Wooditch, A. M., Rice, A. H., Peake, J. B., & Rubenstein, E. D. (2018). The development of preservice agriculture teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge through a greenhouse for teachers course. Journal of Agricultural Education, 59(3), 1-14 https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2018.03001


The purpose of this qualitative research study was to explain the development of preservice agriculture teachers’ PCK for the concept of plant fertilizers within a content-focused methods course. The emergent central phenomenon was an overall lack of PCK development for plant fertilizers, highlighted by five main themes that impeded the development. Preservice teachers felt less self- efficacious in horticulture content knowledge and possessed a greater desire for horticulture content knowledge over pedagogical knowledge. Additionally, the preservice teachers exhibited development of horticulture content knowledge and mathematics content knowledge through the unit. Finally, the lack of a content knowledge foundation inhibited the development of PCK in preservice teachers, despite the purpose of the course and vision of the instructor. Recommendations include more purposeful integration of PCK at the preservice level, utilization of tools like the CoRe rubric (Loughran, Mulhall, & Berry, 2004) during lesson planning, increased field experience imbedded in the teacher preparation program, and a more careful examination of the preservice teachers’ pre-existing content knowledge base prior to enrollment in the content-focused methods course.

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