Exploration of global perspectives, teacher passion, and professional commitment of second stage agriculture teachers in the Western United States
Gorter, Erin K
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Teacher retention is an issue among teachers of school based agricultural education (SBAE). While there is a focus on supporting teachers through their induction years, second stage teachers (years 4-10) are frequently ignored as a demographic during in a critical point in their careers. This study sought to describe the global perspectives, teacher passion, and professional commitment as well as demographics of interest in the population second stage teachers of SBAE from two Western states (N = 286). The census resulted in a response rate of 43.8% (N = 116). Further, the researchers explored these factors among a sub population of second stage teachers who participated in a 10-day intensive professional development event in Ecuador during the Summer of 2018 (n = 7). This quantitative, non-experimental study utilized survey research methods to distribute three instruments: The Global Perspectives Inventory, The Pulse of a Teacher Scale, and the Push Pull Mooring Instrument. This study was conducted in three parts and used descriptive-correlational, static-group comparison, ex post facto, and static-group pretest posttest design to carry out the objectives. In some cases, there were violations to assumptions for parametric statistical tests and the researchers employed non-parametric tests to analyze the data. Findings indicated second stage teachers of SBAE two Western states are primarily white females between ages 25 and 34 who are in their 5th year of teaching. Further, global perspectives, teacher passion, and gender described an insignificant 3% of the variance in professional commitment among second stage teachers of SBAE. When comparing teachers who elected to participate in the intensive professional development event in Ecuador, there were no significant differences across the variables. Additionally, pretest and posttest data indicated no significant changes in global perspectives, teacher passion, or professional commitment after participating in the event in Ecuador. Results from this study offer a starting point for exploring the second stage teacher of SBAE as well as describing their commitment towards the profession of teaching agriculture at the secondary level.
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