Monday, 28 April 2014

teacher Preparation and Challenges in Agricultural Education: A case study of University of Agriculture Makurdi

1.1   Background of the Study
The concept of education has been viewed from various disciplinary perspectives. To the social scientists, education is seen as the process of preparing the individual to adjust to varying situations of interacting with other members of the society in the exchange of goods and services; allocation of scarce resources and wise use of his potentials in the society he finds himself A. C Egun (2009). On the other hand, A. C Egun (2009) states that, the scientist sees education as a process of preparing the individual to be able to interpret his environment rationally and be able to adjust and adapt to technological and scientific changes in finding solutions to the society’s problems in an ever hanging environment. Henry N. Boone (2007). To the teacher, education is a process of bringing the new societal recruit as a result of birth or residence to embrace the social decorum and practices in the society for self enhancement. It is in this perspective that Igborgbor (2000) operationally described education as the acquisition of needed competencies for life in the society. He added that such competencies should spread through the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains and that cognitive competence should include:
i. Knowledge of certain facts either directly or indirectly useable in a definite  situations;
ii. A deeper understanding of phenomena in ones environment which affects the
individuals’ attitude and ability to deal with such phenomena appropriately;
iii. An enhanced reasoning ability which leads to a better understanding of situations facing mankind. This enables the individual to be analytical and systematic in problem solving, decision making and choice from different options; such a person develops a constructively critical mind;
iv. Creativity: The art of devising and implementing new and better ways of doing things and thus contributing to the development of society. A common feature of both perspective views of education, is that education prepares the individual for tomorrow’s living and ultimate survival. It is this need for continuous survival
and ability to adapt to changes that have remained a permanent feature of human society that has pushed man into those activities that will enable him adjust to unexpected changes in his environment. The concern about the future has occupied the mind of man, as he either by omission or commission has conquered or departed from the past with a reasonable knowledge level of the present. Man has always to some extent created the future; the future being to a large extent the product of man-made change.
        This change is characterized by the effort of teachers who are well prepared in the dissemination of knowledge to student who will become the leader of tomorrow.  Within the recent past, agriculture forms a basis and a means of lively hood. Lipsey (1998).The national income level is geared by the amount of effort put in by well prepared agricultural teachers who have passion for the profession.
There are so many challenges impeding the success of agricultural education in the present days. Irrespective of these challenges teachers of agriculture have strive towards the attainment of agricultural objectives.
However, Scott Burris (2005) sees Teacher education programs to have  face a myriad of challenges in preparing  agricultural education teachers. One challenge is providing preparation in technical content areas, including agricultural mechanics. Ncae (2013) identified Several factors that continued to influence the ability in having an ample supply of welltrained, highly qualified agriculture teachers vital to sustain and grow agricultural education across the country. The most recent research has identified the following factors as suggesting a need for national, state and local Team Agricultural  Educational  groups to develop plans addressing the future for agricultural education. These include:-
 The number of agricultural education teacher preparation programs has declined over the past 10 years; The number of qualified teachers produced through teacher preparation programs has declined on average of 20 percent over the last three years compared to the previous three years;  If not for teachers being hired through the use of emergency and alternative certification methods, the supply of teachers would be more unstable than it is today; A growing number of agricultural education departments are unable to operate because qualified teachers are unavailable;  Many states are faced with a large number of teachers of retirement age which underscores the need to train larger numbers of teachers to replace them;
 While situations vary from state to state, there is a high percentage of trained teachers who will not relocate to take a position in another state that needs teachers. Ag Ed (2005)
The enhancement of students and the ability to think and study and the ability to solve problems facing them effectively, requiring skills in data collection and interpretation may be as a result of Agricultural education in Nigeria. However, it is in no doubt that so many scholars have contributed to improving student knowledge in agricultural education. The objectives include;
To produce farm commodities efficiently; to market farm products profitably;
to participate in rural leadership activities; assist the nation’s citizens to develop the attitudes, understandings and abilities regarding agriculture necessary for their future welfare and the welfare of agriculture; to develop understanding and appreciation of agriculture for vocational and leisure interest; to develop understanding of the influence of research on agriculture and other aspect of our society, such as medicine, statistic and consumers products; to develop understanding of interrelationship of agriculture and other segments of the society;
to impact agricultural skills and knowledge efficiently; to manage farm business effectively; to conserve soil and other natural resources; to assist present and prospective workers in off-farm agricultural jobs in improving their efficiency;
to promote creative activities of students, Umoh-Mac (2006).
It is from this note that teacher preparation in agricultural education become necessary. For quality education program there must be good teachers, which are essential for the success of any agricultural program. It is in this light one can say, teachers are the pivot on which the success of any programme of educational renewal hinges. There cannot be successful educational programme without intensive teacher training program. It should be so because, teachers are the brain behind the success of any educational pursuit. They need to have a good knowledge concerning the subject matter, thereby equipping their self with modern teaching methods to be able to stand the test of time, Umoh (2006).
According to Umoh (2006) agricultural teacher preparation are educational programmes specializing in teacher education and training in agriculture. The training and preparation includes agricultural education programme of colleges of Education, Federal Collages of Education, and faculties of education in the universities. However, for the award of Nigeria certificate in Education (NCE) one need to undergo three years programme leading to the award of the certificate. The objectives of any teacher preparation program is aimed at serving the following:-
To   produce teachers that has efficient ways of handling their teaching with most zeal; to produce teachers who have the spirit of enquiry and creativity to be able to read the students properly; to produce teacher who are all-round developmentally to be able to fit into the society in which they find themselves; to produce teacher who have professional training, properly equipped with in depth knowledge of their various disciplines; to create genuine love in teachers, that is love for their profession therefore, making them committed to the teaching profession. Umoh (2006).
What is being enjoyed today is a product of yesterday’s activities whether positively or negatively. Today’s science and wisdom are needed ingredients in the decision making process which can carry man towards socially desirable goals of the future especially in the aspect of food production. Thus attempts are made by man to equip the off-springs for future living. All these attempts put in a package constitutes teacher education.
The Department of Agricultural Education University of Agriculture Makurdi came in to existence in the year 1989 with  a vital role of teacher  preparation in the techniques for and  content delivery.
The department of agricultural Education, University of agriculture Makurdi specifically carries out the following:-
Providing young people with sound knowledge, skill and creative abilities with which they can translate research findings into field trials, adaptation and commercialization;
Producing more trained personnel involved in extension services for translating research findings into field trials, adaptation and commercialization;
Providing training for specialist agricultural occupations such as plant and animal breeding, plant and animal pathology, food processing and preservation, agricultural financing and insurance, and rural sociology;
Providing farmers with the knowledge and skills to be efficient in production decision-making process;
Equipping students and all agricultural practitioners’ with the knowledge and facts about Nigeria’s agricultural potentials, technology and environment;
Helping farmers and students appreciate positive values such as good feeding habits, conservation of natural resources, personal hygiene and maintenance of family life;
Preparing students for life-long learning in agriculture and related subject as well as enabling them have an intelligent understanding of the problems and opportunities in their communities and environment;
Developing problem solving and safety practice on students and other agricultural practitioners Umoh (2006); To achieve this mandate, the department does not go without challenges which is the interest of the researcher.     

