Perceptions Of Texas Agricultural Education Teachers Regarding Diversity Inclusion In Secondary Agricultural Education Programs
Lavergne, Douglas D.
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While our schools across the United States evidently are witnessing an influx of students from diverse backgrounds, the need to address the issue of diversity among public school teachers is critical for inclusive and equitable schools. The purpose of this study was to explore and analyze Texas secondary agricultural education teachers' attitudes toward diversity inclusion in Texas secondary agricultural education programs. Using a web-based questionnaire, the researcher employed a nonproportional stratified random sampling technique, and 232 secondary agricultural education teachers participated in the study. Descriptive statistics were used for reporting the demographic and personal characteristics of respondents. Mean scores were used to assess teachers' perceptions of the benefits of diversity inclusion, perceptions of the barriers of diversity inclusion, and perceptions of proposed solutions to increase diversity inclusion in Texas secondary agricultural education programs. The sample consisted of 170 males and 45 females. The ethnic distribution of the sample was 90.5% White/European American, 6.2% Hispanic/Latino American, 1.9% Native American, 0.9% African American, and 0.5% Asian American. Respondents agreed that secondary agricultural education programs can benefit students of color and students with disabilities. Respondents also agreed that some of the barriers that prevent diversity inclusion in agricultural education include the lack of information about agricultural education, negative parental attitudes about agricultural education, and not being accepted by peers. Respondents indicated that the following is needed for all students to achieve in school: (a) educators, parents, and policymakers must develop strategies to address the different learning styles of all students; (b) agricultural educators should encourage and strive to increase students? of color membership in FFA; (c) teachers should become familiar with students of color represented in their classrooms in order to promote an atmosphere of acceptance and cooperation; and (d) agricultural educators should increase recruitment efforts to promote diversity inclusion must occur. The study also indicated that statistically significant differences in means scores existed based upon certain personal characteristics in regards to the Benefits, Barriers, and Solutions scales.