DiBenedetto, C.A., Easterly III, R.G., & Myers, B.E. (2015). Can scientific reasoning scores predict the likelihood of SBAE students' intent to pursue a STEM sareer, a career in agriculture, or plan to attend college?. Journal of Agricultural Education. 56(1), 103-115. doi: 10.5032/jae.2015.01103



Demands placed on teachers and students continue to increase in order to develop the skills required of the 21st century workforce. There continues to be a need to utilize curriculum and instruction to inspire students to engage in STEM majors and careers. Improving instructional methods and providing opportunities for students to question and problem solve, through the use of inquiry-based instruction (IBI) can increase scientific reasoning abilities. This instructional approach may assist in improving, not only the academic achievement of students, but it may encourage students to plan to attend college and develop potential career aspirations for agriculture and STEM. This research used the scientific reasoning scores from 663 students enrolled nationwide in school-based agricultural education programs (SBAE) to predict students' likelihood to indicate plans to pursue a career in agriculture, STEM or plan to attend college. The findings reveal scientific reasoning scores predict students' likelihood to indicate intention to pursue a STEM career and plan to pursue college. Implications from this research suggest SBAE instructors should continue their efforts to incorporate IBI into instruction in order to engage students to think critically and solve real world problems, while exposing students to the skills requisite for STEM major/career access.

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