The state of agricultural mechanics in the preparation of school-based agricultural education teachers
Keywords:agricultural mechanics, school based agricultural education, teacher preparation
Agricultural mechanics is a primary subject area in school-based agricultural education (SBAE). Despite a high prevalence in SBAE, preservice and in-service SBAE teachers have frequently expressed concerns regarding teaching agricultural mechanics. Early 21st century research documented the characteristics of preservice SBAE teacher training in agricultural mechanics, although more recent studies have suggested that the agricultural mechanics training requirements have changed. This study sought to compare the agricultural mechanics preparation of preservice SBAE teachers between 2000 and 2021. A survey instrument was distributed to a representative of every institution with an undergraduate SBAE teacher preparation program in the contiguous United States, resulting in an 86.7% response rate. The results were compared to previous studies from 2000 and 2005. A reduction in the average number of required agricultural mechanics credit hours was found. Faculty perceptions of importance and preservice teacher preparation had increased slightly; however, deficits were found in all competency groups. Further research is warranted to determine the perceptions of preservice and in-service SBAE teachers regarding agricultural mechanics. Recommendations include that teacher educators evaluate current preparation methods for preservice SBAE teachers and provide professional development in the areas where the greatest training deficits were observed.