Figland, W., Blackburn, J., Stair, K., & Smith, E. (2019). What do they need? Determining Differences in the Professional Development Needs of Louisiana Agriculture Teachers by Years of Teaching Experience. Journal of Agricultural Education, 60(2), 173-189. doi: 10.5032/jae.2019.02173
An ever-changing world of education has led to growing demand for teachers to remain competent educators. For school districts to enhance teacher effectiveness, professional development workshops must be tailored to the specific needs of educators. To further complicate the issue, in-service needs of teachers are ever growing and changing based on experience. The theoretical foundation of this study was Knowles Theory of Andragogy. Per the theory, adult learners are motivated to learn when they feel intrinsic value or realize the personal gain from the learning activity. The central drive for this study was to determine what Louisiana agriculture teachers desired in terms of classroom- based professional development, thereby giving these adult learners a hand in planning professional development activities. The results from this study indicate that there are dissimilar professional development needs based on years of teaching experience. Per the conclusions, we recommend the results of this study be shared with state agricultural education staff, university faculty, and the Louisiana Agriculture Teachers’ Association. Professional development organizers should also consider years of teaching experience when planning professional development seminars.