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Title:Reform considerations for an agricultural teacher education program: A case study
Author(s):Thorson, Candi J.
Advisor(s):Anderson, James C., II
Department / Program:Human & Community Development
Discipline:Agricultural Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Agricultural Education
Case Study
Teacher Education
Abstract:Nationwide agricultural teacher education programs have suffered from decreased student enrollment. In order to supply qualified agriculture teachers, teacher education programs must evaluate and possibly undergo reform. This ethnographic case study outlines a two-step reform process using the agricultural teacher education program at the University of Illinois, which had begun to suffer from a large decline in student enrollment. A conceptual model called the Agricultural Education Networked Learning Circle for Teacher Preparation (AENLC) was introduced to guide this process. The model demonstrated the collaborative nature of an effective teacher education program and can be used to evaluate and provide direction to key individuals involved in educating the pre-service teacher. Seventeen stakeholders were identified to participate in phase one. Using a three-level approach, participants identified five areas of program improvement: 1) faculty recruitment and retention; 2) courses and curriculum; 3) certification options; 4) student professional development; and 5) student recruitment. From those themes the local program developed a master plan for reform and brought the plan before a national panel of stakeholders to evaluate in phase two. Twenty-one stakeholders were identified to participate in phase two. Phase Two focused on conceptualizing agricultural education at the national level and then using that conceptualization to evaluate the master plan and make recommendations for the local program. Two pertinent areas were identified for program improvement: 1) student recruitment and 2) graduate program changes. Recommendations from the group were consistent with literature and the study provided preliminary data on the practicality of the conceptual model in program reform or renewal in other programs. The local program may now use the recommendations to refine a master plan that can be implemented and evaluated.
Issue Date:2011-01-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Candi J. Thorson
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-01-21
Date Deposited:2010-12

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