Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2003

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Agricultural Education and Studies

First Advisor

Robert A. Martin

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify perceptions of agriculture teachers regarding the role of biosciences/biotechnology in the study of agriculture in the North Central Region of the United States. The study sought to determine the degree to which teachers perceived the importance of infusing biosciences/biotechnology into the agriculture curriculum. Another objective of the study was to determine the extent to which competencies in biosciences/biotechnology could be taught if additional instructional materials and inservice training were provided to the teachers.;This was a survey research study, conducted with a stratified random sample of 610 individuals selected from the 2,429 secondary school teachers in the North Central Region of the United States. The findings were based on 325 completed questionnaires. Non-response error was controlled enabling findings to be generalized to the general population of agricultural educators in the North Central Region.;Findings indicated that secondary school educators in the North Central Region of the United States were mainly middle-aged and predominantly male. The instructors had favorable perceptions about the role of biosciences/biotechnology in the agriculture curriculum. Their perceptions did not vary with their demographic characteristics. The instructors believed that by integrating the sciences into their curriculum they would prepare their students better for future employment opportunities in science and technology particularly in the area of biotechnology, which is a rapidly expanding industry.;Instructors were more willing to expand instruction in areas of competencies related to traditional ways of increasing plant growth and production. The instructors were also willing to expand instruction in the areas of competencies for sustainable agriculture, environmental education and animal science. They were less willing to expand instruction in areas of competency that were related to cell biology from which major developments in biotechnology arise.;Slightly over a half of the instructors had attended preservice training in biotechnology. The findings of this study indicate that nearly a half of the instructors had no training in biotechnology as beginning teachers. Slightly over three fifths of the instructors had attended some type of inservice education in biotechnology. This finding was surprising as several of the instructors indicated that they needed more inservice for them to feel more confident to integrate more science into the agriculture curriculum.;Many instructors were interested in integrating more bioscience/biotechnology into their programs but many believed there were barriers preventing them to do so. The instructors believed that they needed appropriate additional instructional materials and inservice training. The educators also believed that integrating the sciences into their curriculum would require more time, facilities, and equipment.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/rtd-180813-8768

Publisher

Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu

Copyright Owner

Theresa Adikinyi Sikinyi

Language

en

Proquest ID

AAI3085944

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

171 pages

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