Volume 40 - Number 4 - 1999 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.1999.03040



This was a descriptive study to assess inservice education needs of entry-phase agriculture teachers in Texas. The purpose was to compare the ranking of inservice needs as determined by direct assessment to a ranking based on a mean weighted discrepancy score (MWDS), i.e., the Borich model. Via a mail questionnaire, teachers "graded" their performance for I63 competencies and their need for inservice (expressed need) for each competency. Teachers then responded to a second questionnaire by "'rating" the level of importance for these competencies. Each questionnaire used a Likert-type scale. Subjects responded to 51 "core " competencies and to approximately one-fourth of the remaining items. During Phase I, competencies were ranked based on teachers' expressed need The importance rating, obtained during Phase II, allowedfor calculation of a MWDS for each competency and ranking of the competencies based on these scores. Only four competencies ranked among the top 15 for both rankings. Because MWDS rankings were more congruent with inset-vice needs identified in the literature, it was concluded that a discrepancy approach does provide a more valid picture of inservice needs. Providers should allocate resources based on MWDS rankings. Future needs assessment studies should incorporate the calculation and ranking of MWDS.

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