Agricultural literacy in Montana preservice elementary educators
Rianda, Jondie Lee
MetadataShow full item record
A major disconnect in a connected world has occurred, creating a knowledge deficiency in agriculture and its global issues. The purpose of this study was to determine Montana State University preservice elementary educators' perceptions toward agriculture, educating about agriculture, and incorporating agricultural topics within their lessons. Researchers used the diffusion of innovations theory and its five communication channels and five degrees of innovativeness along with the theory of planned behavior as a lens to analyze agricultural literacy awareness. Data included education students enrolled in one or more of the following 2019 spring K-8 methods courses: science, math, social studies, and language arts. Regarding barriers, respondents indicated Time and Funding were the most significant, however, Personal Interest and Reward/Recognition construct item were the most significant benefits. Math Methods students obtained the highest percentages out of all four subject areas regarding their comfort level of potentially utilizing the National Agriculture Literacy Outcomes (NALO), while Language Arts Methods course students had the lowest. Participants' overall confidence to potentially utilize agriculture as a context to teach core academics was low compared to their degree of innovativeness, tendency to adopt the innovation. Findings possess significant recommendations and implications for addressing agricultural literacy in nonagricultural educators to improve teachers' perceptions, and increase their awareness of agricultural concepts to successfully and efficiently utilize agriculture as a context. A variety of approaches can be drawn upon to achieve this goal. First, collaboration between elementary and agricultural education preservice education programs. Second, provide agriculturally-based workshops and professional development opportunities for nonagricultural education majors need to be provided. Third, expand efforts toward in-service educators. Fourth, create an agriculturally integrated K-8 curriculum and standards. Fifth, publish research utilizing specific agricultural literacy terminology in nonagricultural education.