1.2   Statement of the Problem
          One of the major challenges facing developing countries and Nigeria in particular is that of improving the living condition of her people through agriculture.
However, teacher preparation in content delivery in department of agricultural Education in University of Agriculture Makurdi depend on the teaching techniques adopted through practical methods used.
          Therefore, with over 75% of Nigerians living in the rural areas are depending for their livelihoods on agriculture. It is in this light that the challenges of teacher preparation in content delivery through teaching techniques need to adopt practical method so that solution can be proffer and a way forward for effective teachers preparation in the department of Agricultural education in University of Agriculture Makurdi.

1.3    Purpose of the Study
Specific objectives of this research work are stated as follows
1.     Assess teacher preparation in content delivery in the department of Agricultural Education, University of Agriculture Makurdi;
2.     Examine teachers’ preparation in teaching techniques in the department of Agricultural Education, University of Agriculture Makurdi;
3.     Determine practical methods used in teacher preparation in the department of Agricultural Education, University of Agriculture Makurdi;
4.     Identify challenges of teacher preparation in teaching techniques in the department of Agricultural Education, University of Agriculture Makurdi;
5.     Identify challenges of teacher preparation in content delivery in the department of Agricultural Education, University of Agriculture Makurdi;
6.     Examine challenges of teachers’ preparation in practical methods in the department of Agricultural Education, University of Agriculture Makurdi;
7.     Proffer solutions and way forward for effective teacher preparation in the department of Agricultural Education University of Agriculture Makurdi.
1.4   Research Questions
(i)  What forms of teacher preparation in content delivery are carried out in the department of Agricultural Education, University of Agriculture Makurdi?
(ii) What forms of teacher preparation in the teaching techniques are carried out  in the department of Agricultural Education,  University of Agriculture Makurdi?
(iii)  What are the practical methods used in teacher preparation in the department of Agricultural Education, University of Agriculture Makurdi?
(iv)   What are the challenges of teacher preparation in teaching techniques in the department of Agricultural Education , University of Agriculture Makurdi?
 (v)  What are the challenges of teacher preparation in content delivery in the department of Agricultural Education, University of Agriculture Makurdi?
(vi)  What are the challenges of teachers’ preparation in practical methods in the department of Agricultural Education, University of Agriculture Makurdi?
(vii) What are the solutions and way forward for the effective teacher preparation in the department of Agricultural Education, University of Agriculture Makurdi?

1.5   Research Hypothesis
The following hypothesis was tested using 5% level of significance.
Ho: There is no significant difference between the mean responses of Lecturers and students on the challenges of teacher preparation in teaching techniques.

1.6   Significance of the Study
This study will serve as a tool to improve teachers’ preparation in Agricultural Education.  Student teachers’ confidence and knowledge will be built if the teachers are fully prepared and the challenges eliminated; their level of understanding in the field will be improved; It is in no doubt that, it will help student on teaching practice to improve their research base; and solution to challenges facing Agricultural Education, University of Agriculture Makurdi can be proffer.
Teachers who want to improve more on their teaching skill will find this work useful. The study will serve as a guide for further research work.
This research finding will make available to students improved knowledge in their field of study. It can serve as a guide for preparation for entering into teaching profession.   
        It will also give the government an overview of constraint facing poor preparation of teacher in agricultural education and a way forward in order to yield the required result.
1.7    Scope of Study
          This study is designed to investigate teacher  preparation and challenges in Agricultural Education, using a case study of the department of Agricultural Education, University of Agriculture Makurdi, Benue State. The University is located at Ujam Village, North Bank Makurdi with the Faculty of Agricultural and science Education (housing temporally department of Agricultural Education) located at the middle core of the University.

