Improving forestry secondary education: Identifying teachers’ needs
Industrial, technological, and societal changes require teachers to be continually engaged in professional learning activities that promote new scientific approaches to education and content. Providing teachers with current and relevant professional development is an important task in secondary education. This study sought to identify the professional development needs for educators who teach forestry and forest ecosystem content to secondary students. Researchers used the Delphi method with two participant groups to investigate the diversity of thought held throughout the southeastern United States. Participants were agriculture and environmental science teachers, state department of education administrators, foresters, and environmental scientists. Participants identified eleven areas of educational need: 1. Forestry career days, 2. Tree diseases and pathogens, 3. Graduation requirements limit student opportunities to take electives, 4. Career counseling in forestry jobs, 5. Educate students about degrees needed for forestry careers, 6. Over commitment of students to extra-curricular activities, 7. Lack of foundational forestry knowledge, 8. Lack of forestry /agriculture programs in schools, 9. Develop forestry electives in middle school, 10. Lack of foundational forest management knowledge, and 11. Connect classroom content to FFA and Envirothon extra-curricular activities.
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