Roberts, R., & Robinson, J. S. (2018). The motivational changes pre-service agricultural education teachers endure while facilitating quality supervised agricultural experiences:  A six-week project-based learning experience. Journal of Agricultural Education, 59(1), 255-270. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2018.01255

Abstract:

The Planning the Community Program in Agricultural Education course exists to provide pre-service teachers in agricultural education with knowledge about FFA and supervised agricultural experiences (SAEs).  As such, pre-service teachers embarked on a six-week project-based learning experience in Spring 2016 in which they raised a pen of broilers from a one-day old chick to harvest ready (42 days).  The broilers were used as the context to learn about managing data for entrepreneurial SAEs.  This case study examined pre-service teachers’ motivation regarding their self-reported beliefs and perspectives for participating in the project.  Three themes emerged: (a) initial self-ambition, (b) achievement stagnation, and (c) stabilized self-concept.  Students began the project with high motivation and excitement.  However, toward the midway point of the project, students’ motivation waned, due to monotony and challenges.  Finally, during the last two weeks, pre-service teachers’ motivation stabilized, as their self-concepts and reflection abilities matured.  The study holds important implications for how teacher educators in agricultural education should design and deliver future project-based learning experiences regarding students’ motivational processes.  Specifically, this study indicates that, although student motivation may fluctuate at various stages, it is developed and sustained in a successive manner over time.

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