Ray, B. L., Clemons, C. A., McKibben, J. D., Linder, J. R., Fuhrman, N. E., & Barlow, R. J. (2022). Implementing forestry and natural resource curricula in Georgia. A quantitative analysis of perceived barriers towards implementation. Journal of Agricultural Education, 63(3), 149-165. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2022.03149

Abstract: 

There are fewer forestry/natural resources pathway classes being taught in Georgia high schools in relation to other commonly associated agriculture curricula (Georgia Agriculture Education, 2019). The purpose of this study was to investigate school-based agriculture education (SBAE) teachers’ perceptions of forestry/natural resources curriculum to investigate internal barriers towards implementation of the curricula. The participants of this study were Georgia SBAE agriculture teachers (N = 358). This study utilized a quantitative non-experimental survey research design. The findings of the study yielded data that reveals particular weaknesses in the importance and competence of forestry/natural resources curriculum. There were a significant number of teachers that did not teach a forestry/natural resource pathway. Teacher importance and competence of forestry/natural resources concepts was analyzed and ranked. The data further shows the discrepancy of perceived teacher importance and perceived teacher competence through Mean Weighted Discrepancy Scores (MWDS). MWDS were used to rank forestry/natural resources concepts to identify training needs of teachers within Georgia. Teachers that had more years of experience had the greatest discrepancy between perceived importance and perceived competence. Teachers with no personal experiences in forestry, natural resources, and/or wildlife management had a significant need for training within those concepts. The recommendations of this study support university and state staff address different avenues to market the core subjects within agriculture education, cultivate partnerships with forestry and natural resources professionals, and SBAE teachers should seek to bring individuals into their classroom to promote forestry/natural resources careers

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