Solomonson, J. K., Wells, T., Hainline, M. S., Rank, B. D., Wilson, M., Rinker, S. P., Chumbley, S. (2022). Technical agriculture skills teachers need to teach courses in the plant systems pathway. Journal of Agricultural Education, 63(3), 100-116. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2022.03100
Agricultural teacher education programs are designed to prepare competent teachers who are ready to teach students in public schools. One aspect of agricultural teacher education is ensuring teachers are ready to lead instruction in various aspects of school-based agricultural education (SBAE), such as teaching students various technical agriculture skills. As part of a larger study, we used a three-round Delphi study to identify the technical agriculture skills SBAE teachers in Illinois and Iowa need to effectively teach courses in the Plant Systems pathway within the broader Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (AFNR) Career Cluster. A panel of 27 experienced SBAE teachers nominated by their colleagues contributed data for our study. Eighteen teachers participated in all three rounds. At the conclusion of our Delphi study, we identified 82 technical agriculture skills. To help ensure teachers are competent and prepared to teach courses in the Plant Systems pathway, we suggest several approaches agricultural teacher educators should consider: (1) facilitating opportunities to implement technical agriculture skill development opportunities within agricultural teacher education programs, (2) engaging with agricultural faculty who teach technical agriculture courses to pre-service teachers, and (3) using our list of 82 skills as a springboard to facilitate future scholarly inquiry on the topic. While our results are not generalizable beyond the SBAE teachers in Illinois and Iowa, we do believe our findings are valuable to SBAE stakeholders. To enhance generalizability and provide a more thorough exploration of teachers’ technical agriculture skill needs, replication of our study should occur in other states.