Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural & Extension Education (MS)

Degree Level



Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology


Donna L. Graham

Committee Member

Don W. Edgar

Second Committee Member

Leslie D. Edgar

Third Committee Member

H. L. Goodwin


Education, Agricultural education, Coorperative learning, Knowledge acquisition, Traditional and nontraditional students


Currently, students entering secondary agricultural education programs have less knowledge and hands-on experience about agriculture than previous generations. Agricultural educators are challenged to vary teaching practices to meet student needs. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a difference in knowledge acquisition between students enrolled in secondary agricultural education classes taught by cooperative learning and lecture instruction. Additionally, this study explored the knowledge acquisition of traditional and non-traditional secondary agricultural education students and perceptions of instructional methods presented. Eight schools participated in the study. No significant difference was seen in test scores between methods of instruction, but a significant difference was noted between traditional and non-traditional students. Overall, students preferred the lecture based instruction. The study found that both methods of instruction improved knowledge acquisition. The study also found that traditional students had a higher gain in knowledge acquisition than non-traditional students.