Quizzical Reflections

By Foster, Billye | The Agricultural Education Magazine, May/June 2008 | Go to article overview

Quizzical Reflections


Foster, Billye, The Agricultural Education Magazine


As mentioned at the beginning of this issue, I recently had opportunity to hear Dr. Robert Warmbrod reflect on his experience of helping develop the report that later became the infamous "Green Book." In the mid-1980s, the National Research Council began a project designed to review the value of Agricultural Education in secondary schools. This was accomplished by assessing the contributions of instruction in agriculture to the maintenance and improvement of U. S. agricultural productivity and economic competitiveness. Understanding Agriculture: New Directions for Education, has had both interesting and profound effects on our profession.

First reflections, while thumbing through "The Green Book," causedme to wonder, "what did the profession really look like then?" Although I began my own teaching career in 1977, I confess I've slept since then and those memories are hazy. It was then I realized I had the answer right within my reach-back issues of The Agricultural Education Magazine! No other set of manuscripts provides us with the pulse of the practice and evolution of Agricultural Education than this publication.

So began the systematic grouping and searching of past issues of The Agricultural Education Magazine from January 1985 to December 1987. I chose these issues because Dr. Warmbrod noted the committee was first formed in 1985. The final report was published in 1988. These three years should provide a snapshot of what the profession was like at the time of the evaluation.

What did I discover?

Carefully recording the themes and articles published in those past issues showed the two different editors during that window of time had produced 36 issues of the magazine. Not counting the editor's comments, there were 357 articles published from January 1985 until December of 1987. Written by 845 authors, these articles discussed the following themes:

* January 1985 Theme: International Agricultural Education

* February 1985 Theme: Vocational Agriculture and the Handicapped Student

* March 1985 Theme: Innovative Student Management Strategies

* April 1985 Theme: Using Microcomputers in Agricultural Education

* May 1985 Theme: FFA Conventions and Contests

* June 1985 Theme: The Supervisor: Local, State and National

* July 1985 Theme: Planning, Organization and Time Management

* August 1985 Theme: Evaluation of Vocational Agriculture

* September 1985 Theme: The Teacher of Vocational Agriculture

* October 1985 Theme: Elementary and Pre-Vocational Programs

* November 1985 Theme: Teaching Tips

* December 1985 Theme: Future Programs of Agricultural Education

* January 1986 Theme: Vocational Agriculture and the Excellence Movement

* February 1986 Theme: Staying Current-Agricultural Mechanics

* March 1986 Theme: Staying Current-Agribusiness and Farm Management

* April 1986 Theme: Staying Current-Crop and Food Production

* May 1986 Theme: Staying Current-Forestry and Natural Resources

* June 1986 Theme: Staying Current in Animal Agriculture

* July 1986 Theme: Staying Current-Classroom and Laboratory Management

* August 1986 Theme: Staying Current: Youth Organizations

* September 1986 Theme: Staying Current with High Technology

* October 1986 Theme: Staying Current-Small Animals and Specialty Crops

* November 1986 Theme: Staying Current-Professional Affairs

* December 1986 Theme: Staying Current-Horticulture

* January 1987 Theme: Balancing Your Professional and Personal Life

* February 1987 Theme: Smith-Hughes at 70

* March 1987 Theme: Agriculture in a Global Perspective

* April 1987 Theme: Women in Agricultural Education

* May 1987 Theme: Teaching the Basics

* June 1987 Theme: Agricultural Education in the Political Process

* July 1987 Theme: Coping with Declining Enrollments

* August 1987 Theme: Agricultural Opportunities for Rural Nonfarm Students

* September 1987 Theme: Recognizing Excellence in Teaching

* October 1987 Theme: The Future of Agricultural Education in Secondary Schools

* November 1987 Theme: Enhancing School and Community Relationship

* December 1987 Theme: Serving Minority Groups

Of the 845 authors, 61 were women, 19 were minorities, and 71 were actual secondary level agricultural education teachers at the time the article was printed. …

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