Scholarly Works, Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education

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Research articles, presentations, and other scholarship


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Now showing 1 - 20 of 251
  • Graduate Students as Leaders and Followers: Effective Practices for Mentoring and Being Mentored
    Kaufman, Eric K.; Richardson, Sydney D.; Stedman, Nicole L. P. (Wiley, 2023-11-27)
    Graduate student development depends heavily upon effective mentoring. The ideal outcome is a scholar and/or professional who can work independently, not simply following in the footsteps and example of their mentor(s). In many instances, the developmental process requires the graduate student to be a mentor to others, whether that be for less experienced scholars (e.g., undergraduate students) or in a reverse mentoring role (e.g., guiding their faculty advisor). Effective mentoring is particularly challenging when the relationship is mediated through virtual engagement, which is the case for many online degree programs. The current article illuminates important considerations and strategies for success when facing these challenges. Particular attention is given to the openness framework, which highlights the importance of being open to change, feedback, action, and accountability.
  • Undefined: In Search for a Definition of Blended Learning in SBAE
    Milliken, D. Brett; Traini, Haley Q.; Stewart, Josh (2023-05-16)
  • Attempts Toward Blended Teaching and Personalized Learning in School-Based Agricultural Education
    Milliken, D. Brett; Traini, Haley Q.; Stewart, Josh (2023-05-17)
    The purpose of this study was to explore school-based agricultural education (SBAE) teacher beliefs about personalized instruction and blended teaching and their experiences with implementing personalized learning within their blended teaching practice. The specific research questions that guided our study were 1) what are SBAE teachers’ beliefs about personalized instruction and blended teaching? and 2) how have they personalized instruction within their blended teaching practice? We utilized a hermeneutic phenomenological research design while relying on theoretical research on teacher beliefs to illuminate the experiences of SBAE teachers in blended classrooms. Participants included five in-service agriculture education teachers representing four states in the United States. These participants were identified by post-secondary agriculture education teacher educators through a state database of SBAE teachers. All self-identified as SBAE teachers that practiced blended teaching. Three themes emerged from data analysis: time, place, pace, and path; empowering students; and reality check. Our findings indicate that the beliefs SBAE teachers hold influence their classroom practices and personalized learning and student choice were important. Recommendations for future research include conducting observational research on personalized instruction in blended settings as well as the impact contextual factors have on the relationship between teachers’ beliefs and practice in blended classrooms.
  • Research Documentation and Data Management for Social Science Research
    Kaufman, Eric K. (2023-10-30)
    Guest lecture for Virginia Tech's ALS 5324: Research Ethics.
  • Promoting Leadership Capacity to Enhance Women’s Access to and Control over Land
    Olowoyo, Olamide; Kaufman, Eric K. (International Leadership Association, 2023-10-13)
    This interactive roundtable discussion invites participants to share views on the need and ways to promote the leadership capacity of women to enhance access to and control over land. The roundtable discussion will be facilitated by scholars with research interests in leadership and gender in agriculture. It will begin by giving a brief overview of leadership capacity development. The overall goal of the discussion is to consider the methods through which women’s leadership capacity can be enhanced. While this targets the agricultural sector, particularly women farmers, knowledge of women’s leadership capacity building from the perspective of leadership practitioners can be applicable to other sectors. Globally, securing land rights in an effective and inclusive manner involves concerted efforts and partnerships between governments, the private sector, and civil society actors at all levels. The objectives of the roundtable are to: allow facilitators and participants to share their views on the importance of promoting the leadership capacity of women, deliberate on ways through which promoting leadership capacity can help improve control over resources, and provide insight into the ways by which women can assume more leadership roles in agriculture. Key Takeaways: (1) Recognize the importance of promoting the leadership capacity of women to enhance access to and control over land. (2) Gain insight into how women farmers can assume more leadership roles in agriculture. (3) Explore options to transfer the knowledge of building women’s capacity to other sectors.
