Attitudes and professional development needs of school-based agricultural education teachers related to inclusion, diversity, and equity
Keywords:attitudes, diversity, equity, inclusion, professional development, agriculture teachers
This study aimed to describe school-based agricultural education (SBAE) teachers' attitudes regarding inclusion, diversity, and equity (IDE) and prioritize the need for IDE-related professional development. A series of survey questions were used to describe the sample of SBAE teachers and their attitudes toward IDE and inclusive teaching practices. Most participants agreed that their programs should create an inclusive environment where all students can benefit from their program, have equal opportunities, and demographically mirror their school's student population. However, the profession remains split on whether there are problems with IDE and whether changes are needed. This response is likely the result of today's polarized culture. The Borich Needs Assessment Model was used to determine the perceived level of importance and ability of SBAE teachers regarding 11 professional development statements related to IDE. All professional development needs were assessed and ranked using mean weighted discrepancy scores (MWDS). The top three IDE-related professional development need areas among SBAE teachers were (a) tapping into students' lived experiences (cultural capital) when teaching, (b) identifying curriculum resources to enhance inclusivity, and (c) advocating for minority students.