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Elementary Teachers' Experiences in Adopting an Agricultural Literacy Curriculum


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ELEMENTARY TEACHERS EXPERIENCES IN ADOPTING AN AGRICULTURAL LITERACY CURRICULUM By KIMBERLY A. BELLAH A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

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Copyright 2006 by Kimberly A. Bellah

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This labor of love is dedicated to my be st friend and husband, Don, and our children, Shelby and Jacob, whose selfle ss sacrifices for my goals are eternally appreciated.

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iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Anything worth doing is worth doing well. I want to first thank my parents for modeling honesty, integrity, and hard work in everything they endeavor. Without their example, I might never have believed e nough in myself to attempt this hurdle. To Dr. James Dyer, my major professor, I am grateful for the future he saw in me. His guidance, encouragement, patience, friendship, and support propelled me through even the most difficult situations. I th ank him for modeling professionalism and collegiality at all times. He and his family warmly welcomed me into their circle without question or second thought. I thank Dr. Glen Casey for his shared vi sion of agricultural education at every level. Without his ability to see a teacher educator in me my professional life path may have taken a different avenue. I am gratef ul for the opportunities he has provided to me for so many years and for his fervor for ag ricultural literacy. The persistence and determination he possesses made this dissert ation topic, and my lifes passion, possible. I thank Dr. Edward Osborne for the amazing opportunities he provided to me during my tenure at the University of Flor ida. My appreciation goes out to him for entrusting me with such a precious and uni que project as the Space Agriculture in the Classroom curriculum. I am grateful for the ex ercises in creativity, persistence, patience, and enthusiasm. Further, my deepest appreciation is extende d to Dr. Dyer, Dr. Osborne, and the rest of my committee members, Dr. Shannon Washburn and Dr. Ricky Telg, in the

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v Department of Agricultural Education a nd Communication, and Dr Linda Cronin Jones in the College of Education, for the trem endous guidance they provided throughout my degree process. I grew professionally and person ally as a student in their classes, and as an observer of their actions. E ach exhibits a passion for teaching that I pray radiates from me to my students. I thank my extended family members in the Pauley, Trees, Bellah, and Alexander families. I am grateful for the phone calls, cards, visits, e-mail, well wishes, and good humor they have all provided. I thank my new Tarleton State University family for welcoming me into their professional and personal lives and for beli eving that I would be an asset to the agricultural education pr ofession in Texas. I appreciate their patience in waiting for me and for their constant encouragement thr oughout the remainder of this part of my journey. I thank my dear friends, Addie and Cara who consistently add to my life in priceless ways. I thank them for the laughter and tears, the love a nd support, the late night phone calls, and the conti nuous friendship they have shared with me for more than a decade. They are my best friends and, given a choice, the two women I would call sister. Finally, I am most grateful to my husb and and children, whose strength, patience, spirituality, and flexibility are my inspiration. I am indebted to them for allowing me the time to be a student, a teacher, a wife, and a mommy all at once. Never once did they make me feel like I was ne glecting anything, especially through the times I knew everything was off balance.

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vi TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES...............................................................................................................x LIST OF FIGURES...........................................................................................................xi ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................xiii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Constructivist Epistemology.........................................................................................2 The Case for Agricultural Literacy Curriculum...........................................................5 California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness (CCGALA) .................................................................................................................8 Educational Evaluation.................................................................................................9 Innovation Adoption...................................................................................................10 Statement of the Problem............................................................................................11 Purpose.......................................................................................................................12 Objectives...................................................................................................................12 Definition of Terms....................................................................................................13 Limitations..................................................................................................................14 Assumptions...............................................................................................................14 Chapter Summary.......................................................................................................15 2 LITERATURE REVIEW...........................................................................................16 The Role of Context in Education..............................................................................16 Experiential Learning..........................................................................................18 Teacher Knowledge and Attitudes......................................................................19 Agricultural Literacy as an Educational Innovation...................................................22 Summary of Agricultural Literacy Research.......................................................23 Student Attitudes and Knowledge................................................................24 Teacher Preparation and Pr ofessional Development....................................30 Barriers to Curriculum Implementation.......................................................36 Theoretical Perspective...............................................................................................40 Change Facilitators..............................................................................................41

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vii Resource Systems................................................................................................43 Stages of Concern................................................................................................43 Levels of Use.......................................................................................................45 Innovation Configurations...................................................................................45 Concerns Based Adoption Model Empirical Research.......................................46 Chapter Summary.......................................................................................................54 3 METHODS.................................................................................................................57 Research Perspective..................................................................................................58 Research Methods.......................................................................................................59 Population and Sample...............................................................................................59 Researcher Subjectivity..............................................................................................60 Instrumentation...........................................................................................................61 Teacher Attitudes and Perceptions of Agriculture..............................................61 Stages of Concern................................................................................................61 Levels of Use.......................................................................................................62 Innovation Configurations...................................................................................63 Innovation Configuration Map Development.....................................................64 Innovation Configuration Interviews..................................................................65 Perceived Outcomes Experienced by Teachers...................................................66 Data Collection...........................................................................................................66 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................67 Stages of Concern Analysis.................................................................................67 Level of Use Analysis.........................................................................................68 Perceived Outcomes and Experiences Analysis..................................................69 Chapter Summary.......................................................................................................71 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION.................................................................................74 Accessible Population Demographic a nd Psychographic Characteristics..................75 Objective One: Describe Elementary T eachers Attitudes and Perceptions of Agriculture as a Context for Teaching Elementary Students..................................78 Previous Agricultural Experience........................................................................78 Attitude Toward Agriculture...............................................................................79 Attitude Toward Agriculture as a Context for Teaching Elementary Students...81 Purposively Selected Sample..............................................................................82 Objective Two: Describe Elementary Teach ers Current Stages of Concern with Respect to Implementing an Agri cultural Literacy Curriculum.............................85 California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness NonUser Stages of Concern....................................................................................86 California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness User Stages of Concern............................................................................................87 Objective Three: Describe Elementary Teachers Current Levels of Use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness ...............89 Objective Four: Delineate the Essential Components for Ideal, Acceptable, and Unacceptable Implementation of an Agricultural Literacy Curriculum.......96

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viii Objective Five: Describe the Innovation Configurations that Teachers Employed While Implementing an Agricultural Literacy Curriculum..................................103 Objective Six: Describe the Perceive d Outcomes Experienced by Teachers Who Adopted the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum.....................................................105 Theme 1: Time..................................................................................................106 Theme 2: Role Perceptions................................................................................113 Theme 3: Change Facilitators............................................................................118 Chapter Summary.....................................................................................................124 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS...........................125 Objectives.................................................................................................................125 Methods....................................................................................................................125 Summary of Findings...............................................................................................129 Objective One....................................................................................................129 Objective Two...................................................................................................130 Objective Three.................................................................................................130 Objective Four...................................................................................................131 Objective Five...................................................................................................132 Objective Six.....................................................................................................134 Conclusions...............................................................................................................134 Discussion and Implications.....................................................................................135 Objective One: Describe Elementary T eachers Attitudes and Perceptions of Agriculture as a Context for Teaching Elementary Students.........................135 Objective Two: Describe Elementary Teachers Current Stages of Concern with Respect to Implementing an Ag ricultural Literacy Curriculum............137 Objective Three: Describe Elementary Teachers Current Levels of Use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness .144 Objective Four: Delineate the Essential Components for Ideal, Acceptable, and Unacceptable Impl ementation of an Agricultural Literacy Curriculum.......................................................................................146 Objective Five: Describe the Innova tion Configurations that Teachers Employed While Implementing an Agricultural Literacy Curriculum..........149 Objective Six: Describe the Percei ved Outcomes Experienced by Teachers Who Adopted the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum.....................................151 Recommendations for Practitioners..........................................................................155 Recommendations for Further Research..................................................................156 Reflection..................................................................................................................157 APPENDIX A INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL..............................................160 B PRELIMINARY LETTER.......................................................................................161 C INTERVIEWEE INFORMED CONSENT..............................................................162

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ix D CALIFORNIA CURRICULUM GUIDELIN ES FOR AGRICULTURAL LITERACY AWARENESS PARTICIPANT ATTITUDINAL INSTRUMENT..........................163 E STAGES OF CONCERN QUESTIONNAIRE........................................................165 F STAGES OF CONCERN QUESTIONNAI RE QUICK SCORING DEVICE........167 G CALIFORNIA CURRICULUM GUIDELIN ES FOR AGRICULTURAL LITERACY AWARENESS INNOVATION CONFIGURATIONS ROUND ONE DELPHI INSTRUMENT.........................................................................................................168 H INTERVIEW PROTOCOL......................................................................................169 I STAGES OF CONCERN RAW SCORE PERCENTILE CONVERSION CHART FOR STAGES OF CONCERN QUESTIONNAI RE...............................................170 J INNOVATION CONFIGURATION CO MPONENT VARIATION TABLE........ 171 K INNOVATION CONFIGURATION PROFILES.................................................... 176 LIST OF REFERENCES.................................................................................................186 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................195

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x LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1. Summary of Currently Teaching Participants and their Use of Agriculture and the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness ( n =36)....76 4-2. Previous Agricultural Experience..............................................................................79 4-3. Attitude toward Agriculture Cons truct Summary of Individual Items.......................80 4-4. Attitude toward Using Agriculture as a Context for Teaching Elementary Content Standards Construct Summary of Individual Items.................................................82 4-5. Summaries of Purposively Se lected Sample Participants..........................................84 4-6. Summary Means of Sample and Target Population Demographic Characteristics....85 4-7. Frequency of Highest Concerns Stage for Individual Users of CCGALA ..................89 4-8. Participants Level of Use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness .............................................................................90 4-9. Summary of Frequency of Par ticipants Levels of Use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness ..................................90 4-10. Round 1 Example Expert Panelist Responses..........................................................98 4-11. Summary of Frequency of Res ponses to Variation by Component.......................100

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xi LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1. The Kolb Experiential Learning Model...................................................................18 2-2. Theory of Reasoned Action......................................................................................20 2-3. The HiC Scale of Relative Size of Innovations........................................................23 2-4. Concerns Based Adoption Model............................................................................42 2-5. Stages of Concern.....................................................................................................44 3-1. Format for the LoU Branching Interview................................................................63 3-2. Item Numbers and Associ ated Stages of Concern...................................................68 4-1. Type of School.........................................................................................................77 4-2. Location of School...................................................................................................78 4-3. Distribution of Participant A ttitudes Toward Agriculture Scores............................80 4-4. Distribution of Partic ipant Attitudes Toward Agri culture as a Context for Teaching Elementary Students Scores.....................................................................81 4-5. Distribution of Stages of Concern for CCGALA Non-Users (n=6).......................... 86 4-6. Distribution of Stages of Concern for CCGALA Users (n=4).................................. 88 4-7. Summaries of Typical Responses at Levels 0, I, II, and III.....................................91 4-8. Summaries of Typical Responses at Levels IV A, IV B, V, and VI........................92 4-9. California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness Innovation Configurations Map (page 1)...............................................................101 4-10. California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness Innovation Configurations Map (page 2)...............................................................102 4-11. Emerging Themes Related to the Pe rceived Outcomes and Experiences of Elementary Teachers Using an Agricultural Literacy Curriculum........................106

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xii 5-1. Hypothesized Development of Stages of Concern.................................................138 5-2. Distribution of Stages of Concern for CCGALA non-users (n=6).........................139 5-3. Distribution of Stages of Concern for CCGALA Users (n=4)................................142

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xiii Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy ELEMENTARY TEACHERS EXPERIENCES IN ADOPTING AN AGRICULTURAL LITERACY CURRICULUM By Kimberly A. Bellah May 2006 Chair: James E. Dyer Major Department: Agricultur al Education and Communication The purpose of this study was to explore th e concerns, levels of use, and innovation configurations of elementary teachers in their use and sustained adoption of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness as a resource for teaching the California state educational st andards. A descriptive study was conducted, integrating both qualitative and quantitative components. Th e theoretical perspective was based on the Concerns Based Adoption Model with qualitative methods used to uncover the experiences of the elementary teachers. An attitudinal instrume nt was administered to the accessible target population ( N =42). A purposive sample was selected for followup interviews ( n =10). Sample participants complete d a Stage of Concern questionnaire and participated in a Level of Use branching interview, as well as a semi-structured, indepth interview regardin g their experiences with an agricu ltural literacy curriculum. An innovation configurations check list was developed using a modified Delphi method and

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xiv results were cross-referenced to transcript data to determine ideal, acceptable, and unacceptable use of the curriculum guidelines. Descriptive statistics were used to an alyze the demographic characteristics and attitudes of the participants, a nd to assess the stages of conc ern and frequencies of levels of use. Analyses indicated participants had generally favorable attitudes toward agriculture and its use as a context for teach ing elementary students. Most elementary teachers had first or second highest concerns at the awareness or informational stage. Participants who self-reported no use of agricu lture as an integrating context were at the non-use or orientation level of use. The components that emerged from the i nnovation configurations checklist were use of the curriculum guidelines, cross-disc iplinary reference to state standards, experiential learning opportuni ties, instructional approach, student assessment, and lesson purpose. Results of checklis t development indicated that participants were generally acceptable and ideal with respec t to instructional approach and experiential learning opportunities, but generally unacceptable with respect to use of the guidelines and crossreferencing to state standards. Members focused on (1) time limitations, (2) role perceptions, and (3) a need for change facilitators as themes contributing to the decision process i nvolved with choosing to adopt and sustain use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Beginning teachers are faced with many re sponsibilities and challenges as they embark on their chosen profession. Not onl y do they face the pressures of standardsbased educational accountability, but they also have specific concerns unique to beginning educational professionals. The Moir Model (Joerger, 2002) conceptualizes specific stages through which a teacher progresses during the first year of teaching. From anticipation to survival to disillusionment, new teachers experience a seemingly downward spiral during the first few months of teaching. After a period of rejuvenation, teachers then move through a reflection period until they cycle back in anti cipation of the next year. There are many contributors to this period of uncertainty, al l of which affect teacher retention rates. Alarmingly, average teacher attrition rates du ring the first three years can range from thirty to sixty percent (Darling-Hammond, 2002). Educational accountability demands are also factors contributi ng to the pressures placed on teachers at all stages of their careers, but these demands may be particularly concerning to a new professional seeking job retention and tenure. Student performance on standardized achievement tests often determines levels of school funding for subsequent years, as well as whether or not administrators retain their positions for the following academic year. State performance st andards often guide te achers in selecting curricula that will best prepare students for success on standards-based achievement tests.

