Hasselquist, L., Naughton, M., & Kitchel, T. (2019). Preservice Teachers’ Experiences in a Required Reading in the Content Area Course. Journal of Agricultural Education, 60(2), 140-152. doi: 10.5032/jae.2019.02140

Strong literacy skills are needed to be successful in the 21st century. All teachers are charged with developing students’ literacy skills and abilities. To help better prepare preservice teachers for this task, students at the University of Missouri are required to take a Reading in the Content Area (RICA) course. This intrinsic case study focused on preservice agriculture teachers who were nearing completion of the RICA course. Two focus groups were conducted with a total of nine participants. Four themes emerged from the data: 1. students held misconceptions and concerns that were dispelled, 2. the structure and content made it an impactful, yet incomplete, experience, 3.they recognized the importance of literacy in agricultural education, and finally 4) they were still hesitant to use literacy in their future classrooms. Recommendations for practice include:adding a literacy component to microteaching experiences, developing confidence surroundingliteracy assessment abilities, and providing preservice teachers with literacy strategies specific to agricultural education.

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