Title

Concerns of Early Career Agricultural Science Teachers and the Perceived Effectiveness of Educator Preparation Programs in Addressing Those Concerns

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Ag Science and Natural Resources

Date of Award

Fall 2013

Abstract

Little is known about the concerns and needs of early career agricultural teachers associated with the various routes to certification and how these routes address those concerns. The purpose of this study is to determine how selected early career agriculture teachers perceive their teacher preparation program and how effective their programs were at addressing these concerns during their first year of teaching. The sample consisted of secondary agricultural teachers in Texas FFA Areas V and VI, who self-identified themselves as an early career agricultural teacher in their first 3 years of teaching. The first phase included a web-based survey administered to assess the concerns of early career agricultural teachers. Two Likert-type scales were used, and these were used to assess the perceived importance of problems faced by early career agricultural teachers and the frequency in which they encounter those problems. The second phase included a qualitative interview to better understand the perceived relationship between participants' undergraduate preparation, experiences in agriculture and related organizations, and other related activities in preparing them as agriculture science teachers. The teachers interviewed in this study indicated that overall, they were pleased with their preparation. Teacher educators from both programs should address the concerns presented from all teachers to further prepare them for issues faced by early career teachers because it is evident that these issues are not going away.

Advisor

Robert Williams

Subject Categories

Agriculture | Education | Life Sciences

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