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2 To that end, beginning teachers are not only concerned with how to teach, but with what to teach in order to meet standards. As such, teachers assume positions as gatekeepers in selecting and delivering subject matter to st udents (Barab & Luehmann, 2003). In an age of educational accountability, school systems often struggle to meet performance expectations, and to find the ev er-elusive one size fits all curricular approach to teaching and learning. With No Child Left Behind as the educational norm du jour, state departments of education are busy ensuring that (1) students are learning from only highly qualified teachers, (2) math and science education is strengthened, and (3) student achievement gaps are closed (E ducational Research Service, 2001). All of these demands must be met for schools to suc cessfully compete for reward money, or risk sanctions if expectations are not met. Even so, many children may be left behind if the primary measure of school quality is based on the results of an annual standardized exam (Meier & Wood, 2004). Constructivist Epistemology Many of the messages delivered to teacher s encourage them to utilize curriculum resources that allow students to construct knowledge. Constructivis ts view learning as a building process. Rather than presenting abstract concepts for students to ponder and process, constructivism places the learne r as the active erector of knowledge and understanding via interacti on, discovery, and exploration (Santrock, 2001; Schunk, 2000; Woolfolk, 1993). Constructivist pioneer Lev Vygotsky's analys is of practical intelligence in children and animals lends credence to learni ng in a context such as agriculture (1978). Through his observations, Vygotsky proffe rs an analogy of children stacking experiences and repeated actions one upon another. This stacki ng serves to create clearer

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3 commonalities and to distort differences until what remains are models of experience and understanding. As a child grows, so does the number of models and experiences obtained. The child's understanding of the world around him or her is acquired through linkages of those models to one another, cr eating a "rough blueprint for possible types of action in the future" (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 22). Thus, if students who have no experiences in agriculture are to learn of this context, l earning about agriscience may need to be tied to other learning. Similarly, brain-ba sed research embraces the ideology of interconnected meaning making and affords an opportunity to understand how students construct knowledge. Caine and Caine (1991) opined that "Every complex event embeds information in the brain and links what is bei ng learned to the rest of the learner's current experiences, past knowledge, and future behavior" (p. 5) Enveloping the stude nt in lessons and activities, whereby he or she talks, listens, th inks, values, acts, expe riences, and perceives relationships among those activities, provides an immersed environment for the learner to move past surface knowledge and into meaningful knowledge (1991). Qualifying surface knowledge as anything that "a robot can 'know'" (p. 7), such as rote memorization of facts or formulas, Cain e and Caine surmise th at to truly acquire meaningful knowledge a child must perceive relati onships between new knowledge and past experiences. "Meaningful knowledge is anything that makes sense to the learner" (Caine & Caine, 1991, p. 7) and creates a d eeper understanding of the larger patterns surrounding subject matter presented to the student (Falk & Dierking, 2000; Hardiman, 2003; Johnson, 2002). While brain-based research echoes constructivism at its core, it is

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4 research delineating brain structure and function in making those connections that differentiates brain-based research from constructivist theory. At the essence of brain-based learning are the cell communication processes and the connections made between axons and de ndrites within the neurons (Hardiman, 2003). Axons send signals across synaptic gaps, which dendrites receive; t hus, learning occurs. As more connections transpire between axons and dendrites, signals move faster and more efficiently; as more pathways are creat ed, more dendrites grow (2003). Learning occurs during these neurological connections; lo gic follows, therefore, that the greater the number of connections, the more learning is facilitated. Furthermore, when the brain perceives information worth retaining, information transfers to long-term memory storage and retention (Hardiman, 2003; Johnson, 2002). Not all brains form and develop identically, so neural connections may not be inspired the same way for all people (Caine & Caine, 1991). Reinforcing this disparity of knowledge acquisition, Gardner (1993) theorized the concept of multiple intelligences ; that the brain makes neural connections in more than just logical and verbal sequences Rather, Gardner's focus is on seven intelligences, including musical, spatial, kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal, as well as logicalmathematical and verbal (1993). In Gardner's view, intelligence is de fined as "the ability to solve problems, or to fashion products, th at are valued in one or more cultural or community settings" (p. 7). To that end, IQ points, as a single dimension, do not measure a person's intelligence, nor do the cumu lative points obtained on the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT).

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5 Instead, Gardner's pluralized viewpoint regards the intelligences as a person's propensity to call on a combination of abilities to "work together to solve problems, to yield various kinds of cultural end states vocations, avocations, and the like" (1993, p. 9). Bearing that in mind, beckoning a multitude of abilities learned through previous experiences in the learner's fr ame of reference, to construc t new knowledge, is at the crux of agricultural education cu rriculum philosophy, as well as th is studys epistemological foundation. The Case for Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Moore (1988) deemed Rufus W. Stimson as the forgotten leader in agricultural education (p. 50). Stimson gained that not oriety because of his visionary development of the project-based method of teaching that was subsequently credited to William Heard Kilpatrick. In 1908, Stimson broadcast his vision whereby students at Smiths Agricultural School would learn agricultural skills and techniques at school, but would apply what they had learned on their home farms through the use of home projects (p. 50). In less than a decade, Stimsons proj ect-based method and philosophy spread from Massachusetts to the Panama-Pacific Intern ational Exposition in San Francisco. Soon after, the project method gained widespread use by progressive teachin g practitioners in a variety of educational areas. Stimson s vision became the precursor to works by Kilpatrick and Dewey, as well as to mode rn day agricultural e ducation supervised agricultural experiences (Tal bert, Vaughn, & Croom, 2005). Deweys work, in particular, dictates a need for experience relevant to the context of the learner. Agricultural education at the secondary level epitomized the role of experience in education as Pro sser and Allen documented in their theorems of vocational education (as cited in Talbert, Vaughn, & Croom, 2005). Of notable interest are

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6 theorems that called for experiences capit alizing on students in terests and needs; providing engagement of both cognitive and psychomotor skills; and affording social, physical, and intellectual development of st udents. Since the passage of the SmithHughes Act in 1917, agricultural education valu es experience as a means for acquiring food, fiber, and natural resources understand ing as the heart of the program (Wonacott, 2003). Agricultural education students, their pare nts, agricultural t eachers, and industry leaders possess strong beliefs about secondary level agricultural education courses. Specifically, they believe agricultural educati on provides a context rich environment that engages students and fosters interest to promote further education (Dailey, Conroy, & Shelley-Tolbert, 2001, p. 18). In further support of agricultural education as an integrating context, Balschweid and Thomps on noted, integration of academic principles into agricultural and natural resources can pr ovide a context necessary for students in the 21st century to understand the world they liv e in (2000, p. 36). As such, agricultural education leaders and supporters began to explor e the potential success of this formula at the elementary and middle school levels. Traditional agricultural education programs are viewed as education in agriculture, whereas an early effort by the National Acad emy of Sciences to define agricultural literacy at other educational levels was deemed education about agriculture (as cited in Talbert, Vaughn, & Croom, 2005). In 1991, Frick, Kahler, and Miller leveraged research efforts to operationally define agricultural lite racy on a national level. The results of their research yielded the following definition: Agricultural literacy can be defined as possessing knowledge and understanding of our food and fiber system. An individua l possessing such knowledge would be

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7 able to synthesize, analyze, and communicat e basic information about agriculture. Basic agricultural information includes : the production of plant and animal products, the economic impact of agriculture, its societal signif icance, agricultures important relationship with natural resources and the environment, the marketing of agricultural products, th e processing of agricultural products, public agricultural policies, the global significan ce of agriculture, and the di stribution of agricultural products. (p. 52) The National Research Council (NRC) issu ed a report in 1988 calling for student education in and about agriculture at all leve ls (Committee on Agricultural Education in Secondary Schools). Since then, an onsl aught of agriculturally based curriculum materials have been produced and distribute d to elementary teachers as they sought to integrate agricultural concepts and provide contextual experiences for their students. Agriculture in the Classroom; Project WET; Project WILD; Project Food, Land, and People; Project Learning Tree; and a multit ude of other national, state, and local curriculum packages, designed to integrate cr oss-curricular outcomes with agricultural themes, are currently available to elementary teachers. The challenge for teachers is not a lack of available resources for using agricultu re as a context for teaching standards at all levels. Rather, the crux of th e problem facing teachers is how they navigate standards, curriculum materials, professional development, administrative mandates, and then subsequently synthesize all of those com ponents into a deliverable, student-centered package. Numerous agricultural education resear ch studies have cited the NRC report (Committee on Agricultural Education in Secondary Sc hools, 1988) calling for an increase in agricultural literacy and awar eness throughout all le vels of education (Doerfert, 2003; Frick, 1991 & 1993; Harris & Birkenholz, 1996; Humphrey, Stewart, & Linhardt, 1994). Moreover, the NRCs report highlighted that, while the need for more agriculturally literate students is critical, little is being done to educate teachers about

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8 agriculture outside of secondary agricultu ral education teacher preparation programs (1988). More recently, agricultural education has re-sounded a call for comprehensive agricultural literacy efforts. Hillison (1998) and Pete rson (1999) indicated that partnerships with elementary teacher pr eparation programs are needed to educate preservice teachers about agricultu re and its uses as a context for teaching. Clearly, there is a gap between what is needed to achieve th e vision for an agricultu rally literate society and providing the services to facilitate achie vement of that preferred future. Although collaborating with preservice elementary teach er education programs may be a first step in fulfilling the NRCs recommendations, simply delivering a message about a particular subject matter area (e.g., ag riculture) may not be enough. California Curriculum Guidelines for Ag ricultural Literacy Awareness (CCGALA) The California Food and Fiber Futures (C F3) program, a project funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, responded to the call to in crease the agricultura l literacy levels of teachers by developing the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness (Bitto, Casey, & Casey, 2005), or CCGALA This comprehensive publication outlines each of the California state performance standards for students in kindergarten through grade twelve. Corresponding to each sta ndard is a suggested lesson that teaches that standard using an agricultural context. Additionally, the resource for that lesson is listed. CCGALA reflects the constructiv ist viewpoint that all knowledge is contingent upon human interaction and practi ce with objects, and that mean ing is constructed in and out of such interaction between humans and th e world in a social c ontext (Crotty, 2003). Moreover, the requirement placed on each sugges ted lesson is that it must meet at least

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9 two standards, and meet those standards in at least two content areas. Many of the suggested lessons exceed this requirement. Finally, grade-level a ppropriate l iterature sources are listed for each grade level. Creating the CCGALA was the preliminary step in making agriculture a contextual, constructivist, and experiential learning real ity accessible to elementary teachers. Preparing teachers to use the guide was a seco nd, yet no less important priority for CF3. Three West Coast university campuses embraced the CCGALA and committed to teaching preservice elementary teachers how to effectively use the guide as they prepared to teach. Specifically, these efforts were leveled at kindergarten through eighth grade pre-service teachers. Educational Evaluation In this age of accountability, evidence of student achievement is frequently measured using a standardized exam uniformly administered to all students. In this way, administrators can quantify student achi evement, and track knowledge gains, by comparing group means from year to year. While this objective-orient ed approach is one way to quantify program outcomes, there are other means by which to evaluate the effectiveness of an educati onal program. Strauss, Bowes, Marks, and Plesko (2000) maintain a constructivist notion whereby student achievement is the result of a cumulative effect based on what the student learned earlier. Theory has played an important role in educational evaluation. Tyler, Bloom, Talmage, and others contributed to these theories through their work in measuring student outcomes related to educational and curricu lar programming (Worthen & Sanders, 1987). Although eval uation of specific programs ma y prove useful for program developers, one may argue that the true wort h of an educational program is not based on

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10 the intended outcome of the program. Inst ead, in the wake of educational reform, evaluation emphases may prove more fruitf ul if focused on the sustained use and adoption of educational innovations. Innovation Adoption An innovation, as defined by Rogers (2003), is an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an indivi dual or other unit of adoption (p. 12). Rogers expands on the definition by indicating that an innovation could be perc eived as new simply by the lapse in time since it was originally introduce d. Such time spans fail to exclude an idea, practice, or object from bei ng categorized as an innovati on. Instead, an individuals perceived nascence of an object is enough to merit the tit le of innovation (2003). From Rogers viewpoint, an innovation is adopted through the innovation-decision process. As such, a potential user passes from first knowledge or awareness of an innovation to the final confirmation and reinforc ement of the decision to adopt or reject the innovation through this process (2003). Ke y players in Rogers model are the opinion leaders those who assess the merits of innova tions early and then have influence over others in their area of expertise. Unfortunately, in the educational genre, the presence of opinion leaders in adopting or rejecting educational innovations lacks the same level of effect as it does in other areas. While teachers may respect administrators or teacher educators, or may be sparked by a presentation at a professional developmen t seminar, the reality remains that the teacher primarily makes decisions about adopt ing or rejecting an educational innovation within the walls of his or he r own classroom. With that in mind, alternative measures for assessing the potential worth and continue d use of educational innovations should be sought.

