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particular farming occupation are largely determined by the requirements of the type of farming in which it is carried on. (Examples: The occupation of a resident farm owner, the occupation of a tenant farmer, the occupation of a hired farm manager, and the occupation of a farm laborer.)
A type of farming is usually understood to refer to certain common characteristics which may be recognized in the farming pursued by a certain group of farmers, usually within a locality but sometimes under similar conditions in other localities. A type of farming may be identified by the enterprise or enterprises conducted and particularly by the major source or sources of income and the intensity and stability of the practices. (Examples: Dairy farming, general stock and crop farming, cotton farming, and specialized poultry farming.)
A farm enterprise consists of a series of jobs in the production and disposal of a farm commodity together with by-products, if any. The enterprise should always be designated in terms of the principal commodity or product and not in terms of the by-products. Enterprises may be rated either as major or minor, depending upon their relative importance in the type of farming with respect to extent and net returns. An enterprise may also be contributory, depending upon whether or not its product is consumed in the conduct of one of the other enterprises.' (Examples: Producing market milk, growing silage for dairy cows, growing corn for grain, producing market pork, and growing vegetables for home use.)
A farm job is a natural unit of farm work which is distinguished from other farm jobs by its special purpose, its particular setting, and the special equipment required, if any. Most farm jobs have to do with individual enterprises, in which case the job is identified with the given enterprise. (Examples: See p. 34.) There are also farm jobs which have to do more with the business of the farm as a whole than with any one enterprise. (Examples: Financing the farm business, draining the farm, installing a water system; see also Federal Board for Vocational Education, Bulletin No. 88, "Analysis of the Management of a Farm Business.")
Hence, vocational education in agriculture is regarded as a preparation for specific farming occupations rather than just for "farming." It is education in terms of specific types of farming. The content of instruction should be drawn from the activities involved in the enterprises and farm jobs occurring in these different types of agricultural pursuits.
Since a farm job is a natural and basic unit of work in a farming occupation, it serves as an excellent basis for setting up corresponding teaching units. By teaching unit is meant a portion of instruction
1 See also Federal Board for Vocational Education Bulletin No.98, “Principles in Making the Vocational Course of Study in Agriculture in the High School," by Dr. T. H. Eaton.
which can be handled more or less independently of other portions and which can be completely taught as one “teaching job.” Moreover, each teaching unit should be organized on the basis of a farm job because such an organization insures a direct and effective application of the instruction to the type of farming for which preparation is being given.
Although the term "farm job” is frequently used in a generic sense for the sake of brevity or general reference, it should be used only in & specific sense in reference to teaching units. From the standpoint of teaching situations, a farm job may be classified either as an operative unit or as a managerial unit, depending on the type of activity or ability involved. (See lesson types, pp. 7 and 25.)
If the pupil is to be taught to do a given job according to some more or less standard practice resulting in a concrete product, the job may be regarded as an operative unit. By standard practice is meant a procedure commonly followed by farmers in a locality or tested and recommended by agricultural experiment stations; in short, some established practice.
If the job which the pupil is to be taught to do requires the exercise of managerial ability the job may be regarded as a managerial unit. Managerial ability is required whenever facts must be assembled, functioning facts selected and evaluated, and decisions made and carried out. Hence the teaching objective in such cases is to promote constructive and effective thinking.
Operative training centers on the ability to do a specific job as an end in itself. Managerial training centers on instruction and practice in a thinking procedure and regards as a by-product the conclusions which are reached for the particular job which is used as a basis for the teaching. It is really a training in the application of a general mental procedure to a wide variety of specific problems.
Operative ability is acquired by practice of the job operations according to standard practice and with intelligent application of any technical knowledge of materials and working conditions. The operations are merely convenient subdivisions of the job unit. Managerial ability is acquired by practice in making decisions involving the consideration of managerial factors, ways and means, equipment and materials, and working conditions.
In making an analysis of managerial training content, the job itself may be regarded as the making of a major decision which can be made quite independently of other decisions occurring in the farm enterprise under consideration. This major decision, for the sake of convenience, is usually resolved into several minor decisions just as an operative job is analyzed into its successive operations. Determining the kind of decisions to be made is the first step in a managerial analysis. For example, the working out of a managerial job of
Buying seed corn” resulted in the decision to buy a particular lot of corn, but in order to arrive at this final decision a number of minor decisions had to be made, namely, “What variety to grow,' “From what source to get the seed,” “When to buy,” “How much to buy," and "Where to buy." (See pp. 26 and 27.)
