Volume 52(2) - 2011 - DOI: 10.5032/jae.2011.02058

 

Abstract:

As teachers are held more and more accountable for the achievement of their students, agriscience teachers must focus on effectively integrating scientific core concepts into agriculture classes. Inquiry–based instruction is currently considered a best practice in increasing students' science content understanding, but is often avoided by teachers who are hesitant about utilizing this form of instruction. The National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy (NATAA) is a professional development opportunity offered to agriscience teachers in an effort to increase their skill at and willingness to incorporate inquiry–based instruction into their classrooms. This study investigates the stages of concern of the 71 NATAA participants through the use of the Stages of Concern Questionnaire in an effort to determine the utilization of NATAA as an effective means of coaching agriscience teachers to use inquiry–based instruction. Participant responses indicate that NATAA's professional development reduces low–level concerns for those who participated for two years instead of one, as well as for teachers who attended the professional development after its reformatting in 2007. Lastly, results suggest that participants with more than six years of teaching experience are more consistent in their concerns than less experienced teachers.

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