Murray State Theses and Dissertations


Agricultural mechanics is a prominent topic in Georgia Agricultural Education, as it is the agricultural subject matter area with the second-largest enrollment across all school systems in the state. However, with Georgia agricultural teacher preparation programs only requiring three credit hours in the subject matter area, questions arise as to whether Georgia agriculture teachers are properly prepared to teach this subject matter area, especially if those teachers did not complete a traditional teacher preparation program. This nonexperimental, quantitative study assessed early-career Georgia agriculture teachers’ professional developmental (PD) needs in agricultural mechanics. Qualtrics was utilized to collect responses to a research instrument that contained 65 agricultural mechanics items and eight demographics items. This instrument was originally employed by Wells and Hainline (2021) and was originally constructed using Borich’s (1980) needs assessment model. The instrument was distributed via e-mail to 253 individuals; however, only 243 emails were successfully delivered. Seventy-six teachers provided usable data, yielding a 31.3% response rate. Using mean weight discrepancy scores (MWDS), it was found that the greatest PD needs among early-career Georgia agriculture teachers are: (1) American Welding Society (AWS) standards for welding procedures), (2) Procedures for structural welding, and (3) Principles of metallurgy (ex. identifying metals, proper use of metals, etc.). It is recommended that Georgia Agricultural Education state staff use the findings of this study to structure PD through Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and break-out sessions at agriculture teacher PD conferences to address the agricultural mechanics topics in which teachers have the greatest PD needs.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

Agricultural Education, Agricultural Mechanics, Professional Development

Dissertation Committee Chair

Trent K Wells

Co-Director of Dissertation

Brian Parr

Thesis Advisor

Randall Wilson

Committee Chair

Andrew Thoron

Committee Member

Jonathan Parrent

Document Type


Christopher Crump Dissertation Updated.docx (1637 kB)
Updated Dissertation