1.8   Operational definition of Terms
Education: This is a training and instruction, especially of children and young people in schools, colleges, etc which is designed to give knowledge and develop skills.
Teacher: This is a person who teaches, transfer knowledge and skill to others through professional training acquired.
Preparation: This is the action or process of preparing oneself for a task ahead, job, war match etc.
Agriculture: This is the science or practice of cultivating the land and keeping or breeding animals for food.
Agricultural Education: is the teaching of agriculture, natural resources, and land management through hands on experience and guidance to prepare students for entry level jobs of to further education to prepare them for advanced agricultural jobs.
 Challenges: This is an impediment that someone face in the cause of discharging his daily routine.
University: a high-level educational institution in which students study for degrees and academic research is done.
Teacher preparation: refers to the policies and procedures designed to equip prospective teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom, school and wider community.
Agbulu  (2011). Introduction to vocational Agricultural Education.
Author. (2005). Agricultural education student teachers’ confidence and knowledge: teaching special needs students. Digital Theses and Dissertations. Texas Tech University, ETD (etd-11172005-154125).
Cotton, S. E. (2000). The training needs of vocational teachers for working with learners with special needs. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Purdue University.
Harry N.B et al (2007) problems faced by High School Agricultural Education Teachers.
Igborgbor, (2000). Education as the acquisition of needed competencies for life in the society.
Ncae (2013). 2013 National Agricultural Education Summit “Recruitment and Retention of Teachers for School Based Agriculture Education”
Scott Burris (2005), Preparation of Pre-service Teachers in Agricultural Mechanics
Umoh-Mac (2006). Handbook on youth Organization in agricultural education. Abuja: Hil-Venture

2.1 Conceptual Framework
2.1.1 The Concept “Teacher Preparation”

Harry N.B, Deborah .A (2007), State that, “If the agricultural education profession is going to grow and prosper in the 21st century, it will need an adequate supply of qualified teachers. In 2001, however, the number of qualified potential agricultural education teachers actually seeking employment as teachers fell far short of the net number of replacements needed. Two contributing factors include qualified potential teachers fail to accept employment in the profession and many beginning teachers fail to remain in the teaching profession. One way to improve the number of qualified agricultural education teachers is to reduce the number of teachers who leave the profession early through attrition”.
Teachers preparation  involve the process of increasing the quality  of the teachers performance towards effective service delivery, particularly the needed man power for raising qualified persons who are capable of increasing agricultural  productivity. Teachers have vital roles to play in agricultural development in Nigeria which is capable of increasing the GDP and the GNP of the country.
In manpower development, teachers contribute highly in training students and staff development through both local and foreign facilitation. In order to strengthen our work force and take advantage of emerging market opportunities, schools also recruit various professionals with broad industry knowledge and hands- on experience. National Agricultural Education Summit (2013).
Teachers of agricultural education are less prepared due to some challenges facing their job, causing lapses in the delivering of effective service to the student. The lack of research center for the teacher to explore new grounds of knowledge that will aid the quality of teaching. National Agricultural Education Summit (2013). The government is therefore capable of influencing the major research factors namely; ability, willingness or passionate propensities and opportunities. The need to achieve sustained rural industrial growth within any economy can be possible amidst quality research center and well prepared teachers and precisely within the existence such that are tailored to work in accordance with government policies and program in a bid to attaining the desired macro-economic objectives of a nation.
The youths in school have been recognized as agents of change in the society (Ugbomeh 1993) and to effect change in a society, the agent of change must itself change (Egun 1994),This can be best achieved if the teachers are well prepared and the challenges facing them  are limited to a large extent. Societal changes have been very swift in recent years. The exposure of parents to various agents and media of educating the youths have influenced the age at which children attend and are retained in school. This have both positive and negative impacts on the live of the youth. Consequently activities previously performed by the home in agricultural practices are now transferred to the school for better understanding  (Egun 1999). At the secondary school level, the youth age range between 11 and 16 years. Many personality characteristics are acquired during this period and a variety of age specific roles must be learned, skills developed and task accomplished. The outlook in agriculture and youth culture styles is much more sophisticated today than a decade ago. Achievements have meant a
lot to the youths now than before. In Nigeria, achievement is one of the determining principles of life and to invest one’s pride and hope in the promise of realizing one’s aspirations has consequently affected choice of occupations.
Therefore an understanding of adolescence requires knowledge of youths consciousness or the personal factors of aspirations, attitudes, beliefs and dispositions that enable young people to sustain ultimate and lasting social and economic attitudes towards occupations/vocations. Interest and motivation of the youth is related to his maturation level that can be enhanced by the teachers. Therefore, it is necessary that the physical, cognitive and economic perceptions of the youth be understood at every level of their education.

