Date of Award
Master of Science
Agricultural and Extension Education
Robert S. Dotson
Cecil E. Carter, George C. Mays
This combination survey, library and descriptive application type of study was done in the United States and related to Thailand for the purposes of: (1) gathering historical information regarding Extension radio work; (2) identifying some of the important characteristics, roles and training problems of Extension radio specialists in the United States; (3) exploring generally accepted approaches used by United States Extension radio specialists for presenting subject matter and teaching methods in agent induction and inservice training; (4) studying the situation with regard to Extension radio work in Thailand, and (5) applying, as nearly as possible, some principles and practices found to be useful in the United States Cooperative Extension radio specialist work as they might be relevant for use in Thailand. In the United States portion of the study, 32 of 54 states and other geographical area Extension radio specialists responded to a 1974 mail questionnaire. Characteristics of specialists in states respond ing were found to include the following: (1) most of the radio special-ists were employed by the Cooperative or Agricultural Extension Division of the state land grant institutions; (2) titles of Extension radio specialists varied in the states from Extension or Agricultural Editor to Radio and/or Television Specialist and/or Editor; (3) of 65 Extension radio specialists working in the 32 states responding, 41 were full-time radio employees, and 24 were part-time; (4) most radio specialists had at least the Master's degree, the largest number of majors being in Agriculture and Communication; (5) the following average percents of Extension radio specialist staff time had been expanded in 1973. (a) 70 percent to radio production for broadcast stations, (b) 19 percent to radio production for county Extension staffs, (c) 9 percent to agent training, and (d) 2 percent to other work. Duties and responsibilities of radio specialists reportedly were: (1) determining agent radio-related training needs; (2) program pro-duction; and (3) maintaining good relations with radio stations. Some other duties were cooperating with other offices and program planning. Twenty-five states indicated that they provided induction and/or inservice training. They were selected for a special study of their practices, procedures and problems. The following important findings related to induction training: (1) writing for radio, radio interview ing and voice-delivery were three key subjects most frequently included; (2) specialist thinking and agent requests were most often listed as induction training determinants; (3) time limitation was the largest induction training major problem related by radio specialists; (4) most radio-related induction training was provided at state level; (5) radio specialists were most frequently the ones responsible for such training, (6) radio specialists and administrators usually were responsible for approval of training; (7) workshops and office vists were the most often mentioned primary Extension methods used for such training; (8) agent products and performance were most frequently listed as measures for training evaluation; (9) most state staffs planned to devote about the same time to training in 1974 that they had spent in 1973; (10) most states rated the adequacy of their 1973 training effort as "fairly adequate"; (11) an average of 22 agents per state was trained in 1973 in 22 states, members ranging from 3 to 100 in numbers trained. The following points were made regarding inservice training: (1) writing for radio, nature of radio background, preparation of material, and voice-delivery were four key subjects most frequently included; (2) agent requests and agent plans of work were most often listed as primary inservice training determinants; (3) time limitation was the largest agent inservice training major problem; (4) most radio-related agent inservice training was provided at district level; (5) radio specialists were most frequently the ones responsible for such training; (6) district or area supervisors and administration usually were responsible for approval of training; (7) workshops were the most often mentioned primary Extension method used for such training; (8) agent products, participant evaluation and skill were most frequently listed as criteria or measures for training evaluation; (9) equal numbers of states rated the adequacy of their 1973 inservice training efforts as "fairly adequate" and "not very adequate"; (10) most state staffs planned to devote about the same time to training in 1974 that they spent in 1973; (11) averages of 43 agents per state were trained in 1973 in 24 states, numbers trained ranging from 3 to 200 members. Concerning the Thai situation, it was found that changwad (similar to state) and amphor (similar to county) Extension worker radio-related induction or inservice training had not been conducted in 1973. However, the numbers of Extension workers at both levels had increased. Also, training in Agricultural communication was seen as being needed more and more. As a result of this study, some suggestions are made for induction and inservice training programs for Thai Extension workers. Such induction and inservice training efforts should help Extension agents, both new and experienced, leam how to produce effective radio programs aimed at farmers. Suggestions for use of findings and further research also were made.
Chumsri, Pote, "Characteristics, roles, and training problems of agricultural extension radio specialists in the United States with application of findings to a Thai situation. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1974.