McKibben, J. D., Giliberti, M., Clemons, C. A., Holler, K., & Linder, J. R. (2022). My ag teacher never made me go to the shop! Pre-service teacher’s perceived self-efficacy in mechanics skills change through experience. Journal of Agricultural Education, 63(3), 283-296.


The purpose of this study was to determine students’ perceived confidence in mechanics skills increases through exploration and enlargement of the college education experience. This paper describes the relationship between West Virginia University first-semester agricultural education pre-service teachers’ perception of their confidence in specific woodworking skills and who the student considered to be their primary instructor of woodworking-based skills, (university faculty, schoolteachers, family/friends, the student themselves) as they entered the teacher preparation program. Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy and social learning was adopted as the theoretical framework for this study. This study utilized a quantitative non-experimental survey research design. Quantitative methods and correlational analysis were employed to provide clarity. The homogeneous nature of the population provided no demographic variables of significance. The results of data analysis found that all participating students (n = 11) reported a higher level of self-confidence in selected woodworking skills after a sixteen-week-long course of agricultural mechanics education. Results of the Spearman’s (rs) correlation indicated that a highly significant relationship existed between students’ perception of self-confidence in woodworking (wood testing, identifying, measuring) and who the students perceived to be their primary teachers of woodworking as they finished the semester. No significant correlations existed at the beginning of the semester. By learning more about agricultural education students’ perception of learned woodworking skills, stakeholders will be better equipped to make up-to-date programming pronouncements about the long-term assessment of agricultural mechanics courses, and their relevance to the agricultural education curriculum.

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