Examining Characteristics and Barriers on the Adoption of School Gardens among Agricultural Education Teachers
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Curriculum and Teaching
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The overall purpose of this study was to understand the influence of selected factors on the adoption of school gardens by Agricultural Science teachers in Alabama. This study looked at how the relationships between characteristics of teachers, characteristics of innovation, and barriers to adoption affected the diffusion of school gardens. A random sample of 117 Agricultural Science teachers was selected for participation in the study. A majority of Agricultural Science teachers reported they were in the confirmation/implementation stage (40.5%); 4% had no knowledge of the innovation; 6% were in the persuasion stage; 4% were in the decision stage. Overall, Agricultural Science teachers showed a positive attitude toward school gardens. Agricultural Education teachers perceived two primary barriers to the adoption of school gardens. Removing these barriers, time constraints and lack of financial support, would be expected to positively affect the rate of adoption. Based on these findings, offering monetary incentives may increase the rate of adoption, and decrease teachers’ financial concerns. These findings show that female teachers have a more positive attitude towards school gardens, compared to males. Allotting more resources to the hands of female teachers, and including them in the decision-making process about school garden sustainability, may increase school garden diffusion.