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Tractor and Machinery Instructor Training: Impact of Sequential Professional Development

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100427.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100427)
Authors:   Rebecca G Lawver, Michael L Pate, Scott W Smalley, Dustin K Perry, Alyx Shultz
Keywords:   Assessment, Education, Farm, Instructors, Safety, Tractor, Youth

Abstract. Vocational and technical education programs continue to play a pivotal role in the development of workers‘ occupational safety and health skills in all industries (Schulte et al., 2005). The Agricultural Safety Education Initiative was first conducted in the summer of 2017 as a multiple year “Train the Trainer” program to improve teachers‘ tractor and machinery knowledge. The training was organized around the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operations Program (NSTMOP) Curriculum (Pate et al., 2019). The agricultural safety education training was offered again during the summers of 2018 and 2019. Each seminar focused training activities on a specific safety theme. The safety theme for 2018 was All-terrain Vehicle Stability and Operation for Agricultural Tasks. The safety theme of the 2019 training was hitching/backing tractors and implement connections. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of an agricultural safety education professional development model designed to increase instructors‘ knowledge to serve youth in developing safety competencies related to tractors and machinery operations. A total of 85 teachers participated in year three of the training program. Over half (57.6%, f = 49) of the participants identified as female. The average test score for all teachers was 41.9 out of 50 (SD = 3.62). Teachers who attended the training for the first time in 2019 scored lowered (40.8, SD = 4.41) than teachers who had attended the training during all three offerings (43.2, SD = 3.00). This difference approached statistical significance (Kruskal-Wallis H was 5.91 (2) p = .052). A benefit for participating teachers in this professional development was focused on higher order instructional or alternative assessment methods for tractor and machinery safety.

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