Hopkins, N., Sorensen, T., Burrows, M., and Lawver, R. (2020). Happy spouse, happy greenhouse: Perceptions of the SBAE teacher’s spouse regarding agricultural education as a career. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(3), 194-213. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2020.03194

The national shortage of qualified school-based agricultural education (SBAE) teachers is concerning because it can widen the existing gap of skilled workers in the agricultural field and those trained and motivated to tackle the world’s complex challenges. Utilizing the family-relatedness of work decision theory and role conflict theory, this national study sought to explore a spouse’s attitudes, work-family conflict, and satisfaction towards SBAE as a career. Our findings show households (spouses together) spend over 90 hours at work each week, with spouses of SBAE teachers reporting high work interference with family (WIF) and relatively high satisfaction with SBAE as a career. Over one third of the spouses reported having “a lot” or a “great deal” of influence on the career-decisions of their spouse. Participants (spouses of SBAE teachers) most enjoyed the career of their SBAE teacher spouse because of the satisfaction with the career and support received from other teachers. Participants reported not liking SBAE because of excessive work for no compensation and poor salary. The total household weekly hours, WIF, and family-supportive work culture were significant predictors of a spouse’s satisfaction, while gender, participation in agriculture education and family interference with work (FIW) were not. Future research exploring other predictors of spouse’s satisfaction with agricultural education as a career is warranted.

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