Purposes, Activities, and Documentation of Early Field Experience in Agricultural Teacher Education: A National Delphi Study
The purpose of this Delphi study was to identify the purpose, expected outcomes, and methods of documenting preservice teacher early field experience (EFE) activities in agricultural teacher education programs. A Delphi technique was used to electronically collect data via email and SurveyMonkey®. An expert panel was established and after three rounds of questioning, the panel identified 16 purpose statements, 14 activities and 9 methods of documenting EFE. The findings of this study, as established by a panel of experts who reached consensus, indicated that EFE should be documented via a combination of journaling and portfolio development. The verification of these documents should be completed by the cooperating teacher and through university assessments. Documentation of an EFE experience can be accomplished through journaling, cooperating teacher signature, reflective paper or a review of collective documents. The results of this study can be used to modify and improve EFE by clarifying the purpose, activities and ways of documented activities in agricultural teacher education programs. This study will aid the profession in providing a more congruent EFE experience for preservice teachers.