Commonly Accepted Theories, Models, and Philosophies: The Subjective Norms of Our Discipline


  • Amy Harder University of Florida
  • Grady Roberts University of Florida
  • James R. Lindner Auburn University



discipline, subjective norm, theories, models, philosophies


Inconsistent terminology used to describe agricultural education has plagued the profession for years. Colloquial terms such as “big A” or “little a” used to differentiate meaning demonstrate the struggle to clearly identify agricultural education within the academe. We sought to identify the subjective norms of the four specializations commonly considered to comprise agricultural education to determine if a single discipline or multiple disciplines exist. A national Delphi panel was convened consisting of nominated experts representing agricultural communication, agricultural leadership, extension education, and school-based agricultural education. The panels separately identified the commonly accepted theories, models, and philosophies within their respective specializations in the first two rounds. Then, panelists evaluated all consensus items from the second round in the final round to determine commonalities across specializations. Across the specializations, consensus items related to change theories, teaching and learning theories, and shared philosophies. However, enough variation existed within the findings to suggest agricultural education is not a single discipline. We discuss possible consequences for the future of our profession based on this finding, including how our subjective norms may influence publication decisions, engagement with professional associations, and departmental composition.


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How to Cite

Harder, A., Roberts, G., & Lindner, J. R. (2021). Commonly Accepted Theories, Models, and Philosophies: The Subjective Norms of Our Discipline. Journal of Agricultural Education, 62(1), 196–211.




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