Date of this Version
The study was conducted to determine agricultural mechanics units of instruction that should be included and the extent to which they should be included in the Nebraska high school vocational agriculture curriculum in the 1990's as perceived by three respondent groups. The respondent groups included 36 vocational agriculture instructors, 36 farm operators and 36 managers of mechanics related agribusinesses in Nebraska. A mailed survey was used to collect data for the study. The survey return rate for the vocational agriculture instructors was 100 percent, the return rate for the farm operators was 89 percent and the return rate for the managers of mechanics related agribusinesses was 69 percent. A scale of 1 - 4 was used by the respondents to evaluate the 47 agricultural mechanics units of instruction on the questionnaire. Means, standard deviations and analysis of variance were computed for each unit of instruction. A Cronbach Alpha Reliability Coefficient was calculated on the survey instrument, yielding an r-value of .92. All units of agricultural mechanics instruction included in the study should be taught in the 1990's, but at varying knowledge levels, as perceived by the three respondent groups. Thirteen of the 47 units should be taught at the competency level, 32 of the units should be taught at the literacy level and two units should be taught at the awareness level in the 1990's. The 13 units identified by the three respondent groups that should be taught at the competency level in the 1990's were arc welding, oxy-acetylene welding, tractor maintenance, wiring, MIG welding, small engines, tools and hardware, carpentry, machinery management, conservation, spraying equipment, multicylinder engines, and planting equipment. Seven units were observed to have a significant difference among the three respondent groups at the .05 level and seven units were observed to have a significant difference among respondent groups at the .01 level. The three respondent groups indicated that 30.3 percent of the vocational agriculture program should be dedicated to agricultural mechanics instruction in the 1990's.