Roberts, R. Stair, K., & Granberry, T. (2020). Images from the trenches: A visual narrative of the concerns of agricultural education majors. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(2), 324-338. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2020.02324

This study described how agricultural education majors at Louisiana State University visually represented and narrated their concerns about teaching. To accomplish this, students captured photos during early field experiences (EFEs) and then critically reflected on those experiences through focus group interviews during the Fall 2018 and Fall 2019 academic semesters. As a product of our analysis of data, we offered a visual narrative of students’ concerns through three themes: (1) Blurred Expectations: Representations of Incompetence; (2) Framing Success: Depictions of Achievement; and (3) The Narrowest Lens: Views of Time. As a result, the first theme represented how students grappled with feelings of incompetence. In the second theme, they depicted success as a secondary agricultural education teacher as winning banners and awards, from which emerged key tensions. As students assigned meaning to this concern through the co-construction of knowledge, their perspectives began to mature and evolve. The final theme spoke to how the EFEs opened students’ eyes to the realities of teaching, especially regarding the time required to be effective. As such, we offered recommendations and implications for teacher preparation programs to better respond to the concerns of agricultural education majors preparing for careers as secondary teachers.

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