Date of Award
Master of Science
Agricultural and Extension Education
George W. Weigers, Jr.
John W. Gilliand, Frank F. Bell
Departments of Vocational Agriculture in Tennessee are organized under a plan whereby each individual teacher sets up his program of instruction based in part on the Supervised Farming Programs of the boys that he teaches, and the farm enterprises found in the community. In forming the program the teacher would also consider the needs of the community, the interests of the individuals receiving instruction and possible improvements needed in the existing farm programs in the community. This plan makes a variety of programs necessary because the agricultural situation is different in each community.
Variation of agricultural programs in different communities may be due to soil conditions, custom of the farmers, tools that are available on the farms, markets, climate, topography, knowledge that the farmers possess, and other factors.
Because this wide difference in teaching programs exists, the source of teaching materials is one of the major problems of the Teacher of Vocational Agriculture. Because of the difference that exists in the programs, a text book as such is out of the question. Sources of information in general use are; Commercial books and publications used as reference material, farm magazines. Agricultural Education Publications, United States Department of Agriculture Farmers Bulletins, and other Federal Government Publications, Extension Service Material from adjoining states, University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service Publications and Leaflets, and University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletins and Circulars.
University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service Publications and Leaflets are written to carry information to the farmers of the State. University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletins and Circulars are written for research people trained agricultural personnel. Information from both is based on findings from various experiments and studies carried on by the Experiment Stations under the supervision of the University of Tennessee. The Extension Service Publications and Leaflets are written for use by farmers. They are based on Tennessee findings, written for our climate weather conditions and adapted to the general conditions of our State. Because of these reasons these publications are one of the principle sources of information being used in the teaching of Vocational Agriculture.
Reading is one of the more important learning procedures. Its importance comes from the facts that there is a wide variety of written material that is available and because it is a method of self-education.To the Teacher of Vocational Agriculture it is of considerable importance in his program because he frequently has boys working on individual problems. The success of this learning process is entirely dependent on the ability of the boy to understand the available written material on the subject. Explanations of passages are possible but are necessarily limited to the lack of time of the teacher and the likelihood that the boy will not ask for help. To be able to understand what he reads a boy must have the ability to read. Next he must have material that is understandable for a person of his reading ability. This second factor has prompted this study.
McPherson, David Enoch, "A study of the readability of University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service publications and leaflets for boys taking vocational agriculture in high school. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1957.