Bowling, A., & Ball, A. (2020). More than winning: A mixed methods grounded theory investigation of the career development event preparation process. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(4), 1-14. http://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2020.04001
Preparing teams to compete in Career Development Events (CDEs) is a significant teacher concern
yet is potentially a highly motivating and impactful component of a total school-based agricultural
education program. This mixed methods, grounded theory study, observed seven agriculture teachers
preparing CDEs teams over four months of CDE competitions from the local chapter level and
progressing to the state level competition. The study aimed to examine the action of CDE preparation
and determine if similar patterns existed for successful teachers when preparing CDE teams. Each
teacher was observed onsite during a CDE practice, and we used an observational instrument to
document the preparation strategies utilized. Following the observed practice, we interviewed all the
participants. The data were analyzed, and a pattern of structured instructional activities emerged.
Additionally, a theory was developed to conceptualize the process of preparing CDE teams. From the
findings, it is recommended that agriculture teachers use a combination of motivational and
instructional strategies while identifying and controlling for intervening issues to enhance their desired
student outcomes for preparing CDE teams.