Brown, C.P., Cline, L.L., & Robinson, J.S. (2022). Transformative learning in an African American agriculture course. Journal of Agricultural Education, 63(1), 62-79. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2022.01062
Despite agricultural education’s prioritized efforts to increase diversity, people of color remain minimally represented. The overwhelming majority of all School-Based Agricultural Education (SBAE) teachers are White, non-Hispanic. The limitations of SBAE teachers’ prior experiences or knowledge base of ethnic and racial diversity could lead to challenges in successfully supporting minority students. Agricultural education programs play an essential role in supporting preservice teachers’ attainment of deeper understanding by providing multicultural education curriculum that encourages growth in their critical awareness of diverse cultures. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the transformative learning experience of students completing an African American (AA) Agriculture course. This study analyzed responses provided by students both at the beginning and end of the course experience to understand if and to what degree the transformative learning process occurred. Findings revealed evidence of transformative learning among the students in the way of six emergent themes that described their perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs about AA agriculture when comparing responses acquired before and after the completion of the course. With the limited representation of AA teachers in SBAE programs, the evaluation of the transformative learning process of students in this course may open the door to create a more culturally inclusive environment in SBAE and the agricultural industry as a whole.