Date of Award
Master of Science
Robert S. Dotson
Cecil E. Carter, Arthur E. Gravatt
In this study the self-perceived training needs of Tennessee County Extension Agents were compared with the training needs as per-ceived by the district supervisors in the areas of adult and junior leadership training. Factors considered in this study were: (1) super-visory district, (2) sex, (3) percent of time devoted to 4-H work, and (4) years of tenure with the Tennessee Extension Service. Questionnaires were completed by 345 Tennessee county Extension agents and by 15 district supervisors on 11 adult and 6 junior leader-ship training needs. The data collection instrument was developed by The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Education Department in collaboration with the 4-H Department and the 1969-70 Committee on 4-H Inservice Training Needs. The part of the questionnaire which was used in the study dealt with how well-trained the agents considered themselves to be in the areas of adult and junior leadership training. Also, district super-visors indicated how well-trained they felt their agents were as a whole on each of the adult and junior leadership items. The agents and super-visors were asked to indicate three priority training needs to be chosen from the entire survey. Data obtained from the completed questionnaire were tabulated according to a weighted value basis. Average ratings were calculated. Numbers and percents were calculated separately in certain categories. Percentages were based on the total number responding to each item. Findings disclosed that the district supervisors gave lower ratings for their agents on all adult and junior leadership training items than the county Extension agents gave themselves. In all cases the men and women district supervisors' ratings of their agents in the areas of adult and junior leadership training were more similar than different. The data indicated that there was only a slight degree of disagreement concerning the self-perceived adult and junior leadership training needs when the county Extension agents were compared on district and sex bases. However, with respect to junior leadership training the men agents more frequently rated themselves "not very” well-trained than did the women agents. The "0 to 25 percent of time devoted to 4-H group" more frequently ranked both adult and junior leadership training needs as being more critical than was true for the "25 to 75 percent” or the “75 through 100 percent" groups. The data indicated little difference in training needs of agents in the areas of adult and junior leadership training needs on the basis of tenure with the Tennessee Extension Service. The district supervisors' perception of the agents' priority training needs indicated that the supervisors, in general, selected more priority needs in the adult leadership training area than agents selected in this area. On the other hand, the county Extension agents felt that the junior leadership priority needs were of greater importance than did the district supervisors. The data indicated that, as the percent of time devoted to 4-H work increased, so did the proportion of agents indicating adult leadership priority needs. Recommendations for use of the findings and for further study were made.
Hamil, Marifloyd, "Four-H leadership inservice training needs of Tennessee County Extension Agents. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1972.