Yopp, A., Edgar, D., & Croom, D. (2020). Technical in-service needs of agriculture teachers in Georgia by career pathway. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(2), 1-19. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2020.02001

A teacher’s content knowledge, coupled with skilled teaching and a disposition for classroom service, all have a positive effect on student outcomes. This study assessed the in-service professional development needs of Georgia agriculture teachers’ in the seven career pathways defined in the Agricultural Education curriculum: Agribusiness Systems, Animal Systems, Environmental Service Systems, Food Products and Processing Systems, Natural Resources, Plant Systems, and Power and Technical Systems. Multiple areas within pathways were found to be beneficial for professional development according to teachers including: lab management, lab safety, greenhouse management, nutrition, feeds and feeding, market research, business plan development, etc. Teachers at all levels of experience noted additional professional development in plant systems and lab safety would be beneficial and teachers with less than 10 years expressed need for training in power and technical systems. Significant differences were found between male and female teachers in the area of power and technical systems, with males expressing need for additional professional development. Rural teachers saw more benefit in food processing professional development than their urban counterparts. Future research should investigate trends in professional development as it pertains to gender to provide a more tailored understanding of factors contributing to the individual needs of teachers, especially in the power and technical systems pathway. Additionally, research is needed to assess other elements of effective professional development in Agricultural Education such as the value of duration, collaboration, and reflection.

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