Factors relating to agriculture teachers’ perceived use of instructional methods
Keywords:social cognitive theory, teaching effectiveness, teacher beliefs, teaching methods
School-based agricultural education (SBAE) teachers have been encouraged to use a variety of instructional methods. Despite teacher education programs covering numerous instructional methods and promoting active teaching strategies, prior research has indicated teachers’ predominant use of teacher-centered methods. Guided by social cognitive theory, we sought to determine relationships between teachers’ use of instructional methods, belief of method effectiveness, and teacher characteristics. We developed a web survey and administered it to all Florida SBAE teachers. We analyzed 146 usable responses using means, standard deviations, frequencies, zero order correlations, and mixed selection step-wise linear regressions. Findings indicated the most commonly used teaching methods were lecture-discussion, cooperative learning, demonstration, and paired/small group discussion. Teachers believed demonstration and cooperative learning to be most effective and debate and role-play least effective. Significant and positive correlations were found between belief of method effectiveness and method use for lecture-discussion, cooperative learning, demonstration, and paired/small group discussion. Regression models revealed similar trends, with the exception of lecture-discussion. We recommend pre-service and in-service teacher education programs emphasize the importance of student-centered instruction. In this effort, facilitators of teacher education programs should recognize the positive relationships between teachers’ beliefs of a method’s effectiveness and use of that method.
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