Agriculture and animal science student bodies are shifting toward a more urban composition at the same time that criticism of animal industries by nonagricultural groups is increasing. Animal science classes include students with diverse educational goals, agricultural knowledge and experience, and values. Students without agricultural backgrounds or who have not formed opinions on agricultural questions may lack the integrated knowledge that motivates them to seek, organize, and retain the technical subject matter presented in their animal science courses. A survey of undergraduates in animal science and other agriculture majors indicates that significant numbers are unable or unwilling to offer opinions on questions related to critical social issues facing animal agriculture. Opinion holding among animal science majors and non-majors was relatively similar. However, students from urban backgrounds were less likely than rural students to offer opinions, and many of those who offered opinions held views different from those of students from rural backgrounds. Students reporting recent exposure to the issue in their academic course work were somewhat more likely to hold opinions. The findings are consistent with a social-psychological learning model that suggests instructors should require students to express and defend positions on agricultural issues in course activities.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of animal science|
|State||Published - Jun 1994|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology