Predictors and program outcomes of empowering practices of FFA chapter advisors
Anderson, Kimberly Sue
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One of the challenges in youth development is to understand the dynamics of the youth-adult partnership in order to determine the factors that foster student growth. This challenge resides in the context of empowerment as an element of shared leadership in youth-adult partnerships. This quantitative study utilized a 51-item survey instrument to examine the predictors and program outcomes of empowering practices of FFA chapter advisors. The online questionnaire was designed as a self-assessment of the frequency that empowering practices were implemented in working with FFA members. The five empowering practices constructs (fostering self efficacy, setting a context for action, structuring the task, creating a sense of ownership, and coaching for performance) comprised a composite theory developed through a review of the literature and interactions with key stakeholders, particularly agricultural education practitioners. The empowering practices served as the central constructs of the instrument which also included items to determine personal characteristics, agricultural education program characteristics, and personal views of the program. The 388 agricultural educators in the state of Georgia served as the population for this study. From the population, 227 responses were deemed usable resulting in a 66% adjusted response rate. The respondents ranged in age from 23 to 63, with a mean age of 38.98. The respondents were 71.4% male and 28.6% female. A majority (92.9%) of the respondents were Caucasian. The number of completed years in teaching ranged from zero to 36, with a mean years experience of 11.00. The responses revealed that practices associated with fostering self efficacy were implemented the most frequently. While those associated with creating a sense of ownership demonstrated the lowest frequency. The single most important finding in the study is that years of teaching experience and level of school administration support can be used to predict 9.1% of the implementation of total empowering practices which in turn can be used to explain 15.4% of overall advisor satisfaction. Based on the findings, three key considerations for teacher pre-service and in-service training are: improving the sense of ownership among students, retention of teachers to gain years of experience, and building support from school administration.