Supervised agricultural experience instruction in agricultural teacher education: A national descriptive study

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2016-01-01
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Rank, Bryan
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Michael S. Retallick
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Agricultural Education and Studies

The Department of Agricultural Education and Studies was formed in 1989 as a result of the merger of the Department of Agricultural Education with the Department of Agricultural Studies. Its focus includes two these fields: agricultural education leading to teacher-certification or outreach communication; and agricultural studies leading to production agriculture or other agricultural industries.

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The Department of Agricultural Education and Studies was formed in 1989 from the merger of the Department of Agricultural Education and the Department of Agricultural Studies.

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1989–present

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The purpose of this dissertation was to explore how and to what extent supervised agricultural experience instruction is delivered in U.S. agricultural teacher education programs. Specific objectives of this dissertation were to synthesize supervised agricultural experience research published between 1994 and 2014, identify where and to what extent supervised agricultural experience instruction was included within agricultural teacher education programs, and describe the content of supervised agricultural experience curriculum materials within agricultural teacher education. Each of these objectives was examined as the purpose of a manuscript prepared for publication. To investigate the first research objective, an exhaustive search was conducted using library databases as well as digital journals and conference proceedings. Similar to the previous syntheses, research conducted between 1994 and 2014 was primarily descriptive, conceptually broad, and often limited to relatively small populations such as single states. The second objective was to identify where and to what extent supervised agricultural experience instruction was included within curricula in agriculture teacher education programs in the United States. The findings of this study showed that there was a broad range of instructional levels for each of the agricultural teacher preparation supervised agricultural experience competencies within individual teacher education programs. The third objective was to describe the content and placement of supervised agricultural experience curriculum within agricultural teacher education programs in course syllabi and other course materials. Eighty-eight documents from 28 agricultural teacher education programs were analyzed. Inductive coding using constant comparison revealed 10 themes addressed within the course materials provided in this study. Recordkeeping was the most common aspect of the supervised agricultural experience curriculum to be taught using an experiential or project-based method. Additional multistate and national studies are recommended to describe the content and context of supervised agricultural experience instruction in teacher education and to refine quality indicators related to supervised agricultural experience practice. It is also recommended that supervised agricultural experience competencies in agricultural teacher education be taught using inquiry-based or problem-solving methods guided by the experiential learning process to move preservice teachers beyond conceptual supervised agricultural experience knowledge by developing the knowledge and skills necessary to overcome the barriers to the implementation and management of supervised agricultural experience.

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Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2016