Previous Experience Not Required: Contextualizing the Choice to Teach School-Based Agricultural Education
The purpose of this study was to identify key career choice items which lead students without previous experience in school-based agricultural education (SBAE) to pursuing agricultural education. The Ag Ed FIT-Choice trademark symbol model adapted by Lawver (2009) and developed by Richardson and Watt (2006) provided the investigative framework to design this study. Findings were organized around categories of the Ag Ed Fit-Choice Model (Lawver, 2009) with the exception of one additional category, believed unique to this group. Two focus groups were assembled to include ten participants. A myriad of experiences led participants to consider SBAE as a career. Certainly, it can be concluded that a passion for agricultural education does not solely stem from prior SBAE experiences. The intrigue toward the varied content associated with agriculture played a substantial role in participants' choice to teach agriculture. Participants' reflections revealed a distinct interconnectedness of domains within the Ag Ed Fit-Choice trademark symbol model and the way in which this group of future teachers reflects upon career decision. Further, participants engaged in near constant value-checking and introspective career evaluation resulting through field experiences. The present study generated additional questions on the most effective ways to recruit future SBAE teachers who are non-traditional SBAE students.
This article is published as Marx, A. A., Smith, A. R., Smalley, S. W. & Miller, C. (2017). Previous experience not required: Contextualizing the choice to teach school-based agricultural education. Journal of Agricultural Education, 58(4) 126-142. doi: 10.5032/jae.2017.04126. Posted with permission.