  • Towards Enhancing Leadership Capacity of Women in Agriculture
    Olowoyo, Olamide; Adebayo, Bolanle; Sunderman, Hannah; Kaufman, Eric K. (2023-07-19)
    Increasingly complex societal problems require the collective efforts of all genders to solve. However, women seldom receive the social support necessary to develop leadership identity and capacity despite inherent leadership potential (Ely et al., 2011; Shollen, 2015). Leadership is instrumental in promoting community efforts (Igalla et al., 2020). Hence, women’s leadership capacity should be developed to encourage collective efforts to solve problems, especially in a sector where they are the majority of workers, such as agriculture. The agricultural sector is faced with diverse problems affecting the sector’s productivity. Women are needed to facilitate collective efforts toward solving agricultural problems. Hence, there is a need to increase efforts targeted at women’s leadership capacity development. This roundtable discussion will ask participants to share their views on the importance of developing women’s leadership capacity, the current state of women’s leadership capacity development, challenges to women’s leadership capacity development, and diverse methods for developing capacity through leadership education. Emerging scholars with research interests in women’s leadership development will facilitate the round table discussion. The overall goal of the discussion is to consider the methods through which women’s leadership capacity can be enhanced.
  • Non-Governmental Organizations' Involvement in Youth Leadership Development: The Case of LEAP Africa in Nigeria
    Oyedare, Israel; Kaufman, Eric K. (International Leadership Association, 2023-10-13)
    Youth leadership development has become a critical component of social and organizational investment. Recently, organizations and scholars have taken interest in exploring what inspires and enables youth leadership development within a system, and how this can be sustained. This presentation seeks to explore the role NGOs play in preparing youth for present and future leadership responsibilities. The presentation will glean from the experiences of LEAP Africa, (a Nigerian-based nonprofit organization), to discuss the significant and strategic contributions NGOs have to youth development. The Social Innovation Theory is adopted as a framework for explaining NGOs’ potential for youth leadership development.
  • Advancing Followership Discourse in Theory and Practice
    Kaufman, Eric K.; Oyedare, Israel; Chaleff, Ira (International Leadership Association, 2023-10-13)
    Recently, there have been efforts geared towards advancing the discourse of followership both in the academic and organizational context, as individuals are becoming increasingly aware of the role they play as followers in the achievement of predetermined goals. To ensure that discourses on followership are given a well-deserved scholarly appreciation and recognition, it has become imperative to continue creating this awareness. This workshop will engage participants in both contemporary and historical perspectives on followership. More awareness of followership discourse(s) can help leadership scholars and organizational leaders recognize the importance of integrating followership into leadership education and having followership as a standalone field of study. Using the World Café approach, participants will be taken through the evolution of followership over the decades. Insights from round table discussions will be shared, and ideas for future applications will be developed.
  • Curriculum Design in an Agricultural Education Program in Nigeria: Towards Advancing Career Readiness
    Ajao, Helen; Alegbeleye, D.; Westfall-Rudd, Donna M. (Advancements in Agricultural Development, 2022-01-03)
    This research explores effective curriculum design for higher-ed in preparing agricultural education graduates for Nigeria’s labor market. The continuing professional education program planning theory serves as the framework guiding this study. The study involves a phenomenological inquiry into the conscientious meaning experience of the faculty and alumni in an agricultural education department. A purposful sampling method of 14 participants (four professors and ten alumni) was used to select participants since the study relied on individuals close to the phenomenon. Data was collected using a standardized open-ended questionnaire and the Department’s handbook. Three themes emerged: The Department's curriculum design/development.; Stakeholder’s consultation; and Principles considered while designing the curriculum. Recommendations were made for the Department to continuously review and update the curriculum to reflect the current needs of the industry and students. Lastly, the current study was recommended to be replicated in other main agricultural institutions in Nigeria.
  • The adult-centered teaching strategies for the livestock System resilience with a variety of extension agent workloads’ demands: a case study of Thies and Diourbel Regions, Senegal
    Kane, Ousmane; Badji, Alkaly; Westfall-Rudd, Donna M. (2023-01)
    Senegalese extension services play a crucial role in Senegalese agriculture which is still characterized as family and peasant-based. Extension agents provide technical support and information to breeders. Today, an adaptation to the use of natural resources is necessary because of the degradation of the agro-pastoral ecosystem, hence the need for innovative training and awareness-raising strategies. Therefore, the purpose was the enhancement of the teaching approaches implemented to local breeders in the context of climate change in the Diourbel and Thies regions. The researcher collected qualitative data, including document analysis and in-depth interviews with 12 extension agents. Findings included insight into the training experiences of extension agents in the context of climate change. Besides, the results showed that the program planning is effective and helped to design practical teaching content. In addition, the adult-centered teaching approach is a new concept for the participants. However, the findings demonstrated the need to improve knowledge in teaching and learning innovations for extension agents in natural resource conservations. In sum, they need program planning and continuing professional development programs to be efficient in diffusing the concept to change the mindset and behaviors of breeders.
