Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Jeffrey W. Moss


The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of student teaching as perceived by first year teachers, university supervisors and cooperating classroom teachers. The objectives of the study were as follows: (1) to describe student teaching in agricultural education as perceived by first year teachers, university supervisors, and cooperating classroom teachers, (2) to determine first year teachers' self-perceived preparedness for teaching vocational agriculture,(3) to identify perceptions of first year teachers of vocational agriculture regarding sources of self-perceived preparedness, and (4) to identify significant sources of variance in perceived preparedness explained by components of the preservice program and characteristics of first year teachers of vocational agriculture. Data collected were obtained from questionnaires returned by 59 first year teachers, 52 university supervisors and 112 cooperating classroom teachers who were involved in the agricultural education student teaching programs in the AATEA Southern Region during the Fall of 1984 and Spring of 1985. First year teachers rated their preparation for classroom and laboratory instruction the highest (mean = 3.81) using the scale of 1 = unprepared and 5 = very well prepared. Perceived preparedness for conducting adult education programs was rated the lowest (mean = 2.99). For all areas, first year teachers rated their preparation between the categories of acceptable and well prepared. There is a lack of uniformity of student teaching experiences among states in the southern region. Most experiences last for less than 12 weeks and approximately 40 percent of the students feel this time is too short. Regardless of the length of student teaching the participants, which included students, university supervisors and cooperating teachers, are generally satisfied with the student teaching experience. The three groups perceived student teaching to be effective. First year teachers perceived on-the-job/self study as making the highest contribution toward preparedness (mean = 3.56) based on a scale of 1 = no contribution to 5 = very high contribution. Yet, regression analysis revealed that the perceived contribution of university agricultural education courses was an important factor in teacher preparation. Sixty-one percent of the variance in perceived preparedness was explained by the perceived contribution of university agricultural education courses.