Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education

Committee Chair(s)

Rebecca G. Lawver


Rebecca G. Lawver


Brian K. Warnick


Tyson J. Sorensen


Trevor P. Robinson


Preparing students to be career and work ready is a concern of educators and schools nationwide. Twenty-first century skills prepare students to enter the workforce or higher education with the ability to think critically and creatively, collaborate with others, take the initiative when approached with a task, and use technology to its fullest potential. If students are not learning the skills needed for success, it is because educators and schools are not teaching them. When students possess these skills, they are prepared to work in teams, think critically and creatively about a problem, display leadership and social skills, and communicate effectively with others.

The research sought to identify school-based agriculture education teachers perceived knowledge, importance, and ability to teach these 21st -century skills in the classroom. Results showed that agriculture teachers nationwide find 21st -century skills to be important, but they are less knowledgeable and able to teach them. The research concluded that professional development is needed to increase teacher’s knowledge of and ability to teach 21st -century skills. Professional development will allow school-based agricultural education teachers to gain specific and applicable strategies for implementation. With the application of 21st -century skills in the school-based agricultural education classroom, students will become better prepared to enter the workforce or higher education upon graduating high school.