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11 While agricultural education researchers and stakeholders have recognized and articulated a need for increased agricultural lite racy efforts at all leve ls of the educational process, little research has been conducte d beyond assessment of student and teacher knowledge and attitudes toward respective agricultural conc epts (Trexler & Meischen, 2002). Moreover, research efforts have con centrated on individual curriculum packages or units, rather than evaluating systematic pr ograms that infuse agriculture as a thematic context across the content area s at the elementary level. This study differed from previous agricultural liter acy evaluation efforts in that its focus was on existing agricultural curriculum resources, cross-referenc ed to state standards, from kindergarten through grade eight. Likewise, traditional evaluation procedures assess the merit or worth of an educational innovation only th rough student achievement based on formal, paper and pencil assessments, or through simple assessment of teacher use or non-use. This study moved beyond fact-based evaluatio n of agricultural knowledge and attitudes and probed the attitudes, concerns, usage levels, and innovative adaptations teachers encountered after exposure to this curriculum innovation. Rath er than focusing strictly on outcomes of curriculum use, this study sought to examine adoption of the curriculum innovation using the Concerns Based Adoption Model (Hall & Hord, 2001). Statement of the Problem Educational innovation developers freque ntly place significant emphasis and resources on the development of an educational innovation (Hall & Hord, 2001). Conversely, resources for introduction, implem entation, and sustained adoption of such innovations are disproportionate ly out of balance. As such, teachers frequently find themselves struggling on their own to unde rstand and use newly introduced educational innovations. Evaluative measures, when performed, serve simply to assess if a teacher is

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12 using an innovation. If data demonstrate non-us e, the innovation is deemed a failure. If data indicate teacher use, the innovation is deemed a success. The problem with traditional educational evaluative measures is that teacher concerns, levels of innovation use, and innovation configurations employed by the teacher are rare ly considered in agricultural education curricular evaluation assessments. This leaves a gap in the body of knowledge as to the depth and breadth of tr ue, sustained use of educational programming. Purpose The purpose of this study was to explore th e concerns, levels of use, and innovation configurations of elementary teachers in their use and sustained adoption of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness as a resource for teaching the California state educational sta ndards in grades kindergarten through eight. Objectives Using the Concerns Based Adoption Mode l (Hall & Hord, 2001) to describe elementary teachers experiences with agricu lture as the integrating context for teaching math, science, language arts, and social scienc e standards, several ob jectives guided this project. The objectives were to: 1. Describe elementary teachers attitudes and perceptions of agriculture as a context for teaching elementary students. 2. Describe elementary teachers current stages of concern with respect to implementing an agricultur al literacy curriculum. 3. Describe elementary teachers current levels of use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness 4. Delineate the essential components for i deal, acceptable, and unacceptable implementation of an agricultural literacy curriculum. 5. Describe the innovation configurations th at teachers employed while implementing an agricultural literacy curriculum.

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13 6. Describe the perceived outcomes e xperienced by teachers who adopted the agricultural literacy curriculum. Definition of Terms Several important terms were utilized throughout this study. To ensure understanding of those relevant terms, th e following definitions were established: 1. Agricultural literacy edu cation about agriculture, in cluding the food, fiber, and natural resource systems (T albert, Vaughn, & Croom, 2005). 2. Change facilitator one who assists i nnovation users through the various stages and processes of adoption. According to Hall and Hord (1987), change facilitators may be administrators, teachers, district personnel, or innovation developers and trainers who serve to assi st individuals in developing a level of confidence and competence needed to sustain us e and adoption of an innovation. 3. Concerns Based Adoption Model a mode of assessing educati onal innovation use based on teachers concerns and comfort w ith the innovation, rather than on simple evaluation measures that ascertain use or non-use of an innovation (Hall & Hord, 2001). 4. Educational innovation pertai ning to a product or proces s as introduced into the educational genre. An innovation may be characterized as a new textbook or curriculum materials, or . different approaches to discipline, counseling techniques, or instructio nal procedure (Hall & Hord, 1987, p. 9). By this definition, this study investigated adop tion of a product innovation known as the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness 5. Innovation configurations recognition that during the innovation adoption process users may have a tendency to adapt, modify, and/or mutate aspects of innovations (Hall & Hord, 2001, p. 39). Ar ticulation of ideal, acceptable, and unacceptable uses of an innovation, from the perspective of the developer, recognizes that natural process of muta tion and provides useful guidelines to follow. 6. Levels of use the sequence of levels through which an educator may pass as he or she gains confidence and skill in the use of an educational innovation (Newhouse, 2001). The eight levels, as defi ned by Hall and Hord (2001), are Nonuse Orientation Preparation Mechanical Use Routine Refinement Integration and Renewal 7. Stages of concern an educators per ception of an educat ional innovation (Willis, 1992). Specifically, the seve n stages of concern defined by Hall and Hord (2001) are Awareness Informational, Personal Management Consequence Collaboration and Refocusing

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14 Limitations Although the use of agriculture as a teachi ng context for integrating science, math, social science, and language arts may be sim ilar to other curriculum programs, the results of this study should not be ge neralized beyond the target popul ation. Likewise, all of the data were self-reported by the participants via questionnaire and in-depth interviews. Researcher subjectivity and re lationship with study partic ipants warrant notation as a study limitation. Because participants were former students of the researcher, interview responses may have been biased in a favorable manner toward agriculture. In an effort to minimize such a limitation, initial data were collected from the population to develop a composite picture of the population before the sample was selected for follow up interviews. Another limitation of this study related to gender demographics. The target population was predominately fema le (94%); however, this is representative of the elementary teaching profession as a whole (Bleicher, 2004). Finally, this study focused only on beginni ng teachers as the target population. Beginning teachers, due to their limited expe riences within the teaching profession, may be more or less adaptable when consider ing educational innovations for adoption; therefore, this study should not be consid ered as representati ve of all teachers. Assumptions The California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness is a curriculum that promotes agricultural lite racy across the content areas in grades kindergarten through eight. Respondents were honest in their respons es regarding their attitudes toward agriculture, as well as in assessments about their use of the CCGALA during their

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15 teaching experiences. Likewise, the study assumed that respondents were open and forthright in responding to the stages of c oncern questionnaire, as well as throughout the interview process. Summary While administrators strive to satisfy governmental edicts on pupil performance, teachers also struggle in their efforts to meet curricular standards and teach students to perform capably on standardized achievement exams. Stude nts often struggle to learn subject matter foreign to their limited e xperiences from adults who have more experiences and a broader frame of refere nce of such subject matter (Dewey, 1997). Such a divergence of experience makes the use of teaching methods that are based in constructivist epistemology a sound and reasonable bridge between the learner and the learned. Agriculture as a context may be able to serve as that bridge. If the agricultural educati on profession seeks to infuse agriculture across grade level and content area boundari es, traditional methods of evaluation may not suffice when the goal is to create conve rsationally literate citizens in the food, fiber, and natural resources system (National Council for Agri cultural Education, 2000). Sustained and acceptable use of agricultural literacy curricu la seems to be the most logical path in reaching that goal. Therefore, exploration of teacher concerns and levels of use in an agricultural literacy curricul um may serve to provide a richer understanding of why teachers elect to adopt, or reject, an agricu ltural literacy curriculum to teach elementary students.

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Chapter 1 outlined the basis for conducting this study. A portrait of how current educational accountability prac tices shape beginning teacher concerns was painted, and recognized that teachers, as cu rriculum gatekeepers, are concerned with far more than simply what to teach to their students. The purpose of the research study and appropria te research objectives were stated. Research methods were overviewed, relevant key terms defined, assumptions delineated, and study limitations stated. The Role of Context in Education A key point of Deweys philosophy of the ro le of experience in learning is that students inexperience, especially at the pr imary grade level, limits their ability to develop their own learning experiences (Dewey, 1997). Likewise, it is because of this disparity between the students experience level, as compared to that of their teacher, that traditional schools evolved as places wher e the learned teach, and the inexperienced learn. This idea that knowledge is sta tic and unchanging is where schools bogged down in the educational process (1997). Admittedly, there are some components of knowledge that are unchanging: mathematical equations, the shape and rotation of the Earth, the order of the alphabet, as well as others. However, early educators deci ded that certain levels of information are appropriate only to certain levels of lear ners. Through this li mitation of curriculum delivery, teachers became accustomed to teaching specific concepts at specific grade

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17 level intervals, without t hought as to what students could do, given subject matter delivered in another context. In addition to prescribed curriculum delivery, Dewey proffered two other barriers re levant to allowing students to more fully participate in the experiential development process: difficulty accepting change and teacher proficiency levels. Dewey recognized that change is difficul t and that it is much less time consuming for teachers to continue teaching what they already know, than it is for them to diverge from that routine. In investigating principles of change in the edu cational genre, Hall and Hord (2001) acknowledged that teachers need time to accept and plan for change because there is grief over what is familiar and now lost to the educator. Without continued support in the change process, teachers may quickly revert to what they previously taught in an effort to demonstrate proficiency in fr ont of students, parents, and administrators. Secondly, Dewey contended that delive ring organized bodies of knowledge to students is a mode of inflicti ng education from an external standpoint; however, teachers continue to do just that while interspersing activities under the guise of experientially demonstrating the concepts being taught Teachers who include laboratory or experiential activities to simply demonstrate a concept, or to fill time, exhibit contempt (albeit unwittingly), for what Dewey maintain s is inherently necessary in experiential education (1997). The teacher must facilitate student experiences so that a connection to desired educational outcomes and future inferences in similar, yet not identical, situations can be achieved. By providing those facili tated experiences, teachers can achieve the balance needed to allow students to participat e in their own development. By virtue of the teachers maturity and e xperience, she or he can frame the information to be

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18 delivered, but the students can more fully develop transitional and transferable organizational skills that can be recalled in the future. Experiential Learning Dewey proclaimed that properly facilitated learning experiences, based in real life contexts, serve as triggering events for future decisions in similar circumstances. Kolb (1984) drew from Dewey, Lewin, and Piaget, as well as his own lear ning style research, to conceptualize the experientia l learning model (see Figure 2-1). Figure 2-1. The Kolb Experientia l Learning Model (1984) Experiential learning theory is grounded on the assumption that learning is based in both content and process (Kolb & Kolb, 2005). The experiential learning model is a cyclical and continuous process. The mode l begins with a concrete experience that engages the student in a manner that he or she finds relevant and meaningful. The second step involves reflective observati on facilitated by the teacher that draws on the immediate experience of the student. This is the dimension where experiential theorists, like Dewey, indicate the process is sacrificed in favor of the content Instead of piling one experience on top of another, students must have time to stop and engage in guided reflection (Proudman, 1992) As students reflect on e ach subsequent experience,

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19 they gain valuable insight and readiness fo r the next step in the process. Proudman noted, The need to mix experience with a ssociated content and guided reflection is critical. The dissonance created in this mi xing allows the learner opportunities to bring the theory to life (p. 22). The third step provides opportunity for the student to abstractly engage in conceptualization of new implications for action. Much like Vygotskys (1978) analysis of the construction of learning experiences, th is step allows students to search for and create patterns based in experience and reflection that will serve as foundational knowledge for new experiences (Unive rsity Associates, Inc., 1990). Finally, those new implications must be tested in new situations via active experimentation. Each of the new active expe rimentation situations serves as the basis for future concrete experiences from wh ich the cycle begins again (Kolb, 1984). Although there are slight differences in te rminology and visual concept, the Dewey, Lewinian, and Piaget models of experientia l learning all reflect this same cyclical movement (1984). Experiential learning theories emphasize the ne eds of the learner so as to stimulate interest and motivation with in the learning environment (Zilbert & Leske, 1989). Specifically, active engagement in activities which satisfy needs, involve physical or mental challenge, confrontation, or high le vels of responsibility are important for stimulating interest, analysis, and growth (p. 2). Teacher Knowledge and Attitudes Teacher attitudes and subject matter knowle dge can play critical roles in the successful and continued use of any curri culum innovation. Much of what we know