2.1.2 The Concept of Agricultural Education
 Agriculture today is not only farming, it is also a business. This implies that a good farmer should use little inputs to produce more outputs. In other words, he must be able to manage his resources — land, labour and capital most efficiently so that production costs are as low as possible. There must be development in agriculture. The farmer must be able to evaluate risks, combat problems effectively and make intelligent decisions so as to make profit. Moreover, our society is becoming more and more dependent on agriculturally oriented business necessary for the efficient and effective supply of food, and fiber for the ever increasing population. These are the key requirements of agricultural education (Egbule, 2002).
Okeke (1997), observed that inspite of the dominance of the oil industry in the national economy, agricultural skill occupies a crucial position in the economic development of Nigeria. Its importance emanates from its chief role as the food supplier to the teeming population of this country.
Food has always remained a basic necessity of man. Man’s dependence on agriculture is unique, because it not only provides food, but also creates employment opportunities, feeds the industrial sector, as well as provides income and foreign currency through external trade. Agricultural education prepares students for teaching positions in agricultural educational/agricultural business. It is also a good preparation around for jobs in agricultural business, sales, service, production, marketing, extension and research. The majority of the classes taken by agricultural education majors are taken in agricultural economics, agricultural education, animal and food science, agricultural engineering, technology and plant and health science (Undeogalanya, 2000; Egbule, 2002; Jensen, 20003).
 Nnadi (2002), viewed agricultural education from two perspectives under the formal school education namely:
a.     As the transmission of the agricultural heritage of the society to individuals through the formal education process. This view takes into account all the disciplines and programmes of agriculture as contained in the curricula of various levels of education — primary through university education.
b.      As a discipline in agriculture concerned essentially with the preparation of teacher-educators in agriculture for the formal school system. Anthony (1986) observed that young people learn from the older farmers by accompanying them to the farms. They learn the systems by watching and participating in all the operations.
In effect, they acquire the knowledge by doing which is a practical way of learning. The formal level goes on outside the school system. Most often, useful training is given by researchers and extension staff who work directly and demonstrate to them new crops and animal production process, techniques, and machines. Anthony (1986), and Egbule (2002), did maintain that formal agricultural training takes place at the various levels of education-primary and secondary schools, tertiary institutions such as colleges of education, colleges of agriculture, polytechnics and universities. The stage of training achieved plays an essential role in the choice of career open to people. A high percentage of agricultural graduates are engaged in educational career at primary, secondary and tertiary institutions depending on the relevant qualifications of the teacher.
In schools, agricultural education refers to the teaching of skills, values, attitudes and related knowledge in products, processing and marketing of agricultural and related products. Students are taught fundamental principle and skills of crop and animal husbandry under the guidance of an expert — the agricultural science teacher. In such schools, students are expected to carry out short and long term practical activities and projects such as cultivation of crops, vegetables and fruits, raising livestock for the schools consumption and for local markets (Udeolisa, 1997; Egbule, 2002).
 According to Toffler (1974): “The future is the domain into which a man has projected and in which he now contemplates; the possible he wishes to make real, the image that is and will be, as long as it subsist in the mind, the determining reason or his actions” The implication of these is that all education originates from the picture of the future and all education creates images of the future. If the picture of the future held by a society is grossly inaccurate and falsified, its system of education will betray its youths because the teachers are not prepared because of the challenges facing the educational sector.
Kauffman (1976) asserts that for students to have any relevance and to meet the needs and demands of society – careful and explicit attention to the question: “What kind of education will best prepare the youths for the world in which they will actually live their adult lives?’’. The teacher preparation plays a vital role in making this a reality. It therefore implies that education and its processes given today prepare the individual for tomorrows’ living. Peretomode (1993) identified this when he asserted that all education whether so intended or not, is a preparation for the future. In all developing countries, the youths have been known to play significant role in food production and the increase in the GDP and the GNP. The preparation and challenges’ faced by teaches of Agriculture hamper the GNP of the nation. Their role in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized as they constitute about 50% of the population and would constitute the majority of the people in the work force, in service jobs, industry and agriculture (National Population Commission 2006).
What could be regarded as Agricultural Education in schools started as Nature Study or elementary science in the primary schools, and has since gone through different names such as Gardening, Rural Science and Agricultural Science (Egun 1984). Training in Agriculture at post secondary level did not commence effectively till 1954 w when fully adopted  (Fafunwa 1974), when Nigeria College of Arts, Science and Technology was officially opened in Ibadan. Since then, government made efforts aimed at attracting the youths into agriculture not only in training but also in the provision of incentives in terms of higher salaries and better living conditions; coupled with persistent propaganda about the importance of agriculture to the Nation aimed at increasing the GDP(Western Nigerian Government, 1961). The National Curriculum Conference of September 1969 gave the first courage to the orientation of School Agricultural Curriculum. It gave birth to the National Policy on Education 1981 which was revised in 2004; which has attracted the attention of both the federal and state and Local governments; thus making Agricultural Science both as a compulsory and examinable subject in
the Senior Secondary Certificate and General Certificate Education Examinations. With a focus that schools will produce people who will take to farming as their occupation after completing schools so as to fulfill the agricultural objective. National Policy on Education (2004) set out the following objectives as it affects the teaching and learning of Agricultural Science:
1. To stimulate and sustain students interest in Agriculture.
2. To enable students acquire basic knowledge and practical skills in Agriculture.
3. To prepare students for occupation in Agriculture.
4. To prepare students for further studies in Agriculture.
The changing world towards Information and Communication Technology (ICT) need to be spread to farmers. This is necessary to educate farmers who can apply the modern farming techniques, modern farm equipment and chemicals to improve production. A useful agricultural education for the Nigerian citizenry should have as a target the total well being of the people. Agricultural education is needed to explain new technology to farmers and teach them how to adapt and adopt improved production practices in order to increase their production and income. Traditionally, the agricultural educationist is a teacher and is confined to the classroom having been prepared for the role. Today, he is expected to change job, function as farm manager, and as entrepreneur of large farms and other related business efforts. This can be fusible if the teachers are well prepared and the challenges facing agricultural education is tackled. Based on this premise, agricultural educational should centre on the following:
1. Goal setting
2. Programming
3. Disseminating of Agricultural information, and
4. Training.
A goal is a future endeavour aimed to be achieved through consistent directional
framework (Ibikunle 1993). The probable role of agricultural education have been identified (Olaitan 1984). In addition it should ensure that farmers are continually exposed to attractive production options through the youths. It should bring research results and new agricultural techniques to farmers through the youths in
schools and adults at home that are already engaged in farming. Meeting the agricultural needs of adult farmers will no doubt increase the volume of food production as they constitute the greater member of the farming population though
at small holder subsistent level of practice (Obi 2005). The need to train individuals in vocational agricultural education is increasingly becoming imperative. Nigeria is urbanizing at an alarming rate reducing available land space for farming via road construction, industrialization and housing. There is need to acquire and train the youths in urban agriculture (Egun 2007) that will ensure
steady and increase supply of food and some needed raw materials for industries. This could be achieved through supervised home project. Wheeler (1967) expressed curriculum as the planned experience offered to the learner under
the guidance of the school. Gagne (1974) sees curriculum as a sequence of content units arranged in such a way that the learning of each unit may be accomplished as a single act provided the capabilities described by specific prior units have already been learned by the learner. Obayan (1985) sees curriculum both as a package and a process; that an individual receiving the package and going through the process has no end to his education as he would have:
1 Acquired some skills which are useful for continuous self development.
2 Broadened his horizon in such a way the he is able to see beyond his nose;
3 Built up on his initial knowledge, in addition to modifying his initial attitude and value and;
4 Acquired appropriate learning skills to enable him be a learning animal.
Agricultural science as a core-course in the school curriculum should be forward looking. It should no longer be concerned with the transmission of basic culture of yam and cassava cultivation and the free-range keeping of domestic animals. The curriculum should be such that graduates of schools are equipped with saleable
skills not only in the traditional culture of agricultural practices but in other spheres of human and financial management. School agricultural programme should be opened, child centered in approach and more flexible (Vannier and Forster 1963); thus enabling the child/learner to be educated rather than passing through a school system (Obayan 1985). The curriculum should be that which will enhance the adoption of agriculture as a rewarding occupation by the youths and enable them adjust to rural living as Rucker (1960) has posited that the majority of
children must eventually return to the land. Etuk (1991) recognized this when he recommended home project and off-farm agricultural occupation experience for both teacher trainee and students of agriculture. This could be achieved through
upgrading of Teacher Industrial Work Experience Scheme (TIWES) and Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES)
(b)   Agricultural Science in Schools
The curriculum should embrace the activities and practices of other cultures bearing in mind the changing world phenomena in food consumption in terms of quality, quantity, type and forms; arising from increase in population, famine, economic crunch, resource depletion and close cultural ties, resulting from interactions among individuals of different nationalities and international character of knowledge. Futurizing education implies that the learner will begin to sense and accept both the constraints, advantages of freedom and emphasize
