awareness activities in their instruction. Over 80 per cent of the elementary teachers in this study were using agricultural activities to enrich the curriculum. Most of these activities focused on the study of animals, plants, food, nutrition, environment, wildlife and insects. Fifty percent of the respondents reported teaching in an urban or metropolitan community. Teachers reported that agriculture can be taught as a part of nearly all subject areas. The results of this study support Fishbein & Azjen's (1975) attitude theory that positive beliefs and attitudes lead to specific intentions and behaviors.