Conducting Programmatic Research in Agriculture Teacher Education

Conducting Programmatic Research in Agriculture Teacher Education

Will Doss, John Rayfield
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-3420-8.ch016
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This chapter focuses on programmatic research in agriculture teacher education programs. Included in this chapter are the definition of research, why agriculture teacher education programs should conduct research, approaches to programmatic research, and practical applications for using research in teacher educations programs. The authors break down various methodologies for conducting programmatic research and offer many practical examples of how these can be easily implemented into any agriculture teacher education program. This chapter walks the reader through developing researchable questions, using the scientific method, choosing appropriate research design and methodology, and simple steps to disseminate and communicate research findings. The chapter also touches on the relationship between research and evaluation and how evaluation is used to assess programmatic effectiveness.
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Agriculture teacher education programs generally have three different functions that must be performed: teaching, service, and research. These functions usually benefit program stakeholders such as undergraduate and graduate students, secondary school agricultural education teachers in the field, and other agricultural industry representatives with interests in agricultural education. The teaching function of agriculture teacher education programs is to train new agriculture teachers. This training occurs in undergraduate and graduate courses. The teaching function can include courses in areas such as introduction and history of agricultural education, curriculum design, teaching methods, classroom management, laboratory management, and managing FFA and SAE in agricultural education programs. The service function often comes in the form of providing support for agriculture teachers in the field. In some institutions, particularly land grant universities, extension may be substituted for service. They have similar activities but often involve providing education or support beyond the regular on-campus undergraduate and graduate students. Activities related to service or extension can include coordinating FFA events and competitions, providing professional development in summer workshops for teachers, or simply judging FFA and SAE competitions.

The final function of an agriculture teacher education faculty member and focus for this chapter is research. Research is a diligent and systematic investigation used to discover or modify facts, relationships, theories, and applications and to study problems in a disciplined manner, generally using the scientific method. Research is increasingly becoming a requirement for university faculty members in all subjects. For many faculty members, there has been a push for more research productivity than in the past. Agriculture teacher education programs increasingly use research to make informed decisions about their programs. This chapter provides an overview of programmatic research conducted in agriculture teacher education programs. Upon completion of this chapter, the reader should be able to accomplish the following objectives:

  • 1.

    Determine why programmatic research is conducted and how it informs practice in agricultural teacher education.

  • 2.

    Formulate plausible programmatic research questions.

  • 3.

    Compare different programmatic research approaches.

  • 4.

    Identify potential areas of applied programmatic research in agricultural teacher education.

  • 5.

    Determine how to communicate research findings with appropriate audiences.

  • 6.

    Identify programmatic research trends in agriculture teacher education.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Methodology: The design and plan for data collection, data analysis, and interpretation used in a research study. AU2: Reference appears to be out of alphabetical order. Please check

Mixed Methods Research: A research approach that combines elements from both quantitative and qualitative approaches to gain additional information that could not be provided from one of those approaches alone.

Philosophical Research: A research approach that attempts to critically examine a philosophy or line of thought in an attempt to gain additional insight that can be applied to establish new concepts, theories, or norms.

Research: A diligent and systematic investigation used to discover or modify facts, relationships, theories, and applications and to study problems in a disciplined manner, generally using the scientific method.

Research Question: Specifies the problem that will be investigated, is written clearly enough that the variables under investigation are understood and gives indication as to the research approach that will be used to investigate the problem.

Quantitative Research: A research approach that uses numerical data to test theories, study relationships between or among variables, and numerically describe or quantify characteristics.

Qualitative Research: A research approach that explores phenomena in an attempt to understand the complexities and meaning individuals or groups attribute to the phenomena.

Research Agenda: A framework for the direction and types of studies that must be completed to address an overarching problem or area of interest.

Programmatic Research: Systematic research conducted by faculty and staff members in agriculture teacher education programs with a focus and concentration on an overarching issue, subject, or problem.

Scientific Method: A systematic procedure used for the purpose of gaining new knowledge that is recognized by the science community.

Historical Research: A systematic attempt to collect and objectively evaluate data related to events, conditions, people, and settings from the past to help explain current events or foretell future events.

Action Research: Research performed by teachers and other educational professionals to change conditions in a particular situation they may be involved in.

Program Evaluation: A research approach conducted to provide data used to inform stakeholders in their decision making related to a program or policy.

Plagiarism: The misrepresentation of someone else’s work or ideas as your own.

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