Breeding, L., Rayfield, J., & Smith, K. L. (2018). Lessons learned: Describing the preservice preparation experiences of early-career award-winning agricultural educators. Journal of Agricultural Education, 59(1), 86-99.


This study was designed to describe the experiences of National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) Outstanding Young Member award winners. These teachers were asked about the concepts that they were most and least prepared for upon entering the teaching field. A modified Delphi method was used to collect data utilizing three rounds of researcher-developed questionnaires. Round one included open-ended and demographic-type questions. Rounds two and three were constructed using panelists’ answers from previous rounds and included Likert-type, five-point rating scales. These award winning teachers felt most prepared to: 1) teach animal science, 2) provide classroom instruction, and 3) teach introductory lessons or units. They felt least prepared to: 1) plan for retirement and 2) manage work-life balance.   The findings of this study may provide a framework for teacher education programs and teacher in-service workshops that will aid in more comprehensive training and development of future agricultural education teachers.

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