Brown, N.R., Roberts, R., Whiddon, A.S., Goossen, C.E., & Kacal, A. (2015). Paxton revisited: The essence of the lived experiences of urban agricultural education students. Journal of Agricultural Education. 56(1), 58-72. doi: 10.5032/jae.2015.01058
The rapidly growing world population and need for more food and agricultural knowledge has inspired city dwellers to explore urban cultivation practices such as vertical farming and community gardening. Ultra-modern approaches to growing crops and livestock in urban high-rise buildings has sparked the imagination of scientists, agriculturists, and engineers as well as rural and urban citizens in recent years. With this new piqued interest for urban agriculture, secondary urban Agricultural Education programs are in a prime position for growth. However, more research is needed to inform the profession regarding quality Agricultural Education growth in American cities. The purpose of this transcendental phenomenology was to discover the essence of the shared experiences of urban students who were persistently enrolled in Agricultural Education. The findings, conclusions, implications, and recommendations associated with the study are reported as five interpretive themes of meaning including: (a) disorienting experience, (b) critical assessment, (c) shared experiences, (d) thoughtful planning, and (e) projected transformation. The essence of the shared lived experiences of Thomas High School Agricultural Education students was discovered through the lens of the Transformational Learning Theory and can be described best as a Journey Toward Transformation.