the ineluctable fact that education will increase rather than decrease inequality. It calls for preparation without indoctrination, the extensive use of inquiry as method of instruction and development of open mindedness. This means a total change from the current rote learning and lecture methods of instruction towards that which allows the child/learner to explore the environment and interpret it as he sees and feels and be able to integrate various learning’s into a comprehensive
whole; as futuristic education recognizes and increases inequality among individuals. The use of methods which recognizes the various differences and capabilities in learning ability of individuals should be encouraged. The use of
project and individualized teaching methods could be of useful effect in teaching for futuristic education. The project method involves learning in total study. The project to be studied is defined, explained to the learner and allowed to practice
and progress in the required learning experience under the guidance of the teacher. Essentially, this method propagates the idea of John Dewey (Kneller 1971) on knowledge acquisition and skill development. The project method advocates
learners being assisted as the needs arise to reach the desired goal; otherwise left alone and his performance evaluated. This learning imperative option has the following advantages:
i. It makes for the use of learners initiative since he is sparingly assisted.
ii. Learning is made interesting as the learner is faced with real life tasks to tackle. This increases experience and enhances problem solving ability. Interest is increased as learners see the result of their efforts; thus motivation is sustained. Projects carried out in group form enhance co-operation amongst learners as they contribute individually to the success of the project. This also assists in the formation of co-operatives societies.
( c) The Future of Agricultural Science in Schools.
Quality has been variously defined (Ojerinde 1997; Ubrevbu 2005). To ensure effective and functional education for the citizenry, all agents linked with education need total attention; but there has always been poor funding in developing countries which Nigeria is not an exception (Uba 2005).
Today people patronize private institutions on the assumption that public schools are not performing to standard. There are now many ways of knowing and assessing the achievement of set goals. The various ways must be qualitatively
and quantitatively arranged to ensure total quality in education. Total Quality Management (TQM) is a concept introduced into education from business. The concept of Total Quality Management (TQM) remains traceable to Edward
Deming an American statistician. Essentially, this management theory (TQM) focuses on customer satisfaction, employee empowerment and product
quality. The basic cardinals of TQM are:
1. That the customers are vital to the operation of the organization as they ensure business continuity since without business no organization. Therefore, it is the primary duty of any group to keep customers satisfied with quality products.
2. That management needs to listen to nontraditional sources of information in order to institute quality.
The theory of Total Quality Management (TQM) rest on work place and allocates changes which mangers have to settle if improvement is to be achieved in the system. In the main, the theory holds to customer relationship (student), employee empowerment (teacher), creation of enabling environment (infrastructure) that
promote unity and change; and continuous gathering and use of statistical data.
The achievement of a quality set goals on what education should be in the future demands a clear vision of the future. This involves total commitment of both material and financial resources to educative processes. Documented evidence exist of the cherished ideals or goals which education should achieve (National Policy on Education, NPE 2004) stating –
i. Production of highly motivated and efficient classroom teachers for all levels of the education system.
ii. Encouragement of the spirit of enquiry and creativity in the teachers.
iii. Help teachers to fit into school life of the community and the society at large and enhance their commitment to national goals.
iv. Provide the teacher with the intellectual and professional background, adequate for the assignment and make them adjust to changing situations.
v. Enhance teacher commitment to teaching profession.
Laudable as the above may seem, nothing can be achieved if adequate measure of financial, human and material resources are not committed to the course. To achieve the goals, the government should ensure:
a. That only the teachers with relevant qualification are employed in the education
system. The implication is that government needs to invest in teacher preparation as the current teacher-pupil ration is 1:1000 (Uba 2007). More teacher institution need to be built and existing ones expanded and upgraded to produce high calibre of teachers.
b. That the current teachers handling the various levels of education are exposed to current trends in both subject matter content and administrative management styles. This implies sending the existing teachers on course both local and outside the country especially in vocational and skill oriented jobs.
c. That the curriculum of teacher training incorporates entrepreneurial skills which will help them teach course that will generate employment after leaving school. This will help to reduce unemployment and increase poverty alleviation of the federal government agenda.
d. That the planned curriculum is religiously implemented. Inclusively, the teacher trainee should be taught the keeping of essential school records; such as the school attendance register, punishment (blackbook), staff movement book and continuous assessment and time table production skills.
Finally, there is the need for learning in education law. This will provide background to teachers’ roles and limitations as they act as local parents in the school system.
(d) Challenges of Agricultural Education
1. Curriculum Content: The curriculum of futuristic education constitutes one of the greatest challenges in a nation’s educational system. A perpetuation of relevant current content of the curriculum must be sustained and issues/contents of other cultures that have developed and influencing world culture must be incorporated. This is the perennial philosophy of man and education. Perennialism as philosophy of education (Kneller 1971) hold to the universality of men hence education should be same for everybody. Curriculum design for futuristic education should be an amalgam of subject base and integrated approach. The subject matter approach to curriculum design hold to the traditional nitty gritty of learning,; while on the other hand, the integrated approach see curriculum design as a package designed to harness the important parts of different subject matters. This type of curriculum advocates the inclusion of ideas in a curriculum package even if the ideas canvassed are not prevalent in the area. Essentially, the curriculum integrated approach subscribes to the philosophy of idealism (Kneller 1971) holding that education is preparation for future living.
2. Funding: School (centre of learning) environment requires a lot of infrastructure that are needed for effective learning. These infrastructures include building, chairs, and tables for teachers, documentation - school register, record books – diary and staff movement books. These require money which must be provided at the needed time. Agriculture is a vocational course; and more money will be needed to provide tractors, simple farm tools and other farm inputs for the training of the youth or new societal recruits. Currently, the percentage of national budget allotted to education is far below the 26 per cent recommended by UNESCO.
3. Attitudinal Change: Skinner (1961) explained attitude as ideas with emotional
content, important beliefs, prejudice, biases, predispositions, appreciations and a state of readiness or set. Attitude according to Benjamin (1986) is an individual predisposition or tendencies to reach in certain ways towards objects, creatures, individuals, institution, races, religion or practices.
Uti and Sunday (1993) reported that students’ attitude towards the vocational subjects and agriculture in particular has been negative; expressed in not participating in practical lessons. Several works (Obi 1981; Abdulahi 1982;
Agwuibike and Egun 1996) have identified the various causes of this phenomenon hence there is need for curriculum of Affect. Affective curriculum should be that which would influence the heart and bring about change in the manner that teachers and learners are influenced positively to the course of national goals. Currently, teachers and farmers are seen as individuals who have failed in other field of life (Agwubuike and Egun 1996). In entirety, the heart is to be educated.
According to Igborgbor (2006), the education of the heart includes all measures taken to assist the individual to develop values, attitudes and behaviours that are personally enhancing and positively productive for both the individual and
4. Home Influence: In many families, especially homes where farming has been the main occupations parents tend to discourage their children from taking measures that will find them in farming as their occupation. Farming and agriculture in general are discussed as occupation for failures in other human endeavour and school drop-outs.
This assertion was corroborated by Olaitan (1984) and concluded by Agwubuike and Egun (1996) when they said that the impressions are transferred to the school and expressed as truancy during practical lessons in agriculture. Cultural practices
are not out of influence in balancing male/female ratio in school. The gap/imbalance between male and female arose from a lot of cultural practices in
society resulting from deeply fixed preju dices, attitudes, customs behavioural decision and procedures coming to discriminate against women’s right and access to education.
Discoveries in science and technology bring about new ways of doing things that are useful if they are adopted and adapted by the greater majority of the people. The changing world phenomena towards technology need to be spread to the entire population. This can be achieved if the teachers are well prepared and the challenges eliminated.
5. Method of School Assessment: Assessment in school is based on written examination. A method in which the learner is meant to respond to a series of gestures from which his/her total being can be inferred. The concept of examination is as old as mankind dating book to Adam and  Eve with the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. Okoye (1986) defined examination as organized assessment technique which presents the individual with a series of question or tasks geared towards ascertaining the individual acquired skills
and knowledge – content and ability to utilize this knowledge and acquired skills effectively.
The purpose of examination could be:
a. To diagnose and ascertain what the pupil or examiner knows or does not know.
b. To predict the examinees success or otherwise in a higher level of education.
c. To motivate the learner
d. For placement or classification of learner
e. For selection purposes.
Currently, the assessment of learners is on written examination at the end of a semester or term as may be applied to the institution. This system has been variously criticized (Falayajo 1986; Yoloye 1988; Emeka 1996) principally for
deficiency in assessing the affective and manipulative aspect of knowledge, more so that the system neglects the dimensional growth and development of the individual especially at the early stage of the learner. The consequence is the development of emotions of love and hatred.
These are interpersonal feelings which have influenced interest in the mathematical sciences (Agwubuike and Egun 1996) a phenomenon which is capable of retarding launch into the world of science and technology.
Therefore, there is the need to evolve an assessment method which will be a combination of various test result that will portray actual profile of the learner and make for appropriate academic and entrepreneurial judgment. This may be found
in continuous assessment as put forward by Glacier (1962); bearing in mind that changing circumstances demand changing educational responses.