  • Evaluating Factors Explaining U.S. Consumers’ Behavioral Intentions toward Irradiated Ground Beef
    Parrella, Jean A.; Leggette, Holli R.; Lu, Peng; Wingenbach, Gary; Baker, Matt; Murano, Elsa (MDPI, 2023-08-22)
    Although food irradiation is deemed safe and endorsed by health-related organizations worldwide, consumers are reluctant to accept the technology. Yet, consumer acceptance is critical as food irradiation has significant potential for increasing the safety and availability of food globally. To communicate about food irradiation, science communicators should understand the psychology behind consumers’ decision making related to irradiated foods. Using empirical research, we developed a theoretical model and used structural equation modeling to determine how nine variables affect consumers’ behavioral intentions toward irradiated ground beef. We purchased a national quota sample from Qualtrics and surveyed N = 1102 U.S. consumers. The model explained 60.3% of the variance in consumers’ attitudes toward food irradiation and 55.4% of their behavioral intentions toward irradiated ground beef. Attitude had the largest positive, total effect on consumers’ behavioral intentions, which was followed by subjective social norm and perceived benefit. Perceived risk had the largest negative, total effect on behavioral intentions. Attitude mediated the effect of subjective social norm, perceived benefit, perceived risk, objective knowledge, and food technology neophobia. Environmental concern and health consciousness did not significantly affect behavioral intention. Science communicators should develop messaging strategies that seek to improve consumer acceptance with these factors in mind.
  • A Problem-Solving Theory to Enhance Understanding and Practice of Leadership
    Friedel, Curtis R. (Wiley, 2023-04)
    The focus of the symposium is adaption-innovation (A-I) theory, as it relates to solving problems with cognitive diversity. The intent of the current article is to introduce adaption-innovation theory; its beginning and key elements. The symposium specifically focuses on implications for adaptive leadership, inclusion, wicked problems, and business.
  • DoDEA CIL Instructional Leadership Toolkit
    Kaufman, Eric K.; Sen, Anuradha; Coartney, Jama S.; Anderson, James (2020-07-22)
    These are PDF portfolios of resources provided to the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) for use by the Centers for Instructional Leadership (CILs) in their efforts to initiate and launch improvement cycles. The dynamic toolkit is designed to help regions, districts, and schools establish, grow, and maintain a culture of inquiry and data use that can inform decisions that will have a positive impact on teaching and learning in a region, district and school. The Toolkit is organized into four major sections. Section 1 of the Toolkit deals with concepts about change and its management to achieve desired outcomes. Section 2 borrows from adult learning theory and focuses on developing the capacity of yourself and others to work effectively in focused collaborations/professional learning communities. Section 3 provides models and skill aids for leading professional learning around facilitative leadership; coaching for learning; and assessing needs, action planning, and performance monitoring for change in practice. Section 4 focuses on data-driven decision making and will deepen your understanding of how a variety of data sources can be used to improve, increase and enhance teaching and learning in the region, district, school and classroom. Each section of this Toolkit has multiple professional learning opportunities designed to build new knowledge or reinforce existing knowledge. The Toolkit can be used by an interested individual, in teams, or school/region wide. Professional learning opportunities may include video clips to view and respond to, articles to read and respond to, case study to analyze, tools to try, templates to complete, checklists, infographics and more.
