Easterly III, R.G. & Myers, B.E. (2017). You seize what pops up: A qualitative investigation of the core features of school-based agricultural education professional development. Journal of Agricultural Education, 58(3), 56-71. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2017.03056


Desimone’s core features of professional development (PD) guides the PD for teachers. The purpose of this study was to examine the PD practice of School-Based Agricultural Education (SBAE) teachers in the enthusiastic and growing career stage. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with five teachers from five different states. The transcriptions of the interviews were coded using content analysis to determine if Desimone’s core features were evident in the PD practice of enthusiastic and growing teachers. The codes for four teachers indicated that they were in the enthusiastic and growing career stage and were included in the content analysis. The respondents indicated PD for SBAE teachers included collective participation, content focus, and active learning. Discrepancy was found between Desimone’s core features of PD of coherence and duration. PD should be designed in SBAE to include the core features of PD. A Team Ag Ed. approach to planning and implementing PD is recommended to increase coherence and promote participation in PD offerings. Efforts should also be made to incorporate school district and subject-specific initiatives. Further investigation is needed to explore Desimone’s full model of PD for SBAE teachers.

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