Critical Thinking Dispositions of Undergraduate Agriculture Majors: Contributions of Pre-Collegiate Complete Programs of Agricultural Education

John Fite, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to describe the current critical thinking dispositions of novice undergraduate agricultural majors, to describe students experiences in complete programs of secondary agricultural education, to describe student’s demographic data and to explore the relationships between critical thinking dispositions and student achievement, agricultural education experiences and demographic data. Voluntary participants in the study included 236 students enrolled in freshman agriculture courses at three universities and colleges in the Middle Tennessee region. To identify Critical Thinking dispositions researchers utilized the University of Florida Critical Thinking Instrumentation Manual EMI (Engagement, Maturity, and Innovativeness) Assessment. The researchers also developed a questionnaire to assess the level of student involvement in complete programs of secondary agricultural education as defined by the Tennessee Department of Education including agriculture coursework, Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), and Future Farmers of America (FFA). The dependent variable is critical thinking disposition and the independent variables are of collegiate agriculture student achievement, agricultural education experiences, GPA, and selected student demographics. This research yielded two major findings, that all of the college students were on an equal footing for critical thinking dispositions and that backward Multiple Regression a combination of of EMI Total (Engagement, Cognitive Maturity, Innovativeness) and Number of High School Ag Courses, Number of Years in FFA, FFA Involvement, CDE Involvement, Years in SAE, SAE Involvement, SAE Recognition, High School and College GPA, Gender, and Rural or Urban yielded the best model predicting critical thinking dispositions. The recommendation of highest importance due to this research is that students must be engaged for critical thinking to be effective.^

Subject Area

Agricultural education

Recommended Citation

John Fite, "Critical Thinking Dispositions of Undergraduate Agriculture Majors: Contributions of Pre-Collegiate Complete Programs of Agricultural Education" (2017). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10268541.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI10268541

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