Attempts Toward Blended Teaching and Personalized Learning in School-Based Agricultural Education

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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.