Cross, S. M., & Kahn S. (2018). Science in the garden:  A qualitative analysis of school-based agricultural educators’ strategies. Journal of Agricultural Education, 59(4), 88-104. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2018.04088

Abstract:

Scholars in science education have reported an in increase in scientific literacy due to socioscientific issues (SSI)-based instruction.  While several SSI are related to agriculture, such as climate change, whether to eat organic food, land use issues, and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), literature that connects agricultural education to the theoretical framework is scant.  This collective case study investigates how National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization teachers utilize school gardens to teach science, including whether and how SSI are utilized as an educational framework.  Qualitative data was collected by conducting semi-structured interviews with two Ohio school-based agricultural educators, and data was analyzed using the constant comparative method.  Findings indicated both teachers utilized applied science teaching methods and expressed frustrations regarding the difficulty of meeting mandated science learning standards.  While the teachers often integrated controversial topics in classroom discussions, fidelity to the SSI framework did not appear to be utilized.

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