An exploration of the professional development needs of agricultural teachers in their role as educators

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Title: An exploration of the professional development needs of agricultural teachers in their role as educators
Authors: Flannery, Sinéad
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/12178
Date: 2019
Online since: 2021-05-19T15:59:49Z
Abstract: Agricultural education plays a fundamental role in developing the future generation of young farmers. Over the past number of years, agriculture has undergone significant change with regard to production and consideration for the landscape and the environment within which farming communities reside. Conversely, education has experienced paradigm shifts relating to education programme delivery, instructional techniques, and the role of the teacher within the educational context. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the professional development needs of the agricultural educators involved in the delivery of vocational agricultural education and training programmes to the future generation of young farmers. Much research has been conducted regarding learners’ needs, the importance of vocational education and training programmes, and the learner experience within the vocational education and training sphere, however, little is known about the teachers’ experience in the delivery of such programmes. In addressing this intellectual gap, the thesis employs a mixed methods research paradigm consisting of three distinct research phases. The first phase employs an explanatory sequential mixed methods research design process to identify the specific professional development needs of the agricultural teaching population within the vocational education and training sector. The second phase furthers conceptual understanding of agricultural teacher professional development needs through the use of an exploratory sequential mixed methods research design to develop a professional development tool appropriate to the needs of the agricultural teaching population. Finally, the third research phase contributes a nuanced understanding of the primary and secondary motivators influencing young peoples’ further educational choice through the use of an in-depth exploratory research design. Findings from each phase in the data collection process are documented in the form of academic peer-reviewed paper publications developed based on findings within this thesis. In conclusion, this thesis contributes to theoretical and conceptual understandings of the study phenomenon relating to agricultural teacher professional development needs. The influence of policy, both nationally and internationally, are considered throughout the thesis given the effect of young farmer intervention on agricultural education programmes and the recruitment of agricultural teachers within the vocational education and training context.
Funding Details: Teagasc
Type of material: Doctoral Thesis
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Agriculture and Food Science
Qualification Name: Ph.D.
Keywords: Agricultural educationAgricultural extensionPedagogyVETProfessional developmentTrainingTeaching and learningCompetency frameworkMixed methods
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ie/
Appears in Collections:Agriculture and Food Science Theses

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