Determining the water management instructional needs of Texas agriscience teachers
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Dwindling water resources in Texas will not only impact agriculture producers, but all the citizens within the state. Today, there are new technologies to aid in water management, new regulations that determine water usage, as well as the implementation of changes to curriculum (TEKS) in classrooms. With these new technologies it is important for the general public to have a better understanding of what is being done to ensure water for future generations. High school agriscience teachers are an important factor in the future success of the Texas agriculture industry. As one of the early influencers of future industry leaders, agriscience teachers help to shape individual students and the communities in which they teach and reside. Within this changing environment of dwindling water resources, changes in TEKS, and new technologies and regulations, we need to know what instructional support, in terms of materials and training, agriscience teachers need to enhance their instructional efforts and abilities in teaching TEKS-related water management and conservation curriculum in their classrooms. The purpose of this study was to determine the instructional needs of Texas agriculture science teachers as it pertains to the teaching of agricultural water management and conservation. A population of 658 Texas agriscience teachers was surveyed collecting quantitative data related to the teachers’ beliefs, attitudes, and levels of inclusion, confidence, and importance of water-related material in classroom curriculum. Responses were voluntary and yielded a 74% response rate. Results indicated that agriscience teachers feel content relating to water management and conservation is important, but lack the confidence for full inclusion of the material into the classroom. Agriscience teachers identified instructional materials being used in the classroom along with how they seek out information on water management and conservation. The results will facilitate possible professional development activities for Texas agriscience teachers as well as teaching materials incorporating water management and conservation.