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20 about a persons propensity to behave in a part icular way can be illu strated via Fishbein and Ajzens (1975) Theory of Reasoned Action (see Figure 2-2). Figure 2-2. Theory of reasoned actio n (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975) Knobloch and Martin (2000) used the Theo ry of Reasoned Action as a theoretical framework to study elementary teachers percep tions of agriculture and their integration of agricultural awareness ac tivities into the cu rriculum. Based on a survey of 281 elementary teachers, the researchers sought to assess elementary school teachers perceptions about agriculture, the need for agri cultural awareness at th e elementary level, and integration of agricultur e into the curriculum. More than 80% of the respondents indicated agricultural activities were integrat ed into their curriculum. Interestingly, 50% of the respondents reported teaching in an urban or metr opolitan area. Further, 97% agreed that agriculture could serve to enha nce elementary curriculum, and 84% agreed that agriculture could serve as a context to link learning across all subject matter areas. Using cluster sampling techniques from Mi ssouri secondary schools, Harris and Birkenholz (1996) sought to determine th e differences, if a ny, in knowledge of agriculture and attitude to ward the agricultural indus try. This study analyzed comparisons among administrators, agricultu ral teachers, language arts teachers, mathematics teachers, science teachers, and social science teachers. Not surprisingly,

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21 agricultural teachers demonstrated the most kno wledge and most positive attitude toward agriculture. Although mathematics and language arts teachers were least knowledgeable and had the least positiv e attitude toward agriculture, pr actical significance in this study indicates that all of the e ducator groups scored more than 80% on the knowledge instrument. Harris and Birkenholz concl uded that attitude and knowledge were not perceived as major barriers to infusing agricu ltural concepts into curriculum; therefore, they recommended that teachers in all subjec t matter areas be encouraged to incorporate agriculture as a context for teac hing at the secondary level (1996). Humphrey, Stewart, and Linhardt (1994) surveyed 82 preservice elementary teachers to provide information regarding their existing knowledge about and perception toward agriculture. Statistical correlations demonstrated significant relationships between knowledge about agriculture and per ceptions toward agriculture. Elementary education student teachers with higher knowle dge scores tended to have a more positive perception toward agriculture. Likewise, el ementary education student teachers with previous agricultural experience exhibited more confidence in their ability to teach agricultural concepts in the elementary clas sroom. Researcher recommendations pointed to a need for networking with teacher educat ors who prepare elementary teachers as a priority for agricultural education. Agricu ltural education cannot expect elementary educators to utilize agriculture as a cont ext for teaching existi ng curriculum without providing a structure to teach those i ndividuals about agriculture (1994). Utilizing a case study method to interpret intended versus implemented behaviors of a middle school environmental science curriculum, Cronin ( 1986) indicated that teacher beliefs and teacher knowledge were among the most influential, and most

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22 difficult to change, factors influencing a teachers use of curricula. Cronins study yielded a model akin to the Theory of Reasoned Action, yet the Curriculum Implementation Model focused specifica lly on the educati onal environment. Use of Fishbein and Ajzens work has mo re than adequately demonstrated that elementary teachers attitudes and perceptions about agriculture as a context for teaching are generally positive, thus indicating an intention to use agriculture as a means for teaching. However, the research base lacks empirical evidence as to why elementary teachers are not following through with the intent to use agricultural literacy curricula as a more comprehensive means of teaching. The research base, especially in the agricultural education genre, does little to expl ore teachers experiences with agricultural literacy curricula, and to explain sustai ned use and adoption of such curricula. Agricultural Literacy as an Educational Innovation Hall and Hord characterize educational innovations as products or processes (2001). Products may include, among others, incorporation of technology or a text; whereas processes may include school wide character education implementation efforts or cooperative learning techniques. Inasmuch as the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy ( CCGALA ) is a resource guide designed for elementary teachers to use agriculture as the context for teaching across the content standards, CCGALA meets Hall and Hords criteria as an educational innovation. Furthermore, Hall and Hord indicated that educational innovations are characterized by size, whether they are sm all and simple, large scale, or require systematic reform (2001). To provide guida nce related to relative size, innovations can be assessed according to the Hall Innovation Category (HiC) Scale, with parallels drawn from the Richter scale measuring the inte nsity of earthquakes (Hall & Hord, 2001).

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23 Using the HiC Scale, CCGALA may be characterized as a seven on the ten point scale with a descriptor of transforming as it relates to the amount of effort required to obtain a level of successful implementation of the innovation (see Figure 2-3). Level Name Examples 0 Cruise Control 1950s Teacher in same classroom for many years 1 Whisper Pronouncements by officials Commission reports 2 Tell New rules and more re gulations of old practices 3 Yell Prescriptive policy mandates 4 Shake New text Revised curriculum 5 Rattle Change principal Team teaching 6 Roll Change teachers classroom Change grade configurations 7 Redesign Evening kindergarten Integrated curriculum 8 Restructure Site-based decision making Differentiated staffing 9 Mutation Teachers and principa ls belong to the same union Changing the role of school boards 10 Reconstitution Local constitutional convention Glasnost Figure 2-3. The HiC scale of relative size of innovations (Hall & Hord, 2001). Summary of Agricultural Literacy Research Much of what exists in the way of agri cultural literacy empirical research, as it relates to the pre-secondary le vel, can be categorized into three major areas: student knowledge and attitudes, teacher preparation and professional development, and barriers to implementing agricultural lit eracy curriculum. In summarizing accessible agricultural literacy research, there is little continuity between re searchers with respect to implementing a guiding theoretical perspective.

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24 Student Attitudes and Knowledge An early agricultural literacy study sought to determine differences in student achievement scores based on instruction, or lack thereof, in ag riscience and natural resources courses (Connors & El liot, 1995). This pre-experi mental study used a staticgroup comparison design with the independent variable being the number of science credits students had completed, including ag riscience and natural resources. The dependent variable was the science ac hievement score earned by students on a standardized exam developed by American Testronics. Four Michigan high schools were random ly selected and 156 high school seniors were used as the study population. Multiple re gression analysis was used to control for the extraneous independent variables of gender, race, grade point average, socioeconomic status, and school characteristics. The researchers found a considerable positive correlation between students grade point average and their science test score, as well as a moderate correlation between the number of science credits completed and science test score. The researchers concluded that high school seniors who had taken a course or courses in agriscience and natural resources fared as well as their non-agriscience counterparts on a standardized science achieveme nt test. While this result is promising for agricultural literacy proponent s, there is much that remains unclear in the study. To what extent did the agricultural teachers use the agriscience curriculum? Was the curriculum used as the developers intended? The most notable correlations were related to number of science credits taken and overa ll grade point average. Is the science knowledge obtained cumulative ba sed on greater exposure to sc ience in general? Are students with higher grade point averages more disposed to achieving higher test scores?

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25 How much of the result can truly be attri buted to the presence or absence of an agricultural context? Many studi es seeking to attribute achieve ment scores to curricular components, like this one, often raise more questions than are answered. As such, agricultural literacy studies turned to assessing student attitudes and gains in knowledge. Igo, Leising, and Frick (1999) investig ated food and fiber knowledge of 800 kindergarten through eighth grade students, in three states, using a case study methodology. Analysis of preand posttest knowledge sc ores indicated significant knowledge gains in each of the five ag ricultural theme areas outlined by the Food and Fiber Systems Literacy Framework (Leising, Igo, Hubert, Heald, & Yamamoto, 1998) from which the teachers at the study sites infused ag ricultural concepts. Interestingly, the posttest scores for student s in grades six through eight at all three schools were lower than the pretest scores. While this studys primary purpose was to assess food and fiber knowledge of selected students . before and after receiving instruction (Igo, Le ising, and Frick, 1999, p. 50) base d upon an agricultural literacy curriculums benchmarks and standards, th e researchers reported data related to classroom observations and teacher interviews. Data alluded to a range of experiences in implementing the intended curriculum. Specifically, some of the teachers have di fficulty making both formal and informal connections to Food and Fiber Systems ( p. 53). Other teachers at the same site, however, utilized not only the materials fr om the framework, but performed well above expectation in connecting much of thei r textbook activity to the standards and benchmarks (p. 53). The data, as reported, further indicated that some teachers incorporated material far more than others did via classroom decora tions, dramatizations,

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26 and construction of raised bed gardens. Th e study expectation, however, was that each teacher report a minimum of two lessons or connections to the food and fiber systems per month The researchers recommended a need for t eacher in-service training to assist in making relevant connections between the s ubject matter areas and the food and fiber systems; however, a further need would be to investigate why there is such a wide disparity between the intended and the impl emented use of the agricultural literacy curriculum. In a subsequent study inves tigating the effects of the Food and Fiber Systems Literacy Framework (Leising et al., 1998) on student knowledge, Leising, Pense, and Igo (2001) sought to compare differences a nd determine relations hips based upon the framework and its five thematic areas, as well as the number of teacher-reported instructional connections made to the framework This study used a quasi-experimental nonequivalent control group design with 21 kind ergarten through eighth grade classes as the treatment group, and seven kindergarten th rough eighth grade classes as the control group. The researchers administered a researcher-dev eloped pretest in an effort to control for preexisting food and fiber systems know ledge. The grade grouped instruments, correlated to the benchmarks in the Food and Fiber Systems Literacy Framework had reliability coefficients ranging from 0.78 to 0.95. The treatment was a two phase professional development program designed to, first, introduce and orient teachers to the project, framework, standards, benchmarks, and lesson plans, as well as to provide hands on experience with the lesson plans. Secondly,

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27 the teachers were introduced to the project website and were provided assistance in planning instructional time to address the food and fiber systems concepts. The agricultural literacy st andards and benchmarks were infused throughout the 1998-1999 academic year, and a post-test was administered to the treatment and control groups in May 1999. Additionally, teachers in the treatment group reported specific connections to the framework regarding stan dards, benchmarks, and themes infused in the curriculum. The control group initially ha d higher pre-test agricultur al knowledge mean scores in all grade groupings than the treatment group. However, the treatment group showed significant increases in mean scores followi ng the post-test, whereas the control group failed to demonstrate similar gains. The researchers further indicated no existing relationship between the number of connectio ns the teachers made and any increases in student knowledge. The researchers highlighted the need for further exploration into the reasons why the number of connections and student knowledg e failed to correlate with one another. Specifically, they recommended exploring how teacher behavior impacts agricultural knowledge acquisition; however, behavior may better be defined. By exploring teacher fidelity of use, as well as addressing t eacher comfort level and efficacy using the framework, future studies may be enhanced. Another preand post-test attitudi nal and knowledge study was conducted by Brown and Stewart with 264 seventh and eight h grade students from 20 schools (1993). Using a single group, quasi-expe rimental design with length of instruction and type of test as the independent variab les, Brown and Stuart sought to determine to what extent

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28 students post-test agricultural knowledge and attitudes differed from pre-test scores. Additionally, they wanted to assess to what extent students knowle dge scores differed in relation to varying lengths of agricultural instruction throughout the experiment. Dependent variables were the achievement and attitude scores derived from the Agricultural Knowledge Assessment Instrume nt and the Agricultural Attitude Survey, respectively. Intact classes were randomly assigned to either 6, 9, or 18 weeks of agricultural instruct ion, with the test instruments admi nistered before the first day of instruction and following the final day of instruction. Following a multivariate analysis of varian ce using achievement scores and attitude scores as the dependent variab les, the researchers ascertained that there was a significant difference between the pre-test and post-t est knowledge scores. The mean knowledge scores improved from 26.3 to 28.6, with a possible total score of 40. Secondly, the researchers concluded that ther e was a significant difference in student attitude toward agriculture as the mean attitude scores increased from 103.5 to 108.3. Finally, multivariate analysis of variance was conducted to test for significance in knowledge and attitude based on length of ag ricultural instruction. Neith er of those objectives was rejected as the length of instruction had no apparent effect on mean attitude and knowledge scores. Overall, the mean knowledge scores were not high, even though students attitudes were generally favorable toward agricu lture. The research ers opined that both achievement and attitude can be significantly altered through the use of an agricultural literacy curriculum.

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29 Meischen and Trexler (2003) conducted a qualitative st udy to move away from simply assessing students knowledge of agri cultural facts. Instead, their study was performed in an effort to discover stude nts understanding of the processes meat undergoes from farm to table. Using a McDonalds hamburger to instigate conversation with seven purposefully selected fifth grade students Meischen and Trexle r conducted clinical interviews with the students and asked them to draw concept maps explaining the process they believed meat underwent from the farm to its ready-to-eat McDonalds form. The researchers based their interview questions on the benchmarks outlined in the Food and Fiber Systems Literacy Framework (Leising et al., 1998), as we ll as on science literacy benchmarks. Based on interview and concept map anal yses, the researchers concluded that, although the students grew up in a rural area, all of the students lacked understanding and conversational comprehension of the practi ces involved in producing and processing meat for consumption. Generally, the student s understood that meat comes from animals, but could not articulate the appropriate processes involved, including transportation, processing, distribution, and consumption. Summarily, the researchers pointed to agricultural literacy efforts that continued to focus on educating students in urban and suburban areas about the origin s of food. The authors articu lated a need for education about the more complex uses and contributions of agricultural products, and their impacts on daily life, as a means to change studen t schemas as they pertain to agriculture (Meischen & Trexler, 2003).

