Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education

Committee Chair(s)

Tyson J. Sorenson (Chair), Michael Pate (Co-Chair)


Tyson J. Sorensen


Michael Pate


Michelle S. Burrows


Katie Kraus


Agricultural mechanics and welding have traditionally been perceived to be careers reserved for males, yet more females have entered professions using welding such as agricultural education. This research was developed because of the lack of gender research in welding. The purpose of this study was to examine students’ perceptions of learning from a male instructor versus a female instructor in a post-secondary welding course. We examined associations and differences between students’ preference of a male and a female welding instructor as well as individual self-efficacy and perceptions towards using welding technology. The population for this study was undergraduate students and the sample was 45 undergraduate students enrolled in a beginning welding course at Utah State University.

Students’ perceptions toward welding technology and learning welding technology, tinkering self-efficacy, demographics, and preferences toward the gender of their welding instructor were collected to look at differences between students. Research findings suggest receiving instruction from a female welding instructor had a positive influence on the student’s beliefs of learning from a female instructor. Several individuals showed evidence of gender bias or preference through their survey responses. Male students had higher levels of tinkering self-efficacy, were more involved in a technology-oriented degree of studies, and overall had more welding experience compared to the female students.

Recommendations include more agricultural mechanics coursework in agricultural education teacher preparation programs to increase confidence to teach agricultural mechanics for all agricultural educators, addressing gender bias issues in teaching methods courses, and more research be conducted in a similar environment to verify gender bias in agricultural mechanics.