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Implementation and Evaluation of Gearing Up for Safety Curriculum for Use with Black Youth Seeking AGHOS Certification


<OL> <LI> A better understanding of the needs of Black agricultural educators and youth concerning compliance with the Agricultural Hazardous Occupation Orders (AgHOs). <LI>Documentation of criteria and development of evaluation processes that should be considered to ensure that AgHOs training, regardless of source, is free of cultural and racial bias when used with Black youth. <LI>Enhancement of the current Gearing Up for Safety curriculum to ensure its acceptance by Black agricultural educators and youth. This would include expanded resources to specifically make the resource more reflective of the agricultural work environment in which a majority of Black youth are engaged.<LI> Increased awareness among Black agricultural educators and employers concerning the training requirements contained in the AgHOs and the availability of resources to meet those requirements. <LI> Documented increase in the number of Black youth who participate in and successfully complete the AgHOs certification training.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: A. No data exists on the efficacy of AgHOs certification training programs when used with Black youth. B. Less than 2% of the youth population that has participated in the pilot-testing of the current Gearing Up for Safety/AgHOs training program have been Black. C. The number of Black youth participating in traditional AgHOs certification programs is not proportional to the number of Black youth in need of the training. The purposes of this proposed project will be to introduce and assess the efficacy of the Gearing Up for Safety - Agricultural Production Safety Training for Youth curriculum for use with African-American/Black rural youth engaged in some aspect of agricultural production, and to ensure that the contents and testing process of this and similar curricula are free of distracting cultural and racial bias.


APPROACH: To access whether the performance of Black youth may be influenced by factors specific to group membership (e.g. culture, gender, race) the psychometric properties of the Gearing Up for Safety testing process will be examined for invariance (equality) across groups. The type of the invariance investigation depends on the suspected nature of bias and can include a variety of methods to detect, such as: a) differential item functioning; and b) factor structure invariance. In other words, if the examinations used in Gearing Up are designed without internal bias, youth from any group should achieve comparable results. The project will build upon the substantial research experience that Purdue has gained in the design, implementation, and evaluation of educational resources for agricultural production safety training for youth. The co-principle investigators will be W.E. Field, Ed.D., Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and B.F. French, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Educational Studies. Both are currently involved with the USDA-CSREES funded Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Model Administrative Management System for the HOSTA Program. The other primary team member will be Mr. Myron McClure, M.S., who is working at Purdue on a project to promote more Black youth to consider careers in agriculture and related professions. In addition at least three Black agricultural educators in predominately Black high schools will participate in testing the curriculum with approximately 200 Black youth who will take part in the evaluation process. All outcomes will be shared nationally through publications, presentations at relevant professional meetings, and the HOSTA website. Special attention will be given to reaching Black agricultural educators and employers through the 1892 Historical Black Institutions, Black Farmers of America, MANRRS, and similar organizations.
PROGRESS: 2007/09 TO 2008/09<BR>
OUTPUTS: Presentations on findings have been presented at the following events: 1. National Farm Safety Education Council, October 2006, Washington, DC. "Development of Gearing Up For Safety for Use with African-American Youth Seeking AgHOs Certification". 2. National Institute for Farm Safety, June 2007, Penticton, Canada. "Evaluation of Gearing Up For Safety Curriculum for Use With Black Youth Seeking AgHOs Certification". 3. National African-American Student Leadership conference, January 2008, Holly Spring, MS. "Historical Perspective of African Americans in Agricultural Safety and Health". <BR> PARTICIPANTS: Activities to enhance awareness and collect feedback have been conducted with African-American teachers and students at the following: 1. Minorities in Agriculture, National Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) in Birmingham, AL and Denver, CO (60 students and 3 teachers). 2. AgriTeck Summer Program, Tuskegee, AL (2 teachers and 40 students). 3. Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, GA (10 Ag Ed teachers and 2 Extension educators). 4. Blount Youth Home, Vidalia, GA (1 teacher and 10 students). 5. SECME Teacher Conference, Tuskegee, AL (6 teachers). <BR> TARGET AUDIENCES: The primary target audience of this project has been African-American agricultural educators and Extension educators who have the potential of encouraging African-American youth to participate in the Agricultural Hazardous Occupations Order (AgHOs) training required for certification. This audience is primarily located in the southern region of the U.s. The desired outcomes include: greater awareness of the current work place safety regulations impacting youth employed in agriculture; increased use of the Gearing Up For Safety, Agricultural Safety Training for Youth curriculum and increased level of participation by African-American youth in AgHos certification training programs. <BR> <BR>
IMPACT: 2007/09 TO 2008/09<BR>
Findings have been used to modify the current Gearing Up For Safety Training for Youth curriculum to increase the presence of minorities shown within the curriculum visuals and to remove cultural and geographic biases. Fourteen African-American agricultural education teachers have received training on AgHO's instructional resources and entered into the national HOSTA database. Currently about half of these instructors have introduced the Gearing Up For Safety curriculum into their classrooms potentially impacting several hundred African-American students. Approximately 200 African-American students have completed the Gearing Up For Safety curriculum as part of the validation process.

Field, William
Purdue University
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