Volume 48 - Number 1 - 2007 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2007.01127
The purpose of this study was to describe the nature of early field experience (EFE) in agricultural teacher education programs nationally. A descriptive census survey of all active agricultural teacher education programs in the country was used for this study. The fact that nearly all agricultural teacher education programs require EFE indicates that EFE is valued as an important component of teacher education programs. It was discovered that multiple early field experiences are required at multiple classification levels. The primary responsibility for EFE and the associated administrative tasks are placed on faculty within the agricultural teacher education program. Similarities regarding EFE requirements seem to end at broad, categorical levels. Most programs report having requirements; however, the means by which each program fulfills the requirements are considerably different. Teacher licensure, as well as state and national teacher education accreditation, influences procedural and minimum EFE requirements. This study provides the foundation for further research. Additional research is needed to identify the purposes and outcomes of EFE and determine the extent to which student learning occurs.