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ERIC Number: ED540560
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 144
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2672-1545-1
Secondary School Agriculture Teachers' Perceived Competence Level toward Educating Students with Educational Challenges
Bobbitt, Erica M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
The passage of Public Law 94-142 (the Education of All Handicapped Children Act) in 1975 established the rights of children with disabilities to a public school education in the least restrictive environment. Fifteen years later, it was amended and renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (PL 101-476, 1990), still intended to ensure that the educational needs of children with disabilities were being met and that students were receiving appropriate services. In 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) challenged state standards in reading and mathematics, requiring teacher reorientation and focus. This was followed by further modifications of IDEA in 2004 requiring more accountability at the state and local levels, and requiring school districts to provide adequate instruction and intervention for students. These legislations required secondary school agriculture teachers to become competent in regard to educating students with educational challenges. There were three objectives for this study. The first was to compare the perceived competencies in the professional roles and development, instructional roles, knowledge, and student leadership and organization skills of secondary school agriculture teachers in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to determine if 16 precise competencies clustered mathematically as specific latent constructs. The second objective was to determine if a difference existed in the perceived competency levels of these roles and skills between secondary school agriculture teachers who received coursework in special education and those who did not receive coursework. The third objective was to determine if a difference existed in the perceived competency levels of these roles and skills between secondary school agriculture teachers who participated in special education workshops and those who did not. A census of secondary school agriculture teachers from the Directory of Agricultural Education 2010-2011 for each state was used. The design of the study was descriptive. The data collection instrument was divided into the five areas: professional role and development, instructional role, knowledge, leadership and organization, and personal characteristics. Participants were asked to rate their perceived levels of competency in each category using a Likert-type scale. In all, 597 questionnaires were sent by e-mail to secondary school agriculture teachers in Pennsylvania and in North Carolina. A total of 218 teachers responded to the questionnaire, 112 from Pennsylvania and 106 from North Carolina. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine relationships between nominal variables. Analysis of the data showed that no significant difference existed in the perceived competency levels of teachers who received special education coursework and those who did not. The data do suggest, however, a significant difference in perception among teachers who attended special education workshops and those who did not. Significant differences were also noted in relation to the factors of age and years of teaching; these were significant for factor 5 (self-advocacy) and factor 6 (skills and abilities). There were also significant differences apparent in the familiarity with laws applying to students with disabilities, to economically disadvantaged students, and to academically challenged students. Moreover, there were significant differences in participant responses to completing IEPs for those students. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina; Pennsylvania
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Education for All Handicapped Children Act; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001