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Comparative Study of Agricultural Literacy of Urban Vs. Rural Third and Fourth Graders: Before and After an Agricultural Program

Lewis, Leslie Marie
Agricultural literacy is an important part of education in the United States. Public and policy maker understanding of agricultural and natural resources is a national research priority set forth by the American Association for Agricultural Education. The purpose of this study was to discover the level of agricultural literacy with third and fourth grade students in an urban area compared to students in a rural area before and after an agricultural program. Due to the ever increasing urban population students in today's world do not have the knowledge to be conversationally literate about agriculture. Agricultural programs have been put into place to help teach students about agriculture. This study employed a pretest and posttest, based upon the Food and Fiber Systems Literacy Framework, to determine if students were gaining agricultural knowledge through the Kids & Kows & More program. Data was compared to measure students' agricultural knowledge before and after the agricultural program. Overall, findings indicate that students do increase their knowledge from before to after an agricultural program. It was also found that urban students had a higher mean score on both the pretest and posttest. The study concluded that students involved in agricultural programs do increase their knowledge of agriculture through the teaching and experiential learning involved. Also, the study concluded that urban students have a higher level of agricultural literacy than rural students.