Teacher characteristics related to the adoption of agriscience curriculum in Virginia middle school agricultural education programs

TR Number
Date
1994
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Virginia Tech
Abstract

Middle school programs in agricultural education are unique educational experiences that provide middle school aged children in Virginia with a basic understanding of agriculture and its applied sciences. Curriculum innovations such as the one for Virginia middle schools provide guidance for teachers in the field and offer a base from which programs can operate. However, the benefits of educational innovations are never fully realized until the teacher in the classroom adopts and implements the changes. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between teacher characteristics and the adoption of agriscience curriculum in Virginia middle school agricultural education programs.

The population for this study consisted of the 57 middle school teachers of agricultural education in Virginia. All of the teachers were surveyed with an 81% response rate obtained. Selected conclusions drawn from the findings were:

  1. There are two distinct groups of middle school agricultural education teachers in Virginia, those who are teaching a large part of the approved curriculum and those who are teaching only a small portion of the curriculum.

  2. Teacher attitude toward agriscience is a significant predictor of the amount of agriscience curriculum taught.

  3. Teacher knowledge of agriscience is a significant predictor of the amount of agriscience curriculum taught.

  4. Teacher expectations of agriscience curriculum is a meaningful predictor of the amount of agriscience curriculum taught.

Selected recommendations drawn from the findings and conclusions are:

  1. Given the existence of the significant contribution of the teachers’ positive attitude toward the amount of agriscience curriculum taught by middle school teachers of agricultural education in Virginia, more effort by teacher education, the Virginia Department of Education, and agricultural interests in Virginia should be devoted to building positive attitudes toward agriscience.

  2. Given the significant contribution of the teachers’ knowledge toward the amount of agriscience curriculum taught by middle school teachers of agricultural education in Virginia, more effort is needed by teacher education to prepare prospective teachers in agriscience content and methodology as part of their teacher preparation. The Virginia Department of Education and agricultural interests in Virginia should also commit to teacher training through inservice and other activities involving agriscience education.

Description
Keywords
Citation