Teacher Perception of the Georgia Middle School Agricultural Education Curriculum and its Relationship to Secondary Agricultural Education Enrollment.
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Curriculum and Teaching
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The purpose of this study was to describe teacher perceptions of the middle school agricultural education curriculum and its relationship to secondary agricultural education enrollment in Georgia. The participants in this study were middle school agricultural education teachers who had a minimum of one year of teaching experience as a middle school agricultural educator. This descriptive and correlational study utilized a quantitative non-experimental survey research design. The data were analyzed and reported utilizing a variety of statistical procedures including frequencies, percentages, means, standard deviations, mean weighted discrepancy scores, t-tests, ANOVA, and regressions. The findings, conclusions, and resulting recommendation had six primary themes including agricultural educator professional development, the Georgia middle school agricultural education curriculum, curriculum development, middle school agricultural education program experiences (classroom/laboratory, SAE, FFA), matriculation, and professional diversity. It was concluded that the middle school agricultural education curriculum has some specific areas for improvement to best meet the educational needs of the modern student. Every curriculum standard, across all grade levels, demonstrated a discrepancy between the level of importance placed on the curriculum standard and the student level of competency upon completion. These discrepancies were analyzed and reported in the form of mean weighted discrepancy scores (MWDS). These scores provided a list of curriculum standards ranked by MWDS and should be evaluated and addressed in order from highest to lowest. Teachers also perceived FFA experiences in middle school agricultural education to have the greatest influence upon a student’s secondary enrollment decision. It was recommended that teachers understand the value and importance of the agricultural education program model and ensure that it serves as the guide for the development of curriculum and experiences in middle school agricultural education. It was also recommended that professional development opportunities, for both pre-service and in-service teachers, be provided to address curriculum concerns to ensure they meet student educational needs. Finally, it was recommended that additional studies be conducted to determine if the middle school agricultural education curriculum is meeting the needs of the modern student and its relationship to the recruitment and retention of students.