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30 Teacher Preparation and Professional Development In an ex post facto study using stat ic group comparison, Wilhelm, Terry, and Weeks (1999) sought to determine if particip ation in an in-service program influenced teachers use of an agricultural literacy curriculum. The population consisted of 826 teachers on the Oklahoma Agriculture in th e Classroom newsletter mailing list, and compared sample groups of 52 teachers who pr eviously attended a summer institute with 93 who had not attended. The mailed questionn aire requested demogr aphic data, as well as information pertaining to teacher use of topics related to ag riculture, number of agricultural lessons used to teach core academic areas, and teacher development experiences. Examination of demographic data was in agreement with more recent studies conducted in other st ates related to Agriculture in the Classroom programs (Bacon, Anderson, & Watkins, 2005; Bellah & Dyer, 2005). Specifically, more than 90% of the participants in both groups were female and the group possessed an average of fifteen years of teaching experience. This descriptive study determined that te achers who participated in the summer institute in-service program taught more topi cs related to agriculture, from a greater number of resources, than did their non-institute counterparts. While Agriculture in the Classroom resource materials were used by both groups of teachers, the researchers concluded that attending the summer institute was more beneficial in helping teachers use concepts related to agri culture in their teaching (W ilhelm, Terry, & Weeks, 1999, p. 73). Furthermore, the institute teachers repo rted statistically significant greater emphasis on teaching the core areas of language arts and information skills. Although this study sought to compare mean s between the groups, the data reported included mean numbers of agricultural lessons taught in each of the core areas. Teachers

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31 in both groups reported teaching more than 70 math and more than 63 science lessons using agriculture as the cont ext. The researchers recomm ended longitudinal studies to determine how institute teachers were integrating ag riculture into their teaching. Where this study, and others like it, fell short was that the researchers neglected to recommend investigation into why so many teachers, regardless of a ttendance at the summer institute, were choosing to use agriculture as a context for teaching. In another 1999 study, Elliot posed a similar question regarding teacher agricultural literacy knowledge and opinions attributed to participation in professional development activities. This descriptive survey st udy used mailed questionnaires to describe differences in agricultural knowle dge base, as well as opinions toward agricultural issues, among 139 Arizona educators who ha d registered for an agricu ltural literacy conference. Further, the researcher sought to ascertain the exis tence of relationships as determined by knowledge base, opinions toward agriculture, an d demographics of the respondents. The two comparison groups were comprised of t hose who attended the conference and those who registered, but did not attend the conference. Elliots study revealed that conference atte ndees were statistically higher in their correct answers on the knowledge base portion of the study than were their non-attending counterparts. Moreover, those who attended we re also statistically more favorable in their opinions toward agriculture than those who failed to attend the conference. Finally, results indicated that previous agricultu ral experience and background had bearing on neither knowledge, nor opinion sc ores; however, those educators who reported an affinity for raising plants recorded si gnificantly higher knowledge scor es than those without such experience. This study reinforced the n eed for quality professional development

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32 programs if educators are expected to carry out the agricultural literacy for everyone edict, and to deliver accurate agricultural information to students while doing so. In an investigation into agricultural e ducators mathematical problem solving ability, Miller and Gliem (1994) utilized an ex post f acto study involving 34 Ohio agricultural educators. Through static group comparison of teachers who chose to participate in one of four sprayer calibr ation workshops to non-participants, the researchers held three extraneous variables constant: gender, use of calculators, and one hour for completion of the researcher-des igned questionnaire. The questionnaire assessed teacher mathematical problem solv ing ability through use of 15 open-ended mathematical word problems, which the rese archers determined to have a Cronbachs alpha reliability score of .85. Respondent at titude was determined by a 15-item Likerttype instrument with a Cronbachs alpha of .87. Miller and Gliem established that the re lationship of ACT math score and score on the problem solving portion of the questionnaire was positive and significant. However, the relationship of problem solving scores to number of colleg e level math courses completed was negative and not significant. The researchers opined th at student success, with respect to mathematics, is more contingent upon how a student is taught, irrespective of how much a student is taught. Specifically, the researchers recommended that, mathematical problem-solving be incorporated into technical agricultural courses taken by undergraduates (p. 28) who are studying to be agricultural teachers. As such, the context in which preservice agricultural t eachers learn about mathematical problem solving will assist them in designing appr opriate contextual experiences for their students.

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33 As recently as 2003, Portillo and Leising used agricultural literacy professional development training as a comparison determin ant of 90 elementary teachers agricultural knowledge. Specifically, Portillo and Leisi ng assessed the knowledge of 44 Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) trained teachers and 46 non-AITC trained teachers. Again using Leising and others Food and Fiber Systems Literacy Framework (1998) as the basis for assessing teacher knowledge, the re searchers developed a criterion-referenced test. This test was composed of 50 multiple-choice items distributed across the five thematic areas of the framework. This study yielded interesting results relate d to demographic characteristics of the participants. Most notably, the teachers had no previous agricultural experience or background, had little collegi ate level agricultural c oursework, and almost no agriculturally-related work experience. These re sults held true irrespective of whether or not a teacher had participated in an AITC professional de velopment activity. As shown in other agricultural lit eracy studies, teachers are using agriculture as a teaching context without previous background or experience. Further results from this study indicated th at AITC prepared teachers scored higher across all five of the theme areas than th eir non-AITC trained contemporaries; however, scores overall were significantly low in al l but one of the theme areas (History, Geography, and Culture). Portillo and Leis ings final recommendation underscored the necessity for overtly establishing the conn ections between how teachers learn about agriculture and the context rega rding the way individuals use ag riculture on a daily basis. Much of the existing body of research related to teacher preparation and professional development, with respect to agricultural literacy curricula, focused on

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34 teacher knowledge and attitudes as determined by their participation, or lack thereof, in a particular agricultural literacy professiona l development program. Terry, Herring, and Larke (1992) took a different approach in a ssessing fourth grade te achers understanding and use of agricultural concepts. In part icular, the researchers wanted to not only determine teachers knowledge about and per ceptions of agriculture, but they sought to identify the type and degree of assistance most desirable for supplementing teachers agricultural literacy teaching skills. To obtain an accessible set of respondents, the researchers used cluster sampling to collect data, via mailed questionnaire, from 510 fourth grade teachers. The questionnaire consisted of 97 items distributed throughout five parts which included teacher personal and professional demographics, attitudinal ps ychographics (percepti ons), and agricultural knowledge. Further areas investigated were identification of ag ricultural concepts currently taught by the responde nts and level of interest in assistance programs for teacher professional development. Following analyses of the data, the re searchers highlighted the low knowledge scores of the respondents. More than 73% of the teachers earned scores that resulted in categorization into the unacceptably low knowledge category. Parallel to a mean knowledge score of 48.4% across the responde nts, more than 90% of the teachers perceived that agriculture is farming and ranching only Despite low knowledge scores and misperceptions revolving around the agricultural industry, respondents reported t eaching agricultural concepts to their students, on average, more than 16 hours pe r year. Not surprisingly, of the respondents who reported teaching agricultural concepts, more than 70% ranked textbook chapters

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35 about agriculture as their number one most commonl y used resource for agricultural information. Where this study departed from other simila r studies was in its investigation into the types of assistance teachers de sired to assist them in usi ng agriculture as a context for teaching. Respondents, by and larg e, were very interested in lists of materials currently available, lists of references for personal reading and research, and opportunities to consult local agricu ltural professionals. Researcher recommendations supported not only a need for lists of available resources, but increased availability of such resources to teachers. Further, recommendations were strongly underscored regarding a need for providing short in-service workshops and gr aduate coursework for in-service and preservice teachers. With brain based research as a theoretical underpinning, Thompson and Balschweid conducted an investigation to de termine how agricultura l teachers perceived the impact of integrating science in agri cultural education programs (2000). Most markedly, the researchers wanted to discover teachers perceptions concerning the role of teacher preparation as integra tion of science principles becomes more prevalent in middle and secondary agricultural education courses. The researchers mailed the Integrating Scie nce Survey Instrument to the target population of 111 Oregon Agricultural Scien ce and Technology teachers. Following the initial mailing and a follow-up telephone call, the researcher s yielded responses from 106 of the teachers. Results of the questionnair e indicated that 84% of the teachers had participated in one or more professional development activities with a focus on how to integrate science into an agri cultural course. Respondent per ceptions indicated that they

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36 strongly agreed with the statements that science concepts are ea sier to understand for students if science is integrated in to the agricultural education program and that students are more aware of the connection between sc ientific principles and agriculture when science concepts are an integr al part of their instruction. The respondents in this study were vocife rous in their agre ement that teacher preparation programs must provide instruct ion on how to integrate science into the curriculum as a part of the undergraduate curriculum and as in-s ervice for practicing teachers (p. 78). The researchers further st ated, in concurrence with Miller and Gliem (1994), that there is no appa rent need for increasing the number of science courses required for undergraduates. Ra ther, teacher preparation should more strongly emphasize instructional methods courses th at teach preservice teachers how to integrate science and other curricular disciplines into agricultural courses. Barriers to Curriculum Implementation Despite positive teacher and student att itudes toward agriculture, as well as continued research demonstrating the benefits of professional development activities that assist teachers in utilizing agricultural liter acy curricula, there are still many barriers preventing teachers from following through wi th this contextual teaching tool. Conversely, investigations into what they are, and why thos e barriers exist seems to be the least investigated research area in the agricultural education genre. Moving beyond cursory investigation of t eacher attitudes toward agriculture, Conroy (1999) sought to identify specific ba rriers to implemen ting an aquaculture curriculum in secondary agricu ltural education programs. Us ing a random sample of 406 secondary agricultural educators, Conroy us ed a Likert-type survey, and conducted 28 follow-up individual interviews and focus group discussions with 19 teachers, as a means

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37 to identify and compare perceived barriers be tween current or interested aquaculture curriculum users, and non-users. Analyses indicated that users and non-us ers identified the same three barriers, although t -tests revealed non-users viewed each as more significant barriers to adoption and implementation than the curriculum users. The three perceived barriers were the considerable costs related to remodeling existi ng facilities for aquaculture, as well as the cost of equipment for teaching the curriculum; and limited physic al facilities available to house the program. Qualitative analyses of the interviews a nd focus groups, conducted with educators currently involved with aquacu lture, exposed three major underlying themes related to perceived barriers. Although survey data in dicated a concern for quality materials as a barrier to implementation, most interviewees point to increased availability of high quality instructional materials for aquaculture enthusiasts. Further, actively engaged aquaculture instructors believe that cost should not be a consideration when weighing adoption of an aquaculture curriculum. Teachers encouraged use of a variety of resources and grant funding programs as means to obtain equipment for an aquaculture program. Finally, qualitative analyses indicat ed that the third greatest challenge to aquaculture instructors was the time invest ment required for successful implementation. Inflexible feeding schedules, proximity to tanks for emergencies, and regular classroom interruptions by other agricultural instruct ors inquiring about th e program were all examples of the time restrictions placed on agricultural teachers using an aquaculture curriculum.

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38 Conroys studied revealed that there are deeper issues to discover than survey material may reveal. Few teachers have opportunity to learn about this curriculum innovation beyond the awareness stage, and have developed much higher negative perceptions regarding the barriers surroundi ng successful implementation than current adopters of the innovation. As such, Conr oy indicated, since it is not possible to anticipate where these discrepancies will surfac e prior to the administration of the survey, more attention should be given to the valu e of mixed methods design (p. 8). Conroy inadvertently indicated a need for a stronger th eoretical base, such as the Concerns Based Adoption Model. Though this study indicated that teacher s might choose to adopt a curriculum innovation, in spite of seemingly in surmountable barriers, the research fell short in investigating why and to what extent the curriculum innovation is used. Examining perceived barriers of delivering an integrated science and agricultural curriculum, Balschweid and Thompson (2000) conducted a pre-experimental, static group comparison study using quantitative and qu alitative analyses. The control group consisted of fifteen teachers who completed the program and obtained teaching positions during the previous five academic years. The six preservice teachers in the treatment group were involved in a three-phase pro cess during the 1996-1997 academic year. To reinforce the concept of integration, the firs t phase utilized a microteaching course in which the preservice teachers viewed sample agricultural lessons a nd were taught science integration methods. The second phase occu rred during the student teaching experience where the student teachers were required to deli ver a science-based lesson to a class. The caveat was that the student teachers had to co llaborate with an onsite science teacher for equipment and supplies, as well as to observe the science teacher in a classroom setting.

