Claflin, K. Stewart, J., & Traini, H. Q. (2022). The Best of Both Worlds: Exploring the Experiences of Alternatively Certified Agriculture Teachers. Journal of Agricultural Education, 63(2), 219-237.

Abstract: Alternative certification is often seen by policymakers and local school districts as the answer to the teacher shortage problem. Yet, little is known about the experiences of alternatively certified teachers in agricultural education. This case study sought to explore the experiences of alternatively certified agriculture teachers through a composite case study grounded in Dewey’s conception of experience. The participants for this study included four early career alternatively certified teachers in Wisconsin. Our findings illuminate insights regarding the fortuitous nature of alternatively certified teachers entering the classroom, the importance of their prior experiences, their passion for the content, the hurdles of becoming certified, and the significance of support. This is the first study of its kind in agricultural education to examine the first-hand accounts of alternatively certified teachers in an attempt to understand the benefits and challenges and the stepping stones leading to alternative certification. How are alternatively certified teachers becoming certified? What personal and professional experiences are they utilizing in the agricultural education classroom? It is critical that we do not disregard these teachers or their valuable experience, but instead seek to understand their background and certification process to ensure continued school-based agricultural education success.

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