The next step is to determine the factors which should be considered in making each of the decisions. A factor is an element, condition, or influence affecting a result. Since, as in any other business, the amount of net return is the measure of success in farming, and since a net return is possible only when costs are less than income, practically all of the factors appearing in the analysis of managerial training content are either direct cost factors or are factors which affect the ultimate cost of the product.
Regardless of the extent to which a given farmer in practice performs both operative and managerial jobs in any order, or in any combination, the learner can profitably center his attention on only one type of job at a time. Hence training for operative and managerial jobs should be separated during the learning period. This distinction merely points to the desirability of centering the attention of the learner on the specific type of training which he is undergoing at a given time rather than confusing him in a vain attempt to master everything at once.
From the standpoint of vocational education, the teaching of operative ability or managerial ability or both are justified wherever needed. In most cases, managerial ability can be more readily acquired if the learner already possesses considerable operative ability as an apperceptive base. Furthermore, it will be seen later in the examples given in this bulletin that the classification of the teaching content of farm jobs into “operative" and "managerial" is a very broad one and includes several different types of activity in connection with farm jobs for all of which training should be given.
In addition to the specific training content for particular jobs, there is also a considerable amount of related knowledge which has value to the extent that it explains and interprets on a scientific basis the facts upon which standard practice is based and through which specific experience is generalized. In this way, this more generally related knowledge contributes interest and enables the learner to apply certain specific elements of experience derived from a job in which he has had training to other jobs of the same general character in which he has not been trained. In all cases, however, these scientific generalizations are to be regarded as supplementary to the specific job training content. Such related science as well as ideals and appreciations should, in most cases, be developed from the specific job activities. Here, again, the farm job basis of organization is emphasized in this bulletin as the soundest basis for the organization of vocational teaching content for farming occupations.
REPORT OF A STUDY OF METHODS OF TEACHING ON THE
FARM JOB BASIS
CONCEPTIONS OF TEACHING GOVERNING THIS STUDY
Each of the teaching units described in this bulletin has been organized on the basis of some farm job, as stated in the lesson plan. The teaching objectives, however, are expressed in terms of the kind of doing ability the pupil is to secure in connection with the different jobs. In this bulletin four general types of objectives have been discussed, as follows: Type I. Operative ability up to occupational standards hav
ing to do with manipulative activities and sensory judgment, such as testing milk, culling hens,
plowing, or filing a saw. Type II. Operative ability having to do with routine mental
activities, such as computing by a formula. Type III. Ability to secure and organize information relating
to a given job. Type IV. Ability in dealing with managerial problems. The instructing process.
Teaching is designed to assist a pupil in securing new or increased ability to do or to think “straight.” Vocational instruction may be likened to growing a crop of corn, as illustrated in the following table:
Comparison of crop production and teaching
Phases of crop production
Corresponding phases of teaching
The purpose of growing the crop..
The teaching objective.
It should be noted that supervising practice is practically synonymous with the" application” step commonly referred to in educational literature in connection with the formal lesson, but the use of the term “supervising” emphasizes a teaching function and the teacher's responsibility for finding out how effective his presentation has been and what further efforts, if any, he must make to cause it to be effective. In any case the pupil can learn to do only by doing and to think only by thinking.
It will thus be seen that these teaching steps are essential functions or teaching operations which any teacher undertaking organized vocational instruction must perform. These functions have been discovered by a study of learning processes and are based on a knowledge of how a learner's mind works. They are therefore inherent and not merely formal and arbitrary procedures. System rather than formalism is the distinguishing characteristic of teaching of this sort. Levels of learning. Several levels of learning may be distinguished as follows:
First, we learn that a thing exists and become able to recog
nize it. Second, we learn more about the features and function of the
thing, and thus secure an understanding appreciation of it. Third, we learn how to use the thing, how to make it work,
or how to do the job—we secure doing ability. It should be noted that if teaching is carried through to the doing level the objectives relating to the lower levels can be attained at the same time, and that the third level can only be reached by a learner who has already passed through the first and
second levels. Learning is complete with reference to a particular job when one's ability reaches the level of the formation of efficient habits. Vocational teaching should be directed toward habit forming, but the agricultural vocational school seldom attempts to assume complete responsibility for carrying the teaching to the point of turning out the trainee with habits completely formed. What the school should do in any case is to carry the teaching to the point where the pupil can continue his own habit training with little or no supervision.