Volume 47 - Number 2 - 2006 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2006.02024
The continuing trend toward increasing the diversity of curriculum offered within secondary agricultural education programs is driving a change in pre-service and in-service preparation for agriculture teachers. This study analyzed Georgia agriculture teachers' perceived importance of, and competence in, a variety of professional agricultural teaching competencies to identify their in-service needs. A revised version of Joerger's (2002) needs assessment instrument was used to gather data from existing Georgia agriculture teachers, with this data providing the means to prioritize competencies where agriculture teachers need supplemental preparation. The findings of this study indicate that teachers need additional preparation in technical areas such as biotechnology, aquaculture, and veterinary technology. Teachers also need support in developing pedagogical skills that will assist them in motivating their students to learn and increase their students' ability to think critically and creatively. Further, teachers indicated a need for preparation in managing student behavior. Finally, teachers identified the need for assistance when advising students who have an interest in post-secondary education, preparing various FFA applications, and developing an effective public relations program. Therefore, it was recommended that a number of pre-service/in-service preparation needs should be addressed by university faculty and state agricultural education staff.