  • Comprehensive Evaluation of DoDEA's Centers for Instructional Leadership: Final Report
    Kaufman, Eric K.; Coartney, Jama S.; Archibald, Thomas G.; Cash, Carol; Anderson, James; Sen, Anuradha (2020-02-28)
    Since 2016, Virginia Tech has been partnering with DoDEA to support the Centers for Instructional Leadership (CILs) through professional learning delivery and evaluation. While activities of the cooperative agreement have been highlighted in prior reports, this report represents the final deliverable for the comprehensive evaluation of the CILs. The primary goals of this report include: 1. Inform decision-makers of the current state and stage of the program initiative, based on the desired long-term outcomes. 2. Evaluate the extent to which progress is being made on the intermediate goals of building instructional leadership capacity. 3. Based on the identified progress, provide recommendations and suggestions to continuously improve the program design to help attain the desired outcomes. This third and final phase of the comprehensive evaluation involved investigation of multiple sources of data, including 20 focus groups, 10 key informant interviews, and analysis of a wide array of documents. The report findings are structured around the following evaluations questions: ● To what extent do instructional leaders identify the CIL as a key resource for their growth and advancement as leaders? ● How is instructional leadership shifting as a result of CIL facilitation and support of system priorities? ● In what ways have the CILs facilitated learning networks that instructional leaders value? ● In what ways do the CILs share and scale innovative best practices through situationally-appropriate improvement strategies? ● Based on DoDEA’s definition and framework of ‘Instructional Leadership,” are the CILs truly serving as Centers for Instructional Leadership? The interviews and focus group sessions were an invaluable opportunity to advance our understanding of the CILs’ work, particularly among the four CIL functions: (1) Leadership Development and Support, (2) Development for Systemic Priorities, (3) Learning Networks, and (4) Innovative Best Practices. Although the CILs were formed before DoDEA’s Blueprint for Continuous Improvement, instructional leaders are recognizing the integral relationship between the work of the CIL and DoDEA’s priorities at large. The progress extends beyond isolated success stories. From a big picture standpoint, it is helpful to consider where DoDEA would be without the CILs: “Before the CIL existed, if we think about that, everything either came from Headquarters or through ISSs…. Now, there’s a regional, as well as district, and complex support; and we’re bringing not only the systemic priorities, but we’re modeling them.... I wonder if just the CIL itself—and that whole Theory of Action—brings innovation and life to the agency itself.” (focus group participant) Do the CIL efforts for improved instructional leadership result in improved student achievement? This question for long-term evaluation remains as important as ever, yet the influencing variables are constantly changing. Accordingly, a snapshot in time is never sufficient. While the work of the CILs is functionally removed from the classroom, the CIL Theory of Action presents a conceptual roadmap for the intended impact. In order for the CILs to maintain a viable role within DoDEA, they must demonstrate regular progress toward strategic initiatives outlined in DoDEA’s Blueprint for Continuous Improvement. This report concludes with recommendations aligned to the interconnected phases of AdvancED’s Continuous Improvement System: Learn and Share, Examine and Plan, and Act and Evaluate.
  • Building agroecological traction: Engaging discourse, the imaginary, and critical praxis for food system transformation
    Kelinsky-Jones, Lia R.; Niewolny, Kimberly L.; Stephenson, Max O. Jr. (Frontiers, 2023-04)
    Shifting the current food system toward a more sustainable and equitable model requires an alternative imaginary. Agroecology represents such an approach, but despite the construct's promise, policy and academic communities alike continue to maintain the current system. We contend that shifting away from the existing, dominant food system requires researchers to engage stakeholders with discourses that give meaning to an agroecological imaginary. We provide a methodological case study for how interested analysts may build agroecological traction through critical praxis. We advance our argument theoretically, methodologically, and empirically. Theoretically, we draw on scholarship arguing that food system transformation requires a discursive imaginary. Methodologically, we outline how Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as both a theoretical and methodological framework, illuminates the discursive power that shapes the future of food. We first used CDA to analyze United States Agency for International Development (USAID) policy, and subsequently presented those results to focus groups comprised of USAID-funded university-based research-practitioners. Empirically, we suggest that our methodology represents one possible mechanism or strategy to encourage the dialogue necessary to secure a new critical food system praxis. We conclude by offering recommendations for future inquiry.
