Journal of Research in Technical Careers


agricultural education, program supervision, supervisors, vocational education


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration | Vocational Education


This study’s purpose was to understand the historical evolution of the supervision of school-based, agricultural education (SBAE). Supervision as a concept is described, including its emergence as an integral part of public school education in the United States. Moreover, the perspectives of early leaders of vocational education, such as Charles Prosser, are examined, as well as the impact of the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 and other key federal legislation that came afterward. Supervision of SBAE as inspection and administrative oversight and for the purpose of instructional improvement is explored. We also discuss the early supervisory role of teacher educators of agricultural education; the ascendance and, in some cases, later decline of state staff as supervisors; and the role of local school administrators in the supervision of SBAE, including some of the philosophical tensions and divergent views among and between those stakeholders. Implications and recommendations are offered regarding the supervision of SBAE in the future, especially the role of professional organizations, such as the National Association of Agricultural Educators, the American Association for Agricultural Education, and the National Association of Supervisors of Agricultural Education, and their working in concert with The National Council for Agricultural Education.