Volume 52(3) - 2011 - DOI: 10.5032/jae.2011.03148



Historically, planning and delivery of professional development for public school teachers was centralized in state departments of education and universities, with teachers having little input or control over the content. For many years the literature in adult and continuing education has reflected an emphasis on learner participation in program planning (Houle, 1980; Knowles, 1980; Richey, 1957). Contemporary adult learning theory holds that when adults are integral to the program planning process (Cervero & Wilson, 2006; Little, 1993) they are empowered to address their educational needs in the context of their practice (Cochran–Smith & Lytle, 1999). The purpose of this case study was to examine teacher participation in the planning of continuing professional education within the small field of agricultural education in New York. The over–arching theme that emerged from this study was that when the teachers took primary responsibility for planning their own professional development they, seemed to assume an increased sense of ownership for practice in their profession.

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