2.2     Review of Empirical Study
Teacher Preparation in Solving Competes Student supervisor Problems
Several researchers have carried out work on teacher’s preparation and challenges in Agricultural Education. One of such works was done in a research conducted by Knobloch. N. A, Ball. A.L and Settle. S. R (2006) on Teacher preparation in agriculture to solve complex student supervision problem through problem based learning, using a descriptive survey. This study sought to explore and describe the population of a cohort group of pre-service teachers in Agricultural Education, at a land-grant University in a Midwestern state.
The target population that the researchers sought to generalize to consisted of a census of pre-service teachers with a total of 400 participants, of which 250 was sampled in a teacher education seminar. The seminar was conducted one semester before the student teaching internship. The students were randomly assigned ill-structured problems, designed to prepare future agriculture teachers to solve difficult student problems related to the supervision of the FFA chapter. The ill-structured problems were written by the researchers based on authentic cases and involved: (1) theft on a field trip; (2) sexual activity in a motel room; (3) drug and alcohol use on a camping trip; (4) violation of good conduct policy; (5) academic ineligibility of the FFA chapter president; and, (6) horseplay on the school bus at a convention. Three to four pre-service teachers were randomly assigned the same ill-structured problems and the groups discussed how to solve the problems using the satisfying or administrative decision-making model.
His findings shows that Approximately 86% of the pre-service teachers agreed that they were more prepared to deal with student problems after the problem-based learning experience. Approximately 95% of the pre-service teachers agreed that the problem-based learning experience engaged them to think reflectively. Approximately 95% of the pre-service teachers reported that the ill-structured problems helped prepare them for similar situations they would face as agriculture teachers. All of the pre-service teachers agreed that the ill-structured problems engaged them to think of creative alternatives. He concluded that The pre-service teachers learned how to creatively generate alternatives, become informed of personal interest, school policies, and liability concerns, determine potential consequences for each alternative, consider possible implications of the consequences, and make decisions in a more reasonable period of time With the recommendation that Follow-up studies should be conducted to determine if the problem-based learning experiences helped pre-service teachers solve real problems they faced in the field.
Scott Burris (2005) on Preparation of Pre-service Teachers in Agricultural Mechanics.Teacher education programs face a myriad of challenges in preparing secondary agricultural education teachers. One challenge is providing preparation in technical content areas including agricultural mechanics. The purpose of this study was to determine the level of preparedness of teacher education program, in producing  graduates in the area of agricultural mechanics. The target population for the study was 120 from certifying institutions for Agricultural Education teachers in the United States. Data were collected with a mailed questionnaire sent in the fall of 2003. A total of 69 completed surveys were returned for a response rate of 78.4%. More than 90% of respondents indicated that six of the nine content areas were included in their state’s secondary curriculum. Respondents identified the level of importance as “important” for each of nine competency groupings. Respondents identified the level of preparation for hand/power tools as “prepared.” The remaining eight competency groupings were rated as “somewhat prepared.”
More than 97% of respondents indicated that some agricultural mechanics credits were required for program completion. The average number of credits required for program completion was 9.13. A majority (58%) of institutions indicated that at least one required course was taught within the department housing the teacher preparation program.
Squire. P.J and Celia. P ( 2009) on Problems of Special Education Needs Students Participation in Secondary Agricultural Education Projects.
The study was a descriptive survey designed to identify the problems Special Education Needs (SEN) students face when carrying out agricultural projects in secondary schools in Botswana. Closed and open-ended instruments were used to collect data. The findings showed that SEN students and agriculture teachers respectively face many challenges and problems in teaching and participating in agricultural projects.
The study also described the demographic characteristics of the respondents, brought into focus some suggestions SEN students made to education authorities that will enhance their participation in agriculture projects, and identified the challenges agriculture teachers face in teaching SEN students in junior secondary
schools. Based on the findings the researchers recommended that: (1) School authorities provide special services to meet the learning needs of SEN students (2) An Individualized Education Program (IEP) should be developed for each SEN student, with input from the students and students’ parents, and (3) All who come into contact with the SEN children will need some kind of training prepares them to meet the SEN students’ learning and other needs.
It is a common knowledge that no research work exist in all completeness that is devoid of flaws and lapses, but the ability to reduce or make those lapses within the limit of this research work that was observed in the previous work done particularly on this topic, Teacher Preparation and Challenges in Agricultural Education. The previous research concentrates on the impact of teacher preparation in the futuristic performance in agriculture. Their general idea assertions were tending towards the same direction and were old operationally, hence failed to relate the issues under discussion to the Nigerian case.
          This work will try to go beyond this scope such that through our empirical findings, policy recommendation could be given to enhance the role of commercial banks in boosting the economic development of rural area in Nigeria.