  • Cases in Agricultural Leadership: An Open Access Book Opportunity
    Kaufman, Eric K.; Adeoye, Samson; Coartney, Jama S. (2023-07-19)
    Case studies are a valuable instructional tool for bridging the gap between abstract concepts and practical application. That bridge can be particularly elusive when combining disparate concepts like agriculture and leadership, yet that is the challenge facing hundreds of agricultural leadership educators. Undisguised teaching case studies can help, and some are already available in the Association of Leadership Educators’ (ALE) Case Study Database, yet more are needed to meet the need. This roundtable discussion will explore ideas and opportunities for an open access textbook. We anticipate rich dialogue with prospective authors, learners, and educators, gleaning insights to guide a path forward for this potential book idea.
  • Reconceptualizing “Leadership” Development Programs: A Discussion of Whether Alternative Terminology Better Speaks to Programmatic Efforts and the Modern Student
    Gokhman, Ilya; Kaufman, Eric (2023-07-19)
    This roundtable session is intended to be a community discussion of how we can re-conceptualize leadership development to better serve our students and communities. Informed by trends in the leadership literature and the personal experiences of the session’s facilitators, we want to discuss how alternative terminology and design of leadership-related initiatives could impact the appeal of such programs. This will be a highly interactive session that we hope will inform participants of the experiences of their fellow leadership educators and challenge them to introduce novel approaches at their home institutions.
  • Sustaining and Reimagining Followership Discourse(s) for the Future
    Kaufman, Eric K.; Oyedare, Israel (Association of Leadership Educators, 2023-07-18)
    Through the ages, leadership discourses have generally been leader-centered, with little consideration given to the role of followers and potential followership discourses. To ensure that discussion on followership is not eroded in the future, it is imperative to help more practitioners and researchers understand and appreciate the subject. This workshop seeks to engage the participants in both contemporary and historical perspectives on followership. Better awareness of followership discourse(s) can help leadership scholars and practitioners recognize the importance of integrating followership in leadership education. Using a World Café approach, participants will be taken through the evolution of followership over the decades. Insights from round table discussions will be shared, and ideas for future applications will be developed.
  • Youth Leadership Development: An Investment for the Future
    Oyedare, Israel; Kaufman, Eric K. (Association of Leadership Educators, 2023-07-17)
    The importance of youth leadership development in this present world cannot be overemphasized. It remains a veritable tool for preparing young people for the present as well as future roles and responsibilities. This practice manuscript presents a detailed exposition of the Teens and Youths in Leadership (TYIL) Fellowship program, a 10-day intensive training targeted at developing the leadership skills of secondary and post-secondary school students in Nigeria. Key points of information include the rationale behind the Fellowship program, why the humanist pedagogy was adopted, and how the 5Cs of positive youth development (PYD) are practiced. Over the last three years, tremendous progress has been made among those who have participated in the TYIL Fellowship program.
  • Essential Ingredients for Seasoned Teaching
    Coartney, Jama S.; Westfall-Rudd, Donna M.; Kaufman, Eric K.; Seibel, Megan M.; Friedel, Curtis R.; White, Amy; Carmichael, Celeste (North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, 2023-06-22)
    More than a decade ago, the National Research Council challenged agricultural education professionals to transform their relationship to the evolving global food and agricultural enterprise. While recent improvements have been documented, technical and community colleges have often been overlooked and underserved. Community college leaders recognize the importance of preparing students for success in a work environment that includes the ability to adapt. While technical and subject matter skills are important, they change over time. Skills, such as communication, collaboration, and leadership, are more durable in nature. These durable skills are much more difficult to teach but are crucial to successful employment. These employability skills are of critical importance to agriculture's workforce. Workforce readiness preparation needs to be integrated into existing agricultural education and curriculum development. We introduce the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) model for improvement as an overarching framework for piloting, evaluating, and implementing curricular changes in a single course and across multiple sites. PDSA provides a simple, powerful tool to support continuous improvement in the classroom. A partnership between a four-year university and a team of community college partners has yielded research and learning opportunities that suggest benefits of utilizing the PDSA model to integrate employability, durable, and leadership skills into current curriculum. During the 2022-2023 academic year, a cohort of community college faculty incorporated the PDSA framework into the curriculum design process. Examples of this work include improvements to student motivation to learn, group project management skills, and workforce awareness and readiness. The PDSA continuous improvement approach offers a model that anyone can use to expand and enhance educational curricular design.