Identification of Topics Taught in Professional Courses for Agricultural Teacher Education
McLean, Robin Claire
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The purpose of the study was to examine the teacher education curricula in exemplary agricultural teacher education programs. I identified eleven exemplary agricultural teacher education programs through a call for nominations to a national listserv of the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE). Course syllabi and course checksheets provided by each of the selected institutions were analyzed to determine patterns of professional course requirements and specific professional topics at each of the universities. Competencies were derived from assignments or topics expressed in course syllabi. Data analysis established common themes among the programs studied. The resulting list of professional topics was examined to yield five overarching curricular areas: Experiential Components, Foundations, Program and Curriculum Planning, Teaching and Methods, and Technology. Microlesson presentations and managing Supervised Agricultural Experience programs were the only professional topics addressed in all programs studied. The study also revealed that professional course titles were very different at the participating institutions. No institution covered all of the topics. Treatment of topics among institutions varied widely. Although literature reveals that the field of education is trying to establish itself as a profession, few of the programs studied offered courses focusing solely on professional development, professional organizations, or professional ethics. Many of the programs studied did address professionalism issues, but it may have been provided in only one lecture. Using the course syllabi provided by each exemplary university, I was able to identify 16 courses taught in pre-service agricultural education and 118 common topics. Not all topics were addressed at each university nor were all courses presented. Microlesson presentation and Supervised Agricultural Experience Programs were the only two topics all universities addressed. From the 118 general topics, five general curricular clusters were established: teaching methods, program and curriculum planning, foundations, experiential components, and technology.
- Masters Theses