Squire et al (2009) Problems of Special Education Needs Students Participation in Secondary Agricultural Education Projects: Challenges for the Vocational Agricultural Education Profession in Botswana.
Scott Burris (2005), Preparation of Pre-service Teachers in Agricultural Mechanics
Agwubike CC, Egun AC 1996. Pedagogical issues in Agricultural Education: The case of Truancy in Practical Agriculture in Secondary Schools. Nigeria Journal of Sociology of Education, IV(1): 30- 37
Egun AC 1984. Agricultural Science in Primary School (unpublished) Seminar paper, University of Nigeria Nsukka.
Egun AC 1995. Towards an Appropriate Culture – Loaded Agricultural Education Curriculum Nigerian school. West African Journal of Educational Research, II: 146 – 151.
Egun AC 2007. Comparative Marketable Leaf Yield of Staked and Unstaked Pumpkin (Telfaria Occidentalis) in a Tropical Utisoil. Studies on Home and
Community Science, 1(1): 27 – 29.
Egun AC 1994. High School Agricultural Science Programme. The role of Faculty of Agriculture Demonstration Farms. Nigerian Journal of Technical Vocational Institution Development, III(2): 80 – 84.
Knobloch et al (2006) preparing teachers of agriculture to solve complex student supervision problems through problem-based learning
Okeke, E. U. (1997). A survey of the development of agricultural education in Nigeria. Nibo: Micro Industrial Press.
Egbule, P. E. (2002). Fundamentals and practice of agricultural education. Owerri: Totan.
Nnadi, F. N., Onuoha, E. R. & Ikeoki, C. M. (2000). Agricultural education. Owerri: Egeoba
Udeogalanya, A. C. C. (2000). Countdown to agricultural science. Ibadan: Evans Brothers.
Udeolisa, M. C. (1997). The role of agricultural education in sustainable development. Nibo: Micro Industrial Press.

