Examining how principals support school-based agricultural education programs
Principals have traditionally served as the instructional leader in a school, significantly impacting school culture and effectiveness. Despite this importance, little work has been conducted to examine how administrators view and impact school-based agricultural education programs. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine how the leadership practices of principals support the culture of exemplary school-based agricultural education programs in Florida. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five principals who supported SBAE teachers in exemplary programs in Florida. Thematic analysis of the transcripts yielded several emergent themes. The principals relayed value in agricultural education and found that school-based agricultural education programs helped meet their school's overall goals. The principals saw their role as helping the teacher find ways to grow without micromanaging their work. The principals expressed interest in the prospect of professional development to help them support agriculture teachers in their programs. Based on these findings, the authors recommend state and national agricultural education leaders implement professional development opportunities for teachers and principals so they can work in concert to find areas where their goals intersect and focus on strengthening those areas. A model for examining principal support in SBAE is presented based on the findings.