In-Service Agricultural Mechanics Needs of Montana Mid-Career Agricultural Educators

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American Association for Agricultural Education


Agricultural mechanics—a pillar of many secondary agricultural education programs—is a dynamic, constantly changing field, requiring educators to continually evolve their programs to maintain relevance. This study explored the in-service agricultural mechanics needs of Montana mid-career agricultural educators. We used mean weighted discrepancy scores and descriptive measures to analyze demographics and perceived levels of importance and competency to teach agricultural mechanics content areas. The areas of highest perceived importance of teaching were welding safety, mechanical safety, and construction and shop safety. The areas that educators felt least competent to teach were differential leveling, profile leveling, and cleaning motors. Mean weight discrepancy scores revealed the greatest discrepancies between importance and competence to teach in the areas of electrical safety, computer aided design, and differential leveling. Agricultural educator associations and industry experts should collaborate with advisory groups, local businesses, and organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce to determine the relevance of low-ranking content areas and create professional development opportunities for educators in these areas.



agricultural mechanics, mid-career educators, in-service needs, skill competency, skill importance, relevancy


Toft, J., Perry, D., & Falk, J. (2021). In-Service agricultural mechanics needs of Montana mid-career agricultural educators. Journal of Agricultural Education, 62(1), 114-130.
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