Equipping Youth with Agripreneurship and Other Valuable Life Skills by Linking Secondary Agricultural Education to Communities for Improved Livelihoods: A Comparative Analysis of Project-based Learning in Uganda
Mukembo, Stephen Charles
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This study sought to assess how a project-based learning (PBL) approach involving agripreneurship enhanced students’ understanding and application of poultry science knowledge and concepts and related entrepreneurial competencies learned at school to real-world settings. Further, the participants’ experiences were described regarding school-based, agripreneurial projects (SAPs) and their potential for improving agricultural practices and livelihood opportunities. This study employed an embedded mixed methods design (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). Quantitative data from 280 participants were analyzed and reported. Further, an ANCOVA was conducted (Cook & Campbell, 1979) to determine if statistically significant interactions or differences existed between the treatment and counterfactual groups, including differences between sexes. Seven of the study’s 10 null hypotheses were rejected. A statistically significant (p < .01) interaction with a medium effect size was found between students’ group and sex for posttest scores of poultry science knowledge depending on the instructional approach used. A statistically significant (p < .01) main effect existed between groups for perceived agripreneurship competencies depending on instructional approach. Statistically significant (p < .01) main effects with a small effect size existed between the groups and sexes regarding the students’ likelihood to become agripreneurs in the future. A significant (p < .05) association with a small effect size was found between the treated students’ sexes and their intent to become agripreneurs in the future, among other significant relationships. More females than males in the treatment group indicated being either likely or highly likely to become agripreneurs. Regarding the qualitative data, the themes emanating from the students’ and adult facilitators’ experiences with the treatment also indicated improvements in students’ poultry science knowledge as well as their understanding of agripreneurial concepts. Further, qualitative findings indicated the treated students acquired a variety of technical and life skills. A need exists to integrate PBL approaches in the curriculum to increase the likelihood of students’ better understanding agricultural and entrepreneurial concepts and apply such to solve challenges in their communities. Due to contradictory results, additional research should examine the impact of using various teaching approaches on students’ performance by sex regarding their acquisition of poultry science knowledge.
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