Stair, K., Figland, W., Blackburn, J., & Smith, E. (2019). Describing the Differences in the Professional Development needs of Traditionally and Alternatively Certified Agriculture Teachers in Louisiana. Journal of Agricultural Education, 60(3), 262-276. doi: 10/5032/jae.2019.03262
For decades, teacher education programs have suffered from teacher shortages in many content areas. Due to high teacher turnover rate there has been an increase in the number of teachers who are entering the field through alternative certification programs. It has been noted that the professional development needs of traditionally and alternatively certified teachers may differ drastically. The purpose of this study was to identify the professional development needs of agriculture teachers in Louisiana based on certification type. Data were collected at each of the three Louisiana FFA Leadership Camp sessions during the Louisiana Agriculture Teacher’s Association meeting held on the first day of camp. In all, 190 agriculture teachers registered for camp and 164 completed the instrument, representing an 86.0% response rate of camp attendees and 62.8% of the total agriculture teacher population. The results from this study indicated that professional development related to Program Management was the only statistically significant difference between the two roups. Specifically, the traditionally certified teachers felt a greater need for professional development in this area. Based on this research, there may be less difference in the professional development needs of teachers based on certification type in Louisiana than expected compared to previous research.