Shoulders, C. W. (2018). A description of the professional identities of Arkansas agriculture teachers. Journal of Agricultural Education, 59(3), 278-290 https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2018.03278
After decades of research in agricultural education on teacher knowledge, needs, behaviors, satisfaction, and attrition, calls for additional research and reform have remained fairly consistent. One potential factor influencing the rate at which these challenges are overcome is teacher professional identity, which shapes how teachers interpret and respond to knowledge delivered through professional development. Shoulders and Myers (2011) suggested the unique circumstances of agricultural education lead teachers to maintain a professional identity different than that of other educators, but little research has been conducted with regard to the professional identities of agriculture teachers. Using the theories of constructivism and planned behavior, this study utilized a researcher-adapted survey to describe the professional identities of Arkansas agriculture teachers. Findings indicated teachers identified as agriculture teachers more so than agriculturalists or educators, the professional identity of the agricultural educator was significantly different than that of the educator or the agriculturalist, and length of teaching experience was not related to professional identity score. We recommend teacher educators include the development of professional identity as a component of all professional development experiences. Recommendations for further research include qualitative investigation into the ways in which agriculture teachers’ professional identities manifest in the agriculture program.