Differences in Perceptions and Perceived Knowledge Levels of Texas Superintendents Regarding Agriscience Programs and its Teachers

Dwayne Pavelock, Doug Ullrich, Roger Hanagriff


An agricultural science program’s success depends on the superintendent, a school district’s highest academic officer, recognizing the program as a vital part of the school.  Recent studies by Pavelock (2001), Jackson & Herring (1998), and Hinkson and Kieth (1999) have shown administrators support agriscience, but revealed troubling insights.  The primary purpose of this study was to determine differences in perceptions and perceived knowledge levels of agriscience by Texas school superintendents with various agriscience experience levels. A large majority (88.6%) of Texas school superintendents have no agriscience teaching experience.  Most (58.6%) had not been enrolled in agriscience themselves and almost two-thirds (65.7%) had not had a child enrolled. Collectively, superintendents have a positive perception of agriscience and its teachers.  Experience in agriscience was not found to have a significant effect on most perceptions and perceived knowledge levels.  Differences found existed primarily in the need for more emphasis in various instructional areas, and whether all students should receive instruction in agriscience.  Differences also existed in perceptions of agriscience being less vocational and more academic compared to other career and technology programs, and the inability of school districts to obtain waivers for certain agriscience courses to count for credit in related foundation courses.


agricultural science; agriscience; agricultural education; career and technology education (CATE); professional development; superintendent; supervised agricultural experience program (SAEP); teacher; vocational agriculture

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