3.1  Introduction
This chapter describes the techniques and procedures used by the researcher in conducting the study and gathering the data for this research work. It includes the research design, description for the population of the study, the sample size, sampling techniques, source of data, method of data collection and method of data analysis and testing hypothesis.
3.2    Research Design
                   This study adopts the survey design. Survey design describes the act of working out the form of something (as by making a sketch or outline or plan and its outcome). Applying to surveys it can mean either visual representation or developing question order.
3.3     Population for the Study
          The population was strategically selected and designed to obtain adequate and various views regarding the teacher preparation and challenges on agricultural education. The population for this study is made up of the staff in the department of Agricultural education, Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi. A total number of 10 academic staff and 53 students of the department are the targeted population for this study.
3.4     Sample for the Study
          The sampling size used in this research was made up of all the ten (10) academic staff  of Agricultural Education departments  and  400L students from the department of Agricultural Education making a total of  Sixty three (63). (Departmental Records, 2014).

3.5     Instrument for Data Collection.
           Primary data are used in the study. Primary data are collected from respondent through direct interview and questionnaires issued to them to capture their views on teacher preparation and challenges in Agricultural Education.
The questionnaires are design in such a way to enable the respondents to provide their views as to teacher preparation and the challenges in agricultural education.
          The questionnaire is made up of fourteen (14) questions from which the respondent is expected to choose the option he/she consider suitable for him by ticking appropriately.

3.6     Methods of data collection  
          Data are collected with the help of questionnaires issued out to both staffs and students in the college of Agricultural and science education. The questionnaires were issued personally to the respondents to tick the option they find suitable to their opinions.

3.7     Techniques of data analysis.
          In this study, frequency and simple average were applied in answering the research questions. The level of significance is 5% and the level of confidence interval is 95%.
          Chi-square was used in testing the formulated hypothesis. The formula is as given below:

Chi-square formula is given as:
X2 =∑(O−E)2
Where: X2 = Chi-square
              O= No of observation
              E= No of expected frequency

3.8     Decision Rule
          A set of decision rule is important as to the null or alternative hypothesis.
  The decision rule for the Chi-square test is that, the null hypotheses (Ho) will be accepted if the calculated Chi-square value is less than the critical value tabulated, but if the calculated Chi-square is greater than the critical value of the tabulated, then it should be rejected.


Questionnaire for Agricultural Science Teachers and Students.
Please tick [√] as appropriate on the space provided.
1.     Sex   M [  ]       F [  ]
2.     Age  20-30 [    ]    31-40 [    ] 41-50 [    ]  51-60 [    ] 60 above [    ]
3.     Level in study………….
4.     Rank: Graduate assistant [   ], Adjunct lecturer [   ], Lecturer II [   ], Lecturer I [   ],  Senior Lecturer [  ], Professor [   ].
5.     How long have you being in the department?..........................

1.     Are the following major topics taught in core courses of the Agricultural Education, University of Makurdi?
Major Courses
Strongly agreed
Strongly Disagreed
AED 404 core course
a)What is guideline
b) what is counseling
c) what is a theory
d)factors influencing career choice
e) occupation information

2.     Are the following teaching techniques used in content delivery in the department of Agricultural Education?

Core courses
Strongly Agreed
Strongly Disagreed
1)    Demonstration method
2)    Failed trips method
3)    Problem solving method
4)    Project method
5)    Lecture method
6)    Role playing method
7)    Simulation as a techniques
8)    Discussion method

3.     Are these practical methods used for teacher preparation in department of Agricultural Education, University of Agriculture Makurdi?

Practical methods
Strongly disagreed
Strongly Disagreed
1)Teaching practice
2) Micro Teaching
3) Workshop
4) Seminars

4.     What are the likely challenges of teacher preparation in teaching techniques in the department of Agricultural Education, University of Agriculture Makurdi?  
Strongly Agreed
Strongly Disagreed
-Students teacher posting
-Availability of instrument
-Opportunities of using disvers teaching techniques
-Dress code

5.     Are these challenges of teacher preparation in content delivery in the department of Agricultural Education, University of Agriculture Makurdi?
Strongly Agreed
Strongly Disagreed
-Financial constraint
-Educational qualification
-Technical know how
-Environmental factor

6.     Are they challenges of teachers’ preparation in practical methods in the department of Agricultural education in University of Agriculture Makurdi. A. Yes [   ] B. No [   ]
7.     Are the following solutions and way forward for the effective teachers’ preparation in the department of Agricultural Education, University of Agriclutre Makurdi?
Solutions and way forward
Strongly Agreed
Strongly Disagreed
-Periodic staff training
-Infrastructural development
-Sufficient funding

8.     Does teachers preparation and the challenges faced in Agricultural education affect students performance?  A. Yes [   ]    B. No[   ]
9.     How would you rate the preparation of teachers in agricultural education?  A. High [   ] B. Average [   ] C. Low [   ]
10.                         How reliable is educational curriculum in the preparation of teacher lecture? A. Very reliable [   ] B. Reliable [   ] C. Not reliable [   ]
11.                         Does the following  government policy affect teacher’s preparation towards effective teaching in Agricultural Education? 
Strongly Agreed
Strongly Disagreed
-Retirement Age
- No work no pay
-6-3-3-4 education system

12.                         Are the following steps taken by government to improve teacher preparation in Agricultural Education? 
Strongly Agreed
Strongly Disagreed
-Salary increment

13.                         Are the following significant improvement brought by teacher preparation in Agricultural Education?
Strongly Agreed
Strongly Disagreed
-Quality content delivery
-Quality graduates
-Quality research

14.                         What measure should government take towards improving teacher preparation in agricultural education? A. Training [   ] B. Leave [   ] C. Seminars [   ]