45-04-082 - CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE AGRICULTURE...

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Journal of Agricultural Education 82 Volume 45, Number 4, 2004 CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE AGRICULTURE TEACHERS T. Grady Roberts, Assistant Professor Texas A & M University James E. Dyer, Associate Professor University of Florida Abstract The purpose of this Delphi study was to develop a consensus listing of those characteristics that comprise an effective agriculture teacher. Panel members consisted of agriculture teachers, county-level administrators, state FFA supervisory staff, and university faculty in agricultural education. The panel identified 40 characteristics of an effective agriculture teacher that were categorized into the areas of instruction, FFA, SAE, community relations, marketing, professionalism/professional growth, program planning/management, and personal qualities. Characteristics identified in the “personal qualities” category that are requisite for effective teachers warrant examination and possible remediation by current teacher education programs. Introduction/Theoretical Framework Today’s secondary educational environment is much different than it was decades ago. Requirements for promotion and graduation are much more strict, including more required classes and higher standards for promotion. Current students often do not have the luxury of enrolling in elective classes for personal enlightenment, as their schedules are filled with courses required for college admittance. Beyond a highly regimented course of study, today’s students must also deal with the pressures of taking and passing high-stakes standardized tests. The pressures placed on students to do well on these tests have been compounded by a recent trend in many states to use these test scores to grade schools. All of these factors are indicative of an increased emphasis on student and teacher performance. Another recent phenomenon in education is accountability for student performance. Standardized tests and school grades are often used as indicators of performance for both schools and individual teachers. Consequently, schools are consistently looking for methods to maximize student performance. One approach used by schools to aid in increasing student performance is to hire and retain effective teachers under the assumption that effective teachers will lead to greater student learning and thus greater performance. Given the high-stakes placed on these performance indicators, schools often do not have the luxury to hire teachers of unknown potential with the hopes that they will eventually develop into effective teachers. Expectations are placed on all teachers, including agriculture teachers, to immediately contribute to advancing test scores. Unfortunately, identifying effective teachers is not always an easy task, especially with the teacher shortage faced by many academic areas. It is unlikely that any administrator
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45-04-082 - CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE AGRICULTURE...

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