Lester Clarke

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




It has been known that there are many capable and qualified teachers in South Dakota public and parochial schools who have not returned to the South Dakota classrooms each fall. They have left the field of education to enter another occupation, enter military service, resume formal study, enter or return homemaking, leave the state to teach elsewhere, or a host of other reason; nevertheless, they do not return to South Dakota classrooms. The fact they have not returned to their classrooms should be a matter of grave concern to all interested in our school system. Many people have believed that in spite of all facts indicating an extreme teacher shortage in the near future the situation will solve itself. A recent Research Bulletin for Education in South Dakota indicated that of the seven thousand three hundred forty-five teachers in our public and parochial schools in 1952-53 the grand total of one thousand nine hundred twelve did not return to South Dakota classrooms for the 1953-54 school year. Yes, teachers have left; and in this paper a single category, vocational agriculture teachers, has been discussed. All information available at present has indicated this group loses a larger per cent of available teachers than other fields of education. On the national level during the prewar years 1939-41 about six teachers per one hundred were required for annual growth; whereas, in the field of vocational agriculture about thirteen teachers per one hundred were required to replace men leaving. This situation becomes more important when it is realized these vocational agriculture instructors have at least four years training on an undergraduate level with much of it specialized. In South Dakota the only institution of higher learning approved to train vocational agriculture instructors has been South Dakota State College at Brookings. Training facilities are adequate; but the number of men graduating annually is low. In 1953-54 ten men were available. In 1954-1955 nineteen will complete training; however, all of these men do not enter teaching. Thus it is illustrated; the supply has been small, and the number leaving the profession each year has increased since 1949. The writer of this paper has had eight years of teaching experience in vocational agriculture in a large, well-equipped department. During these years he has seen many teachers leave the field of vocational agriculture. Men have left established departments to enter other gainful occupations, and as a rule these men have found it relatively easy to obtain employment. Finding satisfactory men to fill all South Dakota departments has been a matter of grave concern to the State Supervisor of Vocational Agriculture, Mr. H.E. Urton, Pierre, South Dakota, and Associate Professor of Agricultural Education, Mr. Stanley Sundet, South Dakota State College, Brookings, South Dakota. Those in charge of placement have realized that the success of a department is largely dependent upon a competent teacher.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Agriculture teachers -- South Dakota
Agriculture -- Vocational guidance



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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