Locus of Control and Pedagogy in Skill-Based Agricultural Mechanics
Keywords:experiential learning, external control, internal control, maslow hierarchy of need, behavioral science
Teachers of agriculture have use project-based learning as a primary teaching method in agricultural mechanics since the 19th century. These methods teach the information and motivate students to engage the content. Locus of Control (LOC) categorizes the relationship with decision-making and motivation. Internal LOC have a higher level of internal motivation and desire a central role in decision-making processes. External LOC typically do not seek out opportunities for decision making. A student with an internal LOC acts on the world and a student with an external LOC believes the world acts on them. This research was to determine if students’ LOC differentiated between hands-on compared to lecture-based teaching. Students in an agricultural mechanics course at [University] (N = 38) were neither internal nor external (f =16) LOC, those with a tendency towards one or the other were more internal (f = 15) and (f = 7) were external LOC. Most students felt slightly positive toward project-based learning (M = 3.61, SD = 0.70) and slightly negative toward lecture-based learning (M = 2.78, SD = 0.85). Either LOC plays no role in students’ feelings toward project-based methods or there are so few internal students that no correlation could be detected
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