Deconstructing Content Knowledge: Coping Strategies and Their Underlying Influencers for Beginning Agriculture Teachers


Amber H. Rice
Tracy Kitchel

The purpose of this grounded theory qualitative study was to explore how beginning agriculture teachers break down content knowledge for student understanding. The overarching theme that emerged during data collection and analysis was beginning teachers' self-perceived content knowledge deficiency in various subjects within agriculture. This initial finding guided subsequent collection and analysis which focused on how teachers coped with this feeling of inadequacy in content and the underlying influencers that guided those actions. Various coping strategies occurred during planning and in-the-moment teaching stages. Underlying influencers for choosing a particular coping strategy included a combination of internal and external influencers. External influencers included structure of the school environment, individual department structure, and offering agriculture courses for core content credit. Internal influencers included teachers' content interest, perceived credibility as a content teacher, and philosophies regarding agricultural education. Recommendations include reconciling the purpose of agricultural education in teacher preparation programs, creating more accessible professional development opportunities, and examining experienced teachers in the field for similar findings.

Rice, A. H., & Kitchel, T. (2016). Deconstructing content knowledge: Coping strategies and their underlying influencers for beginning agriculture teachers. Journal of Agricultural Education, 57(3), 208-222. doi:10.5032/jae/2016/03208


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