Title

Teachers' Perceptions of Sustainable Agriculture

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Ag Science and Natural Resources

Date of Award

Summer 2021

Abstract

The objective of this research was to assess the perceptions held by secondary agriculture teachers from Texas FFA Area V and VI. This population was selected due to the regional affiliations with Texas A&M University-Commerce. The research aims to provide an in-depth assessment of how they perceive sustainable agriculture, level of integration into instruction, importance of specific topics and exploration of interest in professional development. The study utilized a descriptive study design and a statistics approach with a self-administered questionnaire. Data were collected using an online survey sent to 500 Texas FFA Area V and VI agriculture instructors and 49 questionnaire participants’ responses were analyzed. Results of this study indicated that a majority of educators agreed with and promoted the local marketing of agriculture production. In addition, three teaching methods were identified as very high extent and those methods are student centered. These results implied that secondary instructors preferred teaching in a manner that is learner centered as opposed to teacher directed. Another objective of this study focused on specific topics related to sustainable agriculture. Teachers perceived that instruction in sustainable agriculture should include topics that are more traditional and less conventional. The entire sample of participants indicated that they would attend professional development regarding the topic of sustainable agriculture. Participants indicated presentations at a teacher’s conference and face-to-face workshops is their preferred practice of participation. Educators ranked graduate courses as the least preferred source of professional development related to sustainable agriculture. Borsari (2001) suggested that the new generation of agricultural educators must increase their understanding of agriculture and environmental concerns from the sustainable perspective. In addition, Borsari (2001) reported that many agricultural instructors have become conscious of the complex dilemma that is presently affecting their field In conclusion; it is recommended that professional development at teachers’ conference should include current teaching methods, relevant concepts and specific content related to sustainable agriculture.

Advisor

Robert L. Williams

Subject Categories

Agriculture | Life Sciences

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