Wells, T., Hainline, M., & Smalley, S. (2019). Identifying challenges pre-service teachers encountered when teaching curriculum for agricultural science education (CASE) coursework during student teaching. Journal of Agricultural Education, 60(3), 128-140. doi:10.5032/jae.2019.03128
Student teaching is the capstone experience in an agricultural teacher preparation program (Edgar, Roberts, & Murphy, 2011). During student teaching, pre-service teachers work with cooperating teachers to learn to effectively deliver instruction (Feiman-Nemser & Buchmann, 1987) on topics such as agriscience, agricultural mechanics, horticultural science, and so forth, to secondary students. School-based agricultural education (SBAE) also includes instruction in applied academic content (Stubbs & Myers, 2015). Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) has emerged in recent years to provide engaging, academically-reinforced coursework for SBAE teachers and students across the United States (CASE, n.d.a). Thus, it is reasonable to expect pre-service teachers may be responsible for teaching CASE coursework at their student teaching placement sites. We sought to identify challenges that pre-service teachers may encounter when teaching CASE coursework. Through two face-to-face focus group interviews conducted at both the mid-semester and end-of-semester student teacher meetings, we identified three primary themes: 1) accessibility to resources; 2) influence of cooperating teachers; and 3) applicability of coursework based on local needs. We concluded these pre-service teachers encountered both positive and negative experiences related to teaching CASE coursework and recommended that pre-service teachers be adequately prepared to engage in CASE coursework prior to student teaching.