Bush, S. A., Friedel, C. R., Hoerbert, L. R., & Broyles, T. W. (2017). Connecting problem-solving style to peer evaluations of performance in secondary cooperative learning projects. Journal of Agricultural Education, 58(2), 35-49. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2017.02035


With an evolving and expanding agricultural industry, it is crucial to provide future professionals with valuable experiences and skills in problem solving, communication, and teamwork. Agricultural summer programs for secondary students, which provide cooperative learning experiences with a focus on group work and problem solving, aim to help meet the current demand of employment in the various disciplines within agriculture. Many of these summer programs offer secondary students opportunities to learn more about agriculture, and gain experiences as they work in teams to consider the agricultural issues they may face upon entering the workforce. While adaption-innovation theory has been used in agribusinesses across the world to provide explanation to how people work together in teams to solve complex ill-defined problems, little is known regarding the degree the theory applies to secondary student learning in groups. This study utilized a quantitative, quasi-experimental design to further explore how high school students’ problem-solving styles impact their perceptions of group members in a cooperative learning experience while participating in the Virginia’s Summer Residential Governor’s School for Agriculture program. The findings and recommendations can assist instructors in providing cooperative learning experiences to their students and further maximize high school student’s experiences in working in teams and solving complex ill-defined problems associated with agricultural issues.

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