Category

Teacher Education & School-based Ag. Education

Recruiting Minority Students into Secondary School Agriculture Education Programs: Barriers, Challenges, and Alternatives

K. S. U. Jayaratne, Travis Park, & Jason Davis
The United States population is becoming increasingly diverse, and agricultural education should represent that diversity. Researchers conducted a Delphi study of 12 exemplary agriculture programs with diverse student populations in North Carolina. After three rounds, consensus was reached about 11 strategies useful in recruiting minority students, including most prominently, (1) making personal connections with potential students, (2) students recruiting their minority friends, (3) minority students recruiting other minority students, (4) showcasing exceptional minorities who have succeeded in the agriculture field, and (5) being yourself and care for your students. The study also identified 12 alternatives helpful in retaining the minority students into another agriculture course or FFA, most prominently, (1) buying-in from friends, (2) talking to minority students already in the program, (3) building teacher and student relationship, (4) creating interest in agriculture subjects, and (5) getting minority students connected and involved.

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Motivational Factors that Influenced Learner Participation in Supervised Agricultural Experience Programs

Eric D. Rubenstein & Andrew C. Thoron
Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) programs are an integral component of school-based agricultural education. However, student participation in SAE has continually decreased since the mid-1980s. Therefore, it was necessary to better understand factors that motivate students to participate in SAE programs. This led to the purpose of this qualitative study, which was to examine motivational factors that influence student participation in SAE. The researchers used the constant comparative analysis method to identify specific motivational factors that influenced SAE participation. The researchers found that participants were motivated by their family’s culture and traditions. Moreover, the student’s participation in the National FFA Organization (FFA), interaction with other FFA members, and recognition through SAE awards structure through FFA motivated students to engage in SAE. Further, the participants in this study were motivated by their personal satisfaction, interest, desire, and goals. The researchers also concluded that the agriculture teacher plays an important role in motivating students through conducting SAE supervision, building lasting relationships with students, and requiring student participation in SAE. Therefore, the researchers recommended that agriculture teachers continue to require every student to conduct an SAE and utilize all available resources to engage students in SAE.

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Allocation of Time Among Preservice Teachers During Their Clinical Experience

Keith J. Frost, John Rayfield, David Lawver, & Rudy Ritz
Student teaching is one of the most profound opportunities that teaching candidates experience as part of their preparation program (Clark, Byrnes, & Sudweeks, 2015). This process is an opportunity for the student to make the transition from student to professional educator and take knowledge of theory and change it, through experience, into practice. During student teaching, university students are expected to mirror the actual job expectations of their cooperating teachers which include all areas of the three-circle model of agricultural education (classroom teaching, FFA, SAE activities) in addition to the roles of program administrator, college student, and adult educator…

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An Analysis of Rural North Carolina Superintendents’ Views Regarding the Presence of Future Ready Graduate Attributes within the Instructional Environment

Chastity Warren English, Antoine J. Alston, Anthony Graham, & Frank Richard Roberts
The purpose of this research study was to determine the extent to which future ready graduate attributes are found within the instructional environment of North Carolina’s rural public-school districts, as perceived by their respective superintendents. In relation to the teacher awareness of future ready graduate attributes, it was recognized by Superintendents that teachers appeared to be aware of the majority of the attributes, with the only exception being the attribute of multi- lingual being found to have limited awareness by teachers. Regarding teachers’ reinforcement of the future ready graduate attributes in the instructional environment, the attributes of multi- lingual, health-focused life- long learner, and self-directed responsible worker, were noted to be reinforced “to a limited extent”…

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Integrating Food Science into High School Agricultural Education in Tennessee

John C. Ricketts, Sandria Godwin, & Paula E. Faulkner
One in six Americans is affected by foodborne illnesses, but agricultural education can reduce such instances. Raw and undercooked poultry and eggs are often associated with foodborne illnesses. Educating consumers about the safe handling of poultry and eggs is an important component of reducing foodborne illnesses. Secondary agricultural education can help with this issue. In Tennessee there are a number of pathways and courses integrating food safety/science in high school agricultural education programs, and a new pathway, Food Science and Safety. It is important to assess teachers’ integration of food science and their desire to teach in the new pathway. It is also important to understand teachers’ current food safety knowledge. We assessed teachers’ reported importance ratings and ability levels for certain food safety practices to identify potential training priorities.

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Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of Infusing Mathematics in the School- Based Agricultural Education Curricula

Nathan W. Conner, Sarah Greer, Nathan Ollie, Christopher T. Stripling, & Carrie A. Stephens
Mathematics knowledge is a critical component of natural and agricultural sciences, and school- based agricultural education is expected to support core academic instruction. Therefore, preservice agricultural education teachers must be prepared to teach mathematical concepts.
This study explores preservice agricultural education teachers’ perceptions of mathematics in the school-based agricultural education curricula. Five preservice teachers consisting of 4 females and 1 male participated in this qualitative study. Data were collected through individual semi-structured interviews that were approximately 30 minutes, and thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Audit trails, triangulation, member checking, and thick description were used to achieve trustworthiness. Five themes…

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The Evaluation of Critical Thinking Dispositions in High School Agriculture Teachers

J. C. Ricketts, C. Lewis, & P. E. Faulkner
Teachers are continually asked to develop students who are critical thinkers. Gaining an understanding of critical thinking and the capacity to think critically is essential for educators in agriculture. While critical thinking of secondary and postsecondary students has been widely studied, there is limited research that examines teachers’ critical thinking and its influence on students’ critical thinking. The purpose of this study was to develop a critical thinking disposition profile of high school agriculture teachers in Tennessee, and examine their Engagement, Cognitive Maturity, and Innovativeness (EMI)…

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4-H Members’ Motivating Factors for and Deterrents to Participation in an International Experience Program: Development of the 4-H International Experience Program Questionnaire

J.C. Bunch, Melissa Cater, & Shelli D. Rampold
As transportation and communication systems evolve, the ability of youth to participate in international experience program (IEP) improves. However, not all youth will choose to participate in an IEP even if an IEP is readily available. Understanding the motivating factors for participation in an IEP and deterrents to participation in an IEP can assist program developers better market available experiences. In order to assess factors that inhibit or promote participation in an IEP, valid and reliable instruments are needed. This study describes the development and initial validation of the 4-H International Experience Program Questionnaire, an instrument designed to measure 4-H members’ motivating factors for participation in an IEP and deterrents to participation in an IEP.

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Agriculture Teachers’ Preferred Teaching Partners Based on Physical and Professional Appearance

Hailey R. Gates & Catherine W. Shoulders
As new teachers enter the workplace, their ability to integrate into the school’s professional community is critical to their job satisfaction. While teachers may meet many quality indicators of good teaching, his or her ability to integrate into a professional community can be shaped instead by coworkers’ initial perceptions of his or her physical and professional appearance. In this study, we asked a convenience sample of agriculture teachers attending the National FFA Convention to select their ideal teaching partners based on their physical and professional appearance. Results displayed a strong preference for male teaching partners, regardless of age and attire…

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Benchmarking Self-Efficacy of Early-Career Agricultural Science Teachers in [State]

Bodie Carroll, John Rayfield, & Tim Murphy
The purpose of this study was to determine the self-efficacy of early-career agricultural science teachers from Texas, in the three domains of agricultural education: classroom instruction, FFA, and supervised agricultural experience (SAE). This descriptive study was conducted using a random sample of first, second, and third year agricultural science teachers. A response rate of 50.6% was achieved (N=168, n=85). The respondents completed an online survey using the Qualtrics™ system. The survey included 49 likert scale…

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