Journal of Research in Technical Careers


special needs students, school-based agricultural education


Disability and Equity in Education | Secondary Education | Secondary Education and Teaching | Special Education Administration | Special Education and Teaching | Vocational Education


The purpose of this historical study was to investigate the inclusion of students with special needs in school-based, agricultural education as reported by The Agricultural Education Magazine and the Journal of Agricultural Education over a time period of six decades. The impact of landmark legislation, such as the Vocational Education Act of 1963, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, and the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1990, were examined. This legislation motivated and supported agricultural education’s efforts to meet the learning needs of special education students by providing modified lessons and learning environments, inclusive SAEs and FFA activities, and focused teacher preparation. Challenges and concerns regarding the placement of special needs students in school-based, agricultural education are also discussed, as well as opportunities for related research in the future, especially about their participation in the FFA.