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39 The third phase involved stude nt teacher participation in a one-week job shadow and team teaching experience, with science teachers, at an urban middle school. Subsequent to the completion of each pha se, qualitative interv iews were conducted with each of the treatment group participants The purpose of the interviews was to ascertain changes in perception related to amount of science curriculum to be integrated, receptivity of science teacher collaboration, and agricultural teacher efficacy in integrating science principles. Additionall y, results of the trea tment group interviews were used to frame questions for development of the quantitative surv ey administered to both the treatment and control groups at the conclusion of th e study. The data from this survey were used for comparison betw een the treatment and control groups. Results of Balschweid and Thompsons study concluded that treatment group student teachers initially i ndicated that 74% of their ag ricultural curr iculum should include integrated science pr inciples (2000). Three mont hs later, after completing student teaching, the estimate dropped to 54% with amount of time to incorporate the principles being the most frequently cited reason for the decrease. Although the student teachers indicated that integration of scienc e and agricultural principles was important, a desire to teach scientific principles accura tely and the reality of the preparation and collaboration time required were perceived as major barriers to curriculum integration. Further, the treatment group part icipants all expressed concern that it would take at least one year, and most likely three years (p. 43) to successfully integrate science principles on a regular basis into the agricultural curricul um. These results are in line with Hall and Hords view of change as a process that may ta ke several years to establish, rather than as a single event (2000).

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40 Interestingly, the recommendations from Balschweid and Thompsons work call for 1) a focus on interdisciplinary teaching me thods courses for preservice teachers; 2) joint in-service workshops for agricultural and science teachers; and 3) follow-up longitudinal studies, with the same treatment group, to ascertain continued integration of science into agricultural curriculum. Balschweid and Thompson expanded their agri cultural literacy research to capture the attitudes and perceived barriers of in -service agricultural science and business teachers toward integrating science in agricultural education courses (2002). Specifically, survey results from 170 teacher s indicated that more than 70% of the respondents had attended a workshop on inte grating science, and 39% indicated possession of a science endorsement. While mean scores indicated teachers generally agreed that using agriculture as the integr ating context for teachi ng science principles created greater student awareness between agriculture and science ( M =4.18), one of the greatest barriers to implementation was a lack of in-service training ava ilable to teachers. This study neither addressed a specific recommended curriculum for science integration, nor provided any parameters for determining fidelity of curriculum use. Although teachers were favorable toward integra ting science principles into agricultural curriculum, a weakness of this study clearly lies in the subjective manner with which participants can define integrati on within their personal framework. Theoretical Perspective Hall and Hords (2001) Concerns Based Adoption Model (CBAM), was originally developed in 1973 and was the theoretical framew ork selected for this study (see Figure 2-4). The model is primarily concerned w ith describing, measuri ng, and explaining the

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41 process of change experienced by teacher s attempting to implement new curriculum materials and instructional practices (Anderson, 1997). Moreover, CBAM allows change facilitato rs, those who provide assistance in the adoption process, to probe the innovation us ers and non-users using three key diagnostic tools. Those tools relate to user Stages of Concern (SoC ), Levels of Use (LoU), and Innovation Configurations (IC) as measures to match resources with the needs of the users (Hall & Hord, 2001). Although studies may be carried out using all of the diagnostic tools together, they may also be us ed individually or in various combinations (Anderson, 1997). Change Facilitators Hall and Hord characterized principals, teach ers, and other distri ct personnel in an educational system, as change facilitators serving as key factors in the success or failure of an educational innovation ( 1987). Specifically, these indi viduals are those who, for brief or extended periods, assist various individuals and groups in developing the competence and confidence needed to use a pa rticular innovation ( p. 11). Bearing this definition in mind, a change facilitator might also be a developer or trainer involved in introducing a particular educational innova tion. In the CBAM model, however, the change facilitator is most effective when he or she utilizes the three dimensions of the CBAM model to probe individuals and groups in an effort to understand and guide their experiences during the adoption process.

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Figure 2-4. Concerns Based Adoption Model (Hall & Hord, 2001) Resource System Change Facilitator Intervening Probing Inn ovat i on Co nfi gu r at i on L eve l s o f U se Stages o f Co n ce r n CCG ALA U sers & Non-users 42

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Resource Systems In explaining the evolution of CBAM, Ha ll and Hord (2001) overtly point to the inequality of investment in people, time, a nd resources as they pertain to development and implementation of educational innovations. Inasmuch as policy makers and curriculum developers are eager to get an i nnovation into the hands of teachers, most resources are heavily allocated to de velopment (Marsh, 1987). Conversely, disproportionately fewer resources a nd care are provided to monitoring the implementation of the innovation, often relegati ng the innovation to failure status when evaluations are performed and teachers repo rt non-use of the innovation. While other adoption models treat change as an event, the developers and subs equent users of CBAM view change as a process (Hall & Hord, 2001) According to Loucks-Horsley (1996), CBAM suggests the importance of paying atte ntion to implementation for several years ( 2) as it may take as long as three years for early stage concerns to be resolved and later stage concerns to emerge. Without ongoing resource and facilitato r support, sustained use of the innovation is difficult to achieve. Stages of Concern The Stages of Concern (SoC) component of CBAM relates directly to how teachers perceive the educational innovation they ar e asked to implement (Willis, 1992). Through Hall and Hords research (2001), the Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ) was developed to identify the stage of concern of a teacher with respect to the educational innovation under consideration. CBAMs seven stages of concern include awareness (0), informational (1), personal (2), management (3), consequence (4), collaboration (5), and refocusing (6). These stages span the areas of little concern, knowledge, or involvement about an innovation, to a teachers focus on furt her exploration of more universal benefits 43

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44 or alternative forms of the innovation (Ha ll & Hord, 2001). Contrary to other, more linear views of change concerns, CBAM rec ognizes that while a persons focus of concern may shift from one stage to another, that in no way indicates that the previous stage of concern is alleviated (Willis, 1992). The SoCQ assists change facilitators and e ducational evaluators in determining into which category of Fullers patterns of concer ns (as cited in Hall & Hord, 2001) teachers fall: unrelated, self, task, or impact (see Figure 2-5). Stages of Concern Expressions of Concern 6 Refocusing How and what else can I do with this? 5 Collaboration How does this fit with what my peers are teaching? 4 Consequence How is this impacting my students? 3 Management Do I spend enough/too much time implementing this? 2 Personal Do I know enough to use this effectively in my class? 1 Informational Can you tell me more about this? 0 Awareness I dont know. I dont care. What are you talking about? Impact Task Self Unrelated Figure 2-5. Stages of concern (Hall & Hord, 2001) A majority of research studies using th e Concerns Based Adoption Model utilized the Stages of Concern Questionnaire as the primary evaluation instrument. Some studies focused solely on this component, while others incorporated one or more of the other components into the study.

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45 Levels of Use Levels of Use correspond to teachers be havior in relation to the educational innovation in question (Willis, 1992). Hall and Ho rd (2001) demarcate eight levels into which a person can be classified in term s of the extent the innovation is used: nonuse (0), orientation (I), preparation (II), mechanical use (III), routine (IV A), refinement (IV B), integration (V), and renewal (VI). Essentially, these le vels are the sequence through which a user passes during the change process as he or she gains confidence and skill in using the educational innova tion (Newhouse, 2001). Equally, a person may remain invariant during the change process (2001). McKinnon and Nolan (1989) suggested that 75% or more of the individuals involved in an educational innovation adoption must operate at Level IVA or higher to sustain innovation adoption and use. Innovation Configurations When an educational innovation is introdu ced to teachers, there are two factors with which those teachers must cope: the psyc hological effect of the change itself and the practice of learning to use th e innovation (Hope, 1997). As such, assessing widespread adoption of the innovation is not something that occurs instanta neously. Rather, an individuals progression thr ough change may take 2 to 4 years to confidently and skillfully use the innovation as intended (Mitchell, 1988). Additionally, teachers face the expectati on of having to implement innovations with limited usage instruction, and without clear understanding of the innovations purpose or their role in what they are asked to do (Hall & Hord, 2001). As a result, teachers motivated to move from an awareness stage of concern and orientation level of use may return to the classroom and implem ent the innovation in a manner not in line with what the developers of the ch ange originally envisioned (2001).

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46 Concerns Based Adoption Model Empirical Research In a study assessing a peer-mentoring program for preservice teachers in the development and implementation of Internet-b ased resources and web design, second and third year students served as mentors to fi rst year elementary education students (Ward, West, & Isaak, 2002). Initially, 45 mentors de veloped Web Quests appropriate for use by kindergarten through sixth grade students as a means for the mentors to acquire Internet and technology integration skills. Subsequent ly, the mentors worked with 65 first year students to develop web pages focusing on Inte rnet resources available for teachers. Through this experience, the mentors learne d the technology skills a nd then taught those skills through a peer teachi ng and mentoring system. The researchers used the SoCQ to assess pre and post experience concerns related to the peer-mentoring experience. Using multivariate repeated measures analysis to compare within subject changes, results in dicated that both mentors and protgs demonstrated decreased concerns at the awareness and management stages, as well as increased concerns related to impact on st udents and collaboration with others. Qualitative analysis of a final open-ended questionnaire indicated that continued emotional and professional support of the protgs by the mentors provided a more comfortable environment for the protgs to ask questions, and to develop greater confidence in their own abilities. In this ma nner, the mentors are comparable to change facilitators working continuously with the protgs on an indi vidual basis to facilitate the sustained use and comfort with the i nnovation (Horsley & Loucks-Horsley, 1998). In an earlier study, researchers in Au stralia employed the Concerns Based Adoption Model in structuring professional development activities for twelve teachers applying newly acquired computer hardware and software skills as an integral part of

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47 their teaching practice (McKinnon & No lan, 1989). From February, 1988, until November 1989, researchers administered th e Stages of Concern Questionnaire four times and analyzed results using the prot ocol designed by CBAM developers. During that time, participant concerns shifted from Stage 2 ( personal ) concerns to Stage 1 ( information ) concerns. The researchers attr ibuted intense early focus on personal and refocusing (Stage 6) concerns to problems with technology during the first term of the study. Program designers used the first SoCQ as a diagnostic tool to redesign technology configurations. Secondly, all s ubsequent SoCQ results were used to conduct professional development activities to meet th e concerns of the teachers, rather than on the schedule of activities the program desi gners initially planned. McKinnon and Nolan introduced another dimension to their study by conducting the Levels of Use branching interview three times from May, 1989, until November 1989. Following first term technology difficulties, and parallel to the participant stages of concern, 58% of the particip ants remained at levels belo w routine use. In response, program designers focused subsequent pr ofessional development activities and interventions on assisting teachers to reach, at least, a routine level of use. By the end of the study, seven of the teacher s (58%) reported levels of use at or greater than routine McKinnon and Nolans study raised concern in that they failed to address the high levels of Stage 0 ( awareness ) reported throughout the study. Stage 0 indicates that a participant is aware that a change is being in troduced, but there is li ttle interest in, or knowledge about, the change (H all & Hord, 2001). According to this study, the relative intensity of Stage 0 group concerns increas ed from just over 50% at the first SoCQ administration to nearly 80% at the third administration.

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48 Dass (1997) collected qualitative data from 24 elementary school teachers implementing the Collier Chautauqua Program (CCP) of instructional approaches for science teachers. The CCP promoted a constr uctivist approach to teaching science using real-life experiences as the context for teaching. After c onducting formal interviews and observations, as well as utilizing informal communication and written responses over a 2 year period, Dass used the stag es of concern as category codes to analyze the data collected. To establish reliability of the da ta, Dass cross-checked different forms of data furnished by the same individual, and ther eby ensured consistenc y by the respondents. The stages of concern provided useful insight into what the teachers were experiencing while implementing the CCP at the classroom level, and specific recommendations for continued successful support and use of the CCP. Despite participating in summer workshops and con tinuing professional development activities throughout the school year, data demonstrated that teachers land at different stages of concern during the implementation process. C oncerns ranged from initiation to the terms constructivist and module ( awareness and informational stages) to concerns about the reward structure matching the level of work required ( personal ) to deviating from the standard sequence of the grade level team approach ( management ). Further, some teachers moved into the consequence and collaboration stages, specifically noting the tense feelings of CCPs affects on student SA T scores, and of being at odds with team teachers not using the program. Dass provided critical research anal yses by reinforcing the notion that fundamental reform at the classroom leve l is intimately connected to reform of professional development at broader levels (1997, p. 19). Furthermore, to avoid

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49 program attrition, teachers must be supported in their efforts by change facilitators, continued professional development followup, and that educational innovations are useful only when part of an overall vision of change that is shared by all stakeholders. Recognizing that teachers are the gatekeeper s to their classrooms as it relates to curricular and pedagogical decisions, Luehma nn (2002) conducted a qualitative study to develop a clearer picture of how teachers come to adopt a curricular innovation. Specifically, the researcher assumed a dual ro le as researcher and change facilitator working with a convenience sample of 30 sec ondary science teachers to ascertain their perceptions while they considered adop tion of a technology-rich, project-based curriculum. The researcher used qualitative methods to garner a richer perspective of the thinking processes of pre-service and in-service teachers (p. 13). Using a technology-rich water quality un it, teachers were asked to co nsider the unit for classroom adoption. Data collected included teache r think aloud comments during interaction with and appraisal of the water quality unit. Additionally, the researcher used field notes to record concerns expressed and to which curricular features the teachers attended. As the change facilitator, the researcher spent ex tensive time introducing the curriculum and observing the teachers as they proceeded through the appraisal process. Through observation and analyses, the researcher concluded that if widespread use is to occur, curriculum designers must have essentia l understanding of crite ria teachers use in constructing and supporting judgments regardi ng the potential adopti on of a curricular innovation. Notably, teachers us e the criteria of trust, identity, process goals, and situational constraint s in considering whether to a dopt an innovation and change facilitators serve valuable roles in strengt hening the validity and credibility of those

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50 criterion. Additionally, study implications i ndicated that curriculum designers should allow for adaptation, rather than providing inflexible, scripted innovations. This implication supported the need for developers an d change facilitators to construct and use innovation configuration checklist s as a means to establish ideal acceptable and unacceptable uses of a curriculum innovation to accommodate individuality within the change process. Utilizing the Concerns Based Adoption Model to develop distance education courses with instructi onal designer and subjec t matter writing expert teams, Kember and Mezger (1990) described strategies for assi sting lecturers as they moved through each of the seven stages of concern. The purpose fo r the course development teams was for the instructional designers to assist the subject matter experts (writers) with incorporation of more student-centered teaching approaches, and to move away from a traditional lecturebased format. Thirty-eight higher education lecturers were charged with the task of writing distance education courses within their subject matter expertis e area. Because of the close, harmonious relationship within the designer/writer teams, a formal questionnaire assessing writer stages of concern was deemed inappropriate. Rather, the designers, considered expert s in teaching methodology, used informal conversational assessment to categorically assign ea ch writer to a stage of concern. The researchers used Kendalls tau coe fficient to establish reliability and consistency of the stages of concern assessm ents and found a high level of agreement. Further, consensus was reached on 31 of the 38 writers. Kember and Mezger noted that consensus was reached in only three of the cases as writers often indicated primary characterizations of one stage, while exhibiti ng tendencies from another stage. This is

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51 consistent with the stages of concern profile s and scoring indicators, whereby participants are often on the cusp of moving into, or out of, a secondary stage (Hall & Hord, 2001). Additionally, studies using the Stages of C oncern Questionnaire regularly report the two highest percentile scores as indicators. Interestingly, this study referred to th e instructional designer as a change agent As defined by Rogers, a change agent serves as a support mechanism in hopes that a person will subsequently adopt a given innovation (2003). In this study, data indicated that the instructional designers played a significan t and ever-changing role as each writer moved through his or her stages of concern. Kember and Mezger specifically indicated that the success of the program was contingent on the team aspect of curriculum development: If successful development is to occur, academ ics need on-going support so that they can pass through the successive st ages of concern (1990, p. 61). Finally, the researchers used the stages of concern to develop strategies for the instructional designers to assist writers at specific stages of co ncern. Recognizing that participants at the awareness and informational stages required a workshop that introduced the basics of dist ance learning, materials developm ent, and appropriate types of study materials, the research ers also remarked that significant time in this workshop must be allotted for writers to raise con cerns. Throughout these stages and into the personal stage, a high level of instructional designer investment through individual attention was critical to assi st experienced teachers in movi ng away from their traditional teaching methods that were inadequate or inappropriate for a distance learning medium. In this study, writers exhibited th e highest levels of concern at management and consequence At the management stage, the writers were ready to move through the

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52 process in the most efficient manner possible, thus realizing and us ing the instructional designer as a valued resource and respected co lleague. At this poi nt, the instructional designer assumed more of an advisory and collaborative ro le. Shifting into consequence stage, the writers were willing to solicit and respond to feedback from students via informal and formal evaluation measures a nd became open to ideas that were more creative. At the collaboration stage, the interaction betwee n designers and writers moved to a free exchange discussion. The writers suggested their own so lutions, rather than voicing concerns and waiting for the designers to provide solutions. This study provided strategies for instruc tional designers to ut ilize as new writers subsequently participate in the program. However, the researchers missed a valuable opportunity to highlight and e xplore the roles of the instru ctional designers as change facilitators McCarthy (1982) combined the stages of concern in CBAM with her own 4Mat System in an effort to improve staff devel opment within teacher in-service opportunities. Distinctively, McCarthy synthesized the wo rk of Kolbs Experi ential Learning Model and other learning style rese archers to create four ma jor learning style composite descriptions. Based on the assumption that change is personal and occurs over time, McCarthy superimposed the stages of concer n onto her 4Mat model to assist staff developers in internalizing th e notion that techniques applic able to each of the four learning styles should be employed approximate ly 25% of the time during a professional development workshop. More important ly, McCarthy noted that knowledge of participants individual learning styles was not a necessary component of the workshops. Rather, the researcher used her understanding of the stages of concern to present and

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53 facilitate learning style research to teacher practitioners in an experiential learning manner. After raising awareness about learning st yle and brain-based research among the participants, McCarthy then facilitated activit ies that allowed them to develop plans for applying the research in their own classrooms a nd to serve as consultants to one another. In effect, she structured the staff developmen t agenda to present her research in a manner that addressed the concerns of the teachers and effectively engage d the Self, provided a tangible opportunity for Task, and empowered the teachers to focus on the Impact of the innovation when returning to thei r students and classrooms (1982). Change is personal, and innovations s hould allow for adaptation by innovation users. These premises are spotlighted c ontinuously in CBAM studies. As such, the model itself may allow for adaptability. In a 1992 study by Bailey and Palsha, the researchers used the Stages of Con cern Questionnaire with 142 early childhood professionals participating in staff developm ent workshops geared toward working with families. Before participation in the works hop, participants were administered the Stages of Concern Questionnaire. Following the instruc tions to score the devi ce, the participants were grouped into an appropriate stage (0-6). To test the psychometric properties of th e Stages of Concern Questionnaire, the researchers conducted three analys es of the groupings: factor an alysis to determine if the items loaded into the original seven factor s, Cronbachs alpha to determine internal consistency and reliability of the subscales, and Pearsons Product Moment to assess the relationships among the stages of concern. The results of this study i ndicated that a fivefactor solution was the best grouping of items for this particular sample. The researchers

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54 proposed revised stages that included awareness personal management impact and collaboration Only two studies could be found within th e field of Agricultu ral Education that used the Concerns Based Adoption Model as its theoretical framework neither of which were published in peer-reviewed journals. In each of those studies th e researchers sought to determine the expressed stages of c oncern of teachers who had used innovative Physical Science Applications in Agriculture and Biological Science Applications in Agriculture curricula in junior and senior agriscie nce courses in Illinois. Petrea (1994) reported that teachers expressed intense conc erns about the relevance of the innovation and how the innovation would a ffect student outcomes ( impact concerns). Teachers second highest levels of inte nsity dealt with the demands of the innovation and the instructors role in integrating the respect ive curriculum into existing subject matter (personal concerns). Ohen e-Adjei (1995) reported simila r concerns from the same population using the new curricula, indicating that those concerns may have long-term implications for teacher professional development. Summary Responding to nearly twenty years of consiste nt calls for an increase in agricultural literacy levels throughout the fo rmal education process (Natio nal Council for Agricultural Education, 2000; Committee on Agricultural Education in Secondary School, 1988), a plethora of agricultural literacy curricul um innovations have been developed and implemented. These innovations have taken a variety of forms from unit plans to comprehensive, systematic resource guides. Fu rther, these innovations have been used to infuse and integrate agricultu ral concepts from kindergar ten through grade twelve.

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55 There is overwhelming empirical research indicating that positive attitudes toward a particular subject matter precludes action ta ken to implement a specific curriculum. Similarly, the agricultural education res earch genre has reinforced theoretical underpinnings linking attitudes, perceptions, a nd beliefs to agriculture. The research expanse exists when seeking evidence describing the experiences beginning teachers encounter when deciding if, when, and how to implement such curricula. In particular, the research base in agricultural education is significantly lacking information related to elementary teachers sustained use and su ccess with agricultural literacy curricula. This chapter sought to review existing liter ature related to agri cultural literacy curriculum innovations, especially as they pert ain to agriculture and its usefulness as a context for teaching across the subject matter areas in an elementary classroom. Further, the purpose of this literature review was to explain the Concerns Based Adoption Model as it relates to teachers stages of concern, levels of use, and innovation configurations when engaged in adoption, or rejection, of an educational innovation. Although this model has been in existence for more than three decades, agricultural education research is sparse in its use. Rather, many innovati on adoption studies in agricultural education publications relied on Rogers Di ffusion of Innovations theory (2003). Moreover, these studies were gear ed toward production agriculture (Gamon & Scofield, 1998; King & Rollins, 1995; Rollins, 1993). While there are published studies focusi ng on curriculum innovations in the agricultural educati on research genre (Conroy, 1999; Flowers, 1990; Wilson, Kirby, & Flowers, 2002), none employed CBAM as a theoretical basis for uncovering the experiences teachers undergo in the change process Notably, two unpublished studies

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56 were uncovered that related to agricultur al education curriculum innovations (OheneAdjei, 1995; Petrea, 1994. Although several studies in th is chapter focused solely on one dimension of the model, the research consisten tly revealed a complex intert wining of the components that serve as an effective composite tool for understanding teacher c oncerns throughout the adoption process. In a 1991 article calling for agricultural educati on research programs with high impact, Williams outlined specific guidelines to help the profession reach that goal. Most notable, Williams highlighted that agricultural education research is often limited to other agricultural education rese arch. With such narrow constraints, it becomes increasingly difficult for agricult ural education to develop an in-depth theoretical framework respected by others ou tside of the profession. Instead, Williams posited, Our research should be carefully tied to the applied sciences of agriculture and education and be rooted in the theori es of biology, physics, psychology, and/or sociology (p. 11). The Concerns Based Adopti on Model can fit that need as it pertains to any agricultural education innovation, as well as providing a means to recognize the importance and power of individual differences (Burns & Reid, 1998, p. 21).

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CHAPTER 3 METHODS In an assessment of agri cultural literacy res earch conducted since the NRCs edict for agricultural literacy instru ction at all grade levels, Doerfert (2003) uncovered a significant chasm in agricultural education rese arch with respect to investigating changes in teacher behavior, as a result of increased agricultural literacy efforts. Could such a break in the research body of knowledge be attributed to the type of research models and methodologies used in assessing adoption and use of curricu lum innovations in agricultural education? This study sought to investigate and provide more balance to the implementation side of an agricultura l literacy curriculum innovation. Chapter 1 outlined the basis for conducting this study. A portrait of how current educational accountability prac tices shape beginning teacher concerns was painted, and recognized that teachers, as cu rriculum gatekeepers, are concerned with far more than simply what to teach to their students. The purpose of this research study and appropr iate research objectives were stated. Research methods were overviewed, relevant key terms defined, assumptions delineated, and study limitations stated. Chapter 2 provided a review of relevant l iterature related to agricultural literacy curriculum innovations. This literature review revealed a clear inc ongruence of research methods and approaches to agricultural literacy curriculum de velopments. While research generally focuses on student and teacher attitudes, barriers to curriculum implementation, and professional developm ent opportunities provided in tandem with

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58 agricultural literacy curriculum introduction, there were few st udies that utilized similar or consistent theoretical perspe ctives as a basis for conducting the research. As such, the Concerns Based Adoption Model arose as a viab le theoretical perspect ive for this study. There is an exiguous amount of research conduc ted in the agricultura l education research genre using this model; therefore, most of the Concerns Based Adoption Model empirical research presented in chapter 2 was focused on educational studies outside of this arena. This chapter outlines the research methodology employed in this study. To that end, it presents the research perspectiv e and methodology, the population and sample, researcher subjectivity, instrumentati on, and data collection and analyses. The purpose of this study was to explore th e concerns, levels of use, and innovation configurations of elementary teachers in their use and sustained adoption of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness as a resource for teaching the California state educational sta ndards in grades kindergarten through eight. Research Perspective Summative evaluation research practices ar e typically conducted at the end of an educational program in an effort to provide potential consumers, funding agencies, and supervisors with a judgment regarding the worth or merit of the program (Worthen, Sanders, & Fitzpatrick, 1997). In a review of literature, Cr onin (1986) ascertained that curriculum evaluations are frequently mislabel ed as curriculum implementation studies. Popular evaluation models concentrate pr imarily on comparing student achievement outcomes across whole class means, while cu rriculum implementation studies seek to examine teacher fidelity to the intend ed use of the curriculum as written. This descriptive study focused on elementary teachers attitudes toward, and experiences with, the use of agriculture as a context for teaching across the elementary

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59 content areas. Further, teachers Stages of Concern (SoC) in using and implementing curriculum guidelines for using agriculture as a context for teaching across the content areas were explored. Additional assessment of teacher Levels of Use (LoU) and the Innovation Configurations (IC) teachers employed, when app licable, in adapting an agricultural literacy curr iculum to fit individual needs were conducted. Research Methods To address the guiding research objec tives, a qualitative study was conducted, using some quantitative components to frame the study. As noted earlier, the Concerns Based Adoption Model was used to guide th is project. Willis (1992) noted that the benefit of CBAM to educational change proces ses is that the model contains no standard set or sequence of strategies. This characteristic facilitated the use of the CBAM model in addressing the objectives that guided this study. Population and Sample The target population for this study was el ementary teachers who participated in a five-week preservice course in troducing instructiona l activities for inte grating agriculture into elementary curriculum at a West Coast university ( N =48). Enrollment in the course was voluntary, and could be taken in lieu of the biology requirement for preservice elementary teachers. Preservice teachers who enrolled earned three credit hours toward their degree program. The course, entitled AGC X424: Organizing and Teaching K-6 Standards and Awareness in Agricultural Literacy, was offered during the su mmer quarter of 2002 and 2003. Twenty-five students en rolled in the summer of 2002, and 23 students enrolled in the summer of 2003. The students were cont acted during the spring of 2005 and asked to complete a mailed questionnaire. Based on the self-reported numb er of days using

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60 agriculture as the teaching context, a purposive sample of participants ( n =10) was selected for in-depth personal interviews. Th e sample consisted of four participants who reported using the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness (CCGALA) the greatest number of days and six who did not use the CCGALA at all. Researcher Subjectivity The researchers subjective relationship to the research topic was one of longevity and complexity. As a student of agriculture fr om an early age, the researcher participated in production agricultura l activities with both plants and livestock. Further, the researcher participated in agricultural youth organizations such as 4-H and FFA. The researchers family came from a long tr adition of Midwestern farmers, and has experienced the benefit of lear ning in an agricultural context. With such an upbringing, the researcher wanted to share that knowledge and those experiences with others. After graduating from a West Coast college of agri culture, the researcher taught agricultural science to high school students for three and one -half years. At the conclusion of this high school teaching experience, the researcher accepted a position as a lecturer in an agricultural education and co mmunication program where she worked with preservice and in-service agricultural teachers. During the researchers last two summers before leaving for graduate school, the researchers subjective relationship became mo re closely aligned to this study. During the summers of 2002 and 2003, the researcher served as the instructor for the participants who learned about the CCGALA As such, this study was not designed to assess the participants experiences during initial exposure to the curriculum guidelines. Rather, the studys design provided an opportunity for particip ants to pursue any direction related to his or her experiences through exposure to, and use of, the curriculum. Further, the

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61 researchers relationship to participan ts was one whereby rapport was already established, so participants were anticipate d to have a high degree of comfort during the interview process. Instrumentation To assess teacher stages of concern, leve ls of use, and innovation configurations, three protocols were used, as recommende d by Hall and Hord (2001). Following is a breakdown of each recommended instrument. Teacher Attitudes and Perceptions of Agriculture All members of the population were mailed a researcher-designe d questionnaire to solicit attitudes toward, and perceptions of, agriculture as a context for teaching elementary students (Appendix D) Descriptive statistics we re used to analyze this preliminary survey data. The researcher used a similar questionnair e with 130 elementary teachers, from an East Coast state, to assess attitudes toward agriculture as a context for teaching. Minor changes were made pertaining to the appropr iate curriculum innovation name references; otherwise, the instrument was administered intact. Scale reliability analyses yielded Cronbachs alpha levels of .70 and .87 for the Attitudes Toward Agriculture and the Attitudes Toward Agriculture as a Teaching Context constructs, respectively. Stages of Concern The Stages of Concern Questionnaire (S oCQ) was comprised of 35 questions related to teachers perceptions about an educatio nal innovation. This study modified the questions to fit elementary teachers use of agriculture as a context for teaching, with specific reference to the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness (Appendix E). The theoretical test/retes t reliability ratings for the Stages of

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62 Concern Questionnaire ranged from .65 to .86 and internal consiste ncy alpha-coefficients ranged from .64 to .83 (Hall & Hord, 2001). Secondly, Hall and Hords SoCQ Quick Scor ing Device (2001) was used to assess the participants current stage of concern relative to the CCGALA (Appendix F). Similar to Hope (1997), this study used non-parametr ic, descriptive statis tics (percentages and frequencies), with respect to teachers fi rst and second highest stage scores, as the simplest means to interpret ove rall teacher stage of concern. Levels of Use Hall and Hords (2001) Branching Interv iew protocol was followed to assess participants level of use (see Fi gure 3-1). This was an appr opriate protocol for this study since Hall and Hord (1987) reported results of a specially designe d validity study for the LoU interview procedure. Essentially, br anching interviews were conducted with 45 teachers who were then assigned an LoU cla ssification. To validate those ratings, 17 of those teachers were selected for independent researcher observations. Hall and Hord reported a correlation of .98 between the field observers ratings a nd the interviewers Level of Use ratings. As questions relative to participant expe riences emerged during the course of the interviews, those pathways were probed to desc ribe the experiences of the participants in using the curriculum guidelines. Any barri ers to implementing agriculture as the teaching context, where applicable were explored and described.

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Figure 3-1. Format for the LoU branching intervie w (as adapted from Hall & Hord, 2001) A re you using the CCGALA? Have you decided to use it and set a dat e to begin use? What kinds of changes are you making in your use of the CCGALA ? A re you currently looking for information about the CCGALA? I I Yes 0 I I I I IV A Nothing Unusual A re you coordinating your use of the CCGALA with other users, including another not in your original group of users? No LoU IV B, V I Yes LoU V A re you planning or exploring making major modifications or replacing the CCGALA? Yes IV B V I V 63

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Innovation Configurations The third dimension and diagnostic tool in the Concerns-Based Adoption Model is Innovation Configuration (IC). Understanding of IC in the adoption and evaluation of an educational change is critical for program developers. Educational programs must be designed with an ideal use in mind, but develope rs must also recognize that there will be variations based upon individual use of the program. To that end, developers can design a concept of ideal, acceptable, and unacceptabl e adaptations of the educational program (Hall & Hord, 2001). Innovation Configuration Map Development To identify essential components for i deal, acceptable, and unacceptable uses of the curriculum innovation, a Delphi approach was used. The CBAM developers recommend using a team of 2 to 7 experts familiar with the development and the intended use to create an innovation configuration map. To accomplish this goal with respect to CCGALA and this study, an iteration of the De lphi technique was employed. In a synthesis of research related to Delphi use, Martin and Frick (1998) indicated one of the most recent uses of the techni que was for curriculum planning. Twenty CCGALA developers, veteran teachers currently using the CCGALA and teacher educators were contacted via elec tronic mail and asked to participate as appropriate experts. According to Dalkey (1969), 13 responses are necessary to produce a minimum reliability score where r = .80. In accordance with accepted Delphi descriptors (Martin & Frick, 1998), all experts who agreed to participate were asked to respond to the following three open-ended questions: 1. What would one observe in classrooms where CCGALA is used well? 64

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65 2. What would one observe in classrooms where CCGALA is not being used well? 3. What will teachers and students do when CCGALA is in use? From those responses, a holistic organi zing scheme of possible components was developed, as outlined in Hall and Hord (2001) Those components are representative of what the innovation should entail when it is in use. That list, and a corresponding draft of word pictures describing the variations ( 2001), was sent out as the second round of the Delphi for consideration and revision by the panel of experts. The final round sought opinion convergence on the components and variations, as well as drawing boundaries determining ideal, acceptable, and unacceptable uses. All correspondence with the experts during deve lopment of the innovation configurations map was facilitated through th e use of electronic mail communication. The resulting innovation configurations map was cross-refere nced with in-depth interview transcript data to depict the adaptations CCGALA users made, if any, in their implementation of agriculture as a c ontext for teaching. Innovation Configuration Interviews Concurrent with the innovation confi guration map development, in-depth interviews were conducted with the se lected sample. In accordance with recommendations by Heck, Stiegelb auer, Hall, and Loucks (1981), CCGALA respondents were asked to describe their use of CCGALA Furthermore, questi ons and probes related to responses provided by the pa rticipants were captured and analyzed to distinguish use of the components identified in the gene ral innovation configur ation map. Each respondents self-reported use of CCGALA was then categorized as ideal, acceptable, or unacceptable.

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66 Perceived Outcomes Experienced by Teachers Qualitative methodology often seeks to descri be the perceived experiences from the point of view of the subject (Glesne, 1999). As such, te acher perceptions related to student outcomes were core to understandi ng the successful implementation and adoption of CCGALA The final method used to collect da ta from respondents was via in-depth interviewing. Marshall and Rossman (1999) described Seidman s three types of interviews. The first type of in-depth interview focuses on the respondents past experiences with the phenomenon of interest. The second type is that which is conducted to focus on the present experience. The third ty pe joins these two narratives to describe the individuals essential e xperience (p. 112). In this study, the phenomenon of interest was the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness, and the third interview type was used to create a narrative enjoining the participants past and present experiences with the CCGALA and to describe the collective essence of participants experiences using agriculture as a context for teaching at the elementary level. Data Collection Initial data were collected via electr onic mail to conduct the Delphi study for innovation configurations map development. A mailed questionnaire was sent to population members to assess their attitudes and perceptions toward us ing agriculture as a context for teaching. From returned questionn aires, a purposive sample was selected for follow-up on site interviews. There were no perceived risks or benefits to survey respondents. Each interview took approximately 75 minutes to complete with respect to Stages of Concern, Levels of Use, Innovation C onfiguration, and perceived outcomes and

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67 experiences. While a guiding semi-structured interview prot ocol was utilized (Appendix H), the researcher probed respondents for fu rther information when appropriate. All interviews were audio taped and transcri bed, and member checks were conducted. Whenever possible, the participants were al lowed to select the setting in which the interviews were conducted. Three interviews were conducted in par ticipants homes, five in university or public librar ies, and two interviews we re conducted in participant classrooms. There were no perceived risks to respondents. Participants selected for the follow up, on site interviews were compensated with a $100 honorarium. Participant home school districts were reimbursed for substitute teachers costs in curred as a result of the interview procedure. Compensation was provided through a W. K. Kellogg Foundation grant via the California Food and Fiber Futures (CF3) project. Data Analysis Demographic data, means, and frequencies related to participant attitudes toward agriculture and its contextual use at the elementary level were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 13.0. Stages of Concern Analysis The Stages of Concern data were analyzed in accordance with Hall, George, and Rutherfords (1998a) recommendations for scor ing the Stages of Concern questionnaire. Specifically, the researchers recommended that hand scoring be conducted in instances where only a small number of questionnair es are used. The 35 statements on the questionnaire correspond with seven fundament al areas of concern (Figure 3-2). Each stage of concern was represented by five st atements on the questionnaire. The five

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68 statements attributed to a particular stage of concern area were summed to determine the raw score for that concern area. Item Number SoC Item Number SoC Item Number SoC Item Number SoC 1 4 10 5 19 4 28 2 2 6 11 4 20 6 29 5 3 0 12 0 21 0 30 0 4 3 13 2 22 6 31 6 5 5 14 1 23 0 32 4 6 1 15 1 24 4 33 2 7 2 16 3 25 3 34 3 8 3 17 2 26 1 35 1 9 6 18 5 27 5 Figure 3-2. Item numbers and associated stages of concern (Hall, George, & Rutherford, 1998a) Subsequent to the summation of the seven raw scores for each participant, the raw scores were converted to a pe rcentile with first and second high score stages used to establish a profile for inn ovation users and non-users. Level of Use Analysis The Levels of Use relative to the CCGALA were determined through parallel methods. Based on individual responses to the series of questions contained within the Levels of Use Branching Interview protocol, a preliminary level of use classification was assigned. Triangulation of this classifica tion, as well as deeper reflection on the classification, was established th rough investigation and interpretation of transcript data from the semi-structured interviews. Overt a nd indirect statements pertaining to use, or lack thereof, of the CCGALA were lifted from the text and compared with the typical responses outlined in the Guidelines for Rating Overall Level of Use (Loucks, Newlove, & Hall, 1998).

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69 Perceived Outcomes and Experiences Analysis In line with qualitative inqui ry, interview data were coded and analyzed from raw text to relevant text to repeating ideas until common themes were identified (Auerbach & Silverstein, 2003) regarding elementary teach ers experiences using agriculture as a context for teaching math, science, language arts, and social science competencies. Specifically, Marshall and Rossman (1999) reco mmended three phases in the analysis of data. The first phase requires the researcher to write a full descrip tion of his or her own experience with the phenomenon, in an effort to set aside and bracket any preconceived notions about the topic. This phase was co mpleted through the rese archers subjectivity statement. The second phase is referred to as reduc tion and consisted of the researcher grouping the data around themes that emerged fr om the interview data. Similar to Partis (2003), the researcher initially read each transcript carefully with the focus being on the whole to identify the implicit or essential ba sis of the participants experience (p. 12) with agriculture as a context for teaching at the elementary level. Partis recommended holding each identified theme against the overall context of