Clemons, C. A., Heidenrich, A. E., & Linder, J. R. (2018). Assessing the technical expertise and content needs of Alabama agriscience teachers. Journal of Agricultural Education, 59(3), 87-99 https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2018.03087
The purpose of this study was to assess secondary agriscience teachers’ perceptions, expertise, and importance of agriculture content areas in the curriculum. To accomplish this study the following objectives framed the investigation: describe Alabama secondary agriscience teachers by personal characteristics including teacher certification pathway, describe Alabama secondary agriscience teachers by professional development needs, and explore the relationships between Alabama secondary agriscience teachers by professional development needs and personal characteristics. The population was representative of agriculture teachers in Alabama teaching agriscience education in grades 9-12. The data collection instrument included four thematic units: FFA/Leadership Development/SAE, Technical Agriculture, Program Management, and Teaching and Learning. Findings were evaluated using analytical triangulation between statements and individual item analysis. The areas of professional development needs were determined by the mean weighted discrepancy score (MWDS) in the four thematic categories. Alabama agriscience teachers identified competency areas with the highest MWDS as: FFA/Supervised Agricultural/Leadership Development (MWDS = 3.04), Technical Agriculture (MWDS = 2.48), Program Management (MWDS = 2.17), and Teaching and Learning (MWDS = 2.00).