Providing Teacher Certification and Professional Development Programs

Providing Teacher Certification and Professional Development Programs

Rebecca Grace Lawver
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-3420-8.ch014
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Agriculture teacher preparation programs, whether traditional or lateral entry, should prepare school-based agriculture teachers with the technical content, pedagogical knowledge, and professional skills to be successful educators in the classroom. This chapter explores the preparation of agriculture and agriscience educators for the classroom through an overview of the types of teacher certification options, describing the components of an agriculture teacher preparation program, including the Standards for School-Based Agricultural Teacher Preparation, exploring opportunities for agriculture teacher professional development, and investigating opportunities to enhance teaching excellence and technical skill enhancement through systematic needs assessment.
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Differentiating Among Types Of Teacher Certification Programs

Teacher certification or licensure is the credential that gives educators the certification to instruct students in a specific content area and at a specific level. All states require teachers to obtain certification to work in public schools. To become certified, you are required to complete a bachelor’s degree from an accredited teacher education program, complete a student teaching internship, and pass a background check.

Traditional Teacher Preparation

A traditional agriculture teacher preparation program includes a four-year Bachelor of Arts or Science degree program that incorporates general education courses, technical agriculture content, professional or pedagogical courses, field experiences, student teaching, internship or residency in a school, and state licensure exams. Teacher preparation programs are accredited through either the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Preparation Programs (CAEP) or other accreditation bodies such as the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP). Accreditation provides several important benefits to teacher education programs that include outcomes-based evidence that supports learning, provides an accountability system, allows for structured reviews, improved program effectiveness, and third-party validation. Overall, these evidence-based evaluations are grounded in continuous improvement to ensure teacher education programs produce successful teachers.

In agricultural education, traditional teacher preparation programs in the U.S. produce more than 80% of the nation’s SBAE teachers (Lawver et al., 2018). For many undergraduate students, the conventional path is to attend a 4-year accredited college or university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education that leads to teacher licensure. Students may also attend a community or junior college and complete lower division or pre-requite courses before transferring to a baccalaureate institution to complete their degree.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Teacher Preparation: A program designed to prepare students to become certified or licensed teachers.

Professional Development: Continuing education and career training after an individual has entered the workforce.

Pedagogical Knowledge: The specialized knowledge of teachers for creating effective teaching and learning environments for all students.

Standards: The learning goals for what students should know and be able to do after a program or course.

Inservice Teacher: Includes all professional teachers who are currently teaching in the classroom.

Alternative Certification: This is a non-traditional route to teacher licensure.

Needs Assessment: A process of determining gaps in knowledge, practice, or skill.

Teacher Certification: The process that which individuals obtain official teaching credentials within a specific field after fulfilling the requirements, coursework, degrees, or other criteria. Often referred to as teacher licensure.

Preservice Teacher: Includes students in a teacher preparation program who have little to no experience in the classroom.

Content Knowledge: These are the facts, concepts, theories, and principles related to specific academic courses in agriculture. Sometimes referred to as technical knowledge.

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