Safety Education for Women in Agriculture

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Date

2019-05

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The Ohio State University

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Abstract

A void in safety education exists; seldom is hands-on safety education designed specifically for women. In the United States, women make up a significant portion of farmers with exposure to the same threats of occupational injuries and fatalities as their male counterparts. The body of research not only included designing safety curriculum specifically for women but also testing its effectiveness in the classroom or learning environment. The researcher began by exploring high injury-causing agents in agriculture and identifying a nationally-recognized curriculum to create lessons. The researcher gained validity and reliability by pilot testing the curriculum at Women in Agriculture Extension events, Chapter FFA events, and among preservice agricultural educators. These lessons were then distributed to agricultural and extension educators in Ohio to teach the content to their students or clientele. After teaching the material, the instructors completed a ten-question survey evaluating each lesson plan they taught. Eleven instructors taught sessions involving 243 student participants. Instructors identified themselves as OSU Extension educators, agricultural educators, pre-service agricultural educators, and one university professors. Lessons were taught at 9 high school FFA chapters in Ohio and one university in Iowa. The lessons titled Reaction Time (n=6) and Why it Matters (n=4) were taught the most times and with the most participants, with 118 students and 125 students respectively. The lessons titled Decoding Colors (n=1), Operating the Tractor with a Loader (n=1), and Making 3-Point Hitch and Drawbar Connections (n=1) were taught the least with the least number of students. Decoding Colors was taught to 18 students while Operating the Tractor with a Loader and Making 3-Point Hitch and Drawbar Connections were taught to 5 students each. The results found instructors strongly agreed or agreed that each lesson included an engaging interest approach (99.9%) and was well organized and relevant to learners (99.9%). Instructors strongly agreed or agreed that the lessons used multiple strategies to engage learners (84.5%); provided a complete list of teaching materials (92.2%); included an accurate time in which it took to present the lesson (61.4%); and the course content was based on current, up-to-date information (92.2%). Finally, instructors strongly agreed or agreed that the content in the lessons was interesting and relevant for a range of participants’ ability and prior background knowledge (92.2%). The curriculum evaluation established all educators found the curriculum to be a valuable training for their students. Through these conclusions the researcher demonstrated two objectives: (1) Develop train-the-trainer style agricultural safety curriculum to be used by agricultural science and extension educators. (2) Evaluate the created curriculum on accessibility and ease of utilization. The researcher adjusted the lessons based on educators’ recommendations and made the curriculum available to a larger audience.

Description

1st Place at the 2019 Denman Undergraduate Research Forum in the Education Across the Human Lifespan Category
1st Place at the 2019 College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Research Forum in the Social Sciences Category

Keywords

Women, Agriculture, Safety, Education

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