Volume 47 - Number 3 - 2006 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2006.03058

 

Abstract:

The shortage of qualified teachers in agricultural education has led to the hiring of uncertified teachers to fill vacancies. Many states have resorted to alternative certification routes to fill the need for teachers. In Florida, alternatively certified teachers represent over half of all new teachers in agricultural education. This situation has created uncertainty about the status of agricultural education in Florida and provided the motivation for this study. The purpose of this study was to describe traditionally and alternatively certified Florida agriculture teachers, compare their perceptions of teacher efficacy, and examine the relationship between teaching experience and teacher efficacy. Data analysis found that traditionally and alternatively certified teachers differed in age, education level, agricultural occupational experience, and gender and ethnic proportions. Comparison of teachers' self-efficacy found no notable difference between the two groups. Results also showed a low positive association existed between agriculture teaching experience and teacher efficacy. Suggestions for future research include the need for replication of the study with other beginning teachers, increased recruitment of underrepresented populations into teacher preparation programs, and investigation of the curriculum and teaching practices of traditionally and alternatively certified teachers as they may impact teachers' perceptions of efficacy and student achievement.

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