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Agricultural Education in an Urban Charter School: Perspectives and Challenges

Author: Henry, Kesha A., Talbert, Brian Allen, and Morris, Pamala V.

Organisation: Journal of Agricultural Education 55(3), 89-102

Published: January 2014

Country: United States

Research type: Qualitative

Urban school districts are viable recruitment sources for higher education in agriculture and have the ability to play a significant role in efforts to increase agricultural education program numbers at the secondary level. Secondary school increases should lead to growth in agricultural college enrollments across the country. Increasing agricultural literacy and overall enrollment at the collegiate level provides opportunities to increase minority populations pursuing higher education and careers in agriculture. Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) drove this study with qualitative methods used to explore instructional perspectives of three adults associated with the agricultural education program at an urban charter school. A phenomenological approach guided collection of qualitative data. Consensus was reported through participant belief that inclusion of agricultural education courses into curricula played a major role in breaking students' stereotypes regarding agricultural careers and higher education opportunities. Although participants believed agricultural education vital to instruction, challenges to teaching agricultural education in urban schools led them to focus on STEM related agricultural careers as opposed to agricultural production careers.