Understanding agriculture new directions for education
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Understanding Agriculture: New Directions for Education. AGED 3203. Factoids. 1917 - 1/3 of population lived on a farm 1986 - 2.2 million lived on farms < 5% of high school students enroll in ag ed 75% of Ag Ed students are in FFA Over half of all ag teachers teach alone

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Factoids

  • 1917 - 1/3 of population lived on a farm

  • 1986 - 2.2 million lived on farms

  • < 5% of high school students enroll in ag ed

  • 75% of Ag Ed students are in FFA

  • Over half of all ag teachers teach alone

  • 35% of all programs are in 13 southern states

  • Ag Ed attracts few minorities

  • Enrollment peaked in 70’s


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Factoids

  • 85% of all black farmers live in south

  • Female enrollment varies from school to school.

  • Many rural school districts to not offer ag ed.


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Selected Sections

  • Some teachers are unduly driven by a desire to help students excel in production-oriented programs and place less emphasis on classroom instruction.

  • In some communities the high school program is known as the FFA program and the teacher as the FFA teacher.

  • The principal focus of class time is on preparing students to compete in traditional, production oriented FFA contests.


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Selected Sections

  • Program content has failed to keep up w/ modern agriculture, the program is much like it was when the Voc Ed Act of 1963 was passed.

  • 1986 - 41% of ag ed programs were characterized as production.

  • Current programs that have changed little, prepare students for a rather limited and generally shrinking part of the job market .


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Selected Sections

  • Good programs attract a cross section of the student body.

  • Ag Ed programs are costly, but not the most expensive.

  • Because the FFA influences Ag Ed so greatly, some changes within the FFA is needed. The curriculum should drive the youth organization, not the reverse.


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Selected Sections

  • High quality programs = extensive contact between teacher and student and a diversity of rewarding SAE opportunities.

  • Good programs are expensive, poor programs tend to cost nearly as much or more on a per student basis.

  • Some communities continue to support weak programs because of long standing commitments.


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Selected Sections

  • Many successful ag ed programs have dropped the word “vocational”.

  • High quality SAEs=involved teachers, planned experiences, adequate resources, and student placement.

  • The emphasis of SAE should be on learning with an appreciation for earning.


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Recommendations

  • Major revisions are needed within vo-ag.

  •  The quality of vocational agriculture programs must be enhanced, in some cases substantially.

  •  Establish specialized magnet high schools for the agricultural sciences in major urban and suburban areas.

  • Teachers should seek out and share high-quality computer software and instructional methods.


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Recommendations

  • As a goal, all students enrolled in agricultural education programs should participate in worthwhile SAEs.

  •  The FFA should change its name and revise its symbols, rituals, contests, awards, and requirements for membership to reflect a more contemporary image of agriculture.


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Recommendations

  • Teachers should seek out and share high-quality computer software and instructional methods.

  •  As a goal, all students enrolled in agricultural education programs should participate in worthwhile SAEs.

  •  Each program needs an active advisory council.


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Recommendations

  • A broad range of SAEs should be encouraged.

  • Summer SAEs should be encouraged.

  • Encourage students to enroll who will not take 4 years of ag ed.