Whitehair, R. L., Sands Schramm, K. R., Wells, T., and Hainline, M. S. (2020). Preservice teachers’ conceptualizations of agricultural mechanics. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(3), 60-74. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2020.03060

Agricultural mechanics laboratories are frequently available for use within school-based agricultural
education (SBAE) settings. Moreover, agricultural mechanics instruction is quite common and can
include a wide range of subject matter. Preservice teachers are frequently concerned about teaching
agricultural mechanics, sometimes due to negative or no experiences in the subject. We sought to
describe how preservice teachers, many of whom had limited experience in agricultural mechanics,
conceptualized agricultural mechanics at the beginning and end of a teacher education-focused
agricultural mechanics course. Conceptually framing our study using Boud et al.’s (1985) model of
reflection, we used a qualitative research design to collect data from 17 preservice teachers. Two
themes and four sub-themes were identified through our data analysis process. We found preservice
teachers’ conceptualizations of agricultural mechanics were positively impacted as a result of a
semester-long course. We recommend SBAE stakeholders continue to engage preservice teachers in
high-quality agricultural mechanics-related experiences to better prepare the next generation of
teachers to create opportunities for their students.


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