This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Perceptions of Soft Skill Development in Secondary Agricultural Education Programs by Agricultural Teachers




Free, Daniel

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The research embodying this study replicates the study performed by Mitchell (2008), which explored the essential successes of soft skills in the twenty-first century workforce as perceived by Alabama business/marketing teachers. However, the primary focus of this study was regarding the perceptions that secondary agricultural teachers have on the incorporation of soft skill development within their agricultural/FFA program. Alabama agricultural teachers (N=125) were surveyed at their regional Association of Alabama Agricultural Educators (AAAE) meetings using the Twenty-First Century Workforce Soft Skills Assessment survey (TCWSSA), originally created by Mitchell (2008), providing a 97.6 percent response rate. The fourteen soft skills surveyed were oral communication, general communication, written communication, general ethics, diversity, time management, teamwork, problem solving/critical thinking, organization, leadership, reliability, adaptability, conflict resolution, and business etiquette. Alabama agricultural teachers had a very high perception of the importance of the integration of soft skills into agricultural curriculums (M ≥ 4.75). Correspondingly, Alabama agricultural teachers were shown to integrate the same soft skill concepts into either a daily or weekly schedule. Moreover, participating agricultural teachers perceived all 14 soft skill categories to be very important, based on a Likert-type scale of 1: Not Important to 5: Extremely Important (M ≥ 4.22). The results yielded that the number of years teaching, highest degree held, administrational certification, grade level taught, school location, and type of school regarding the perceptions of secondary Alabama agricultural teachers on the importance of soft skills for success in the twenty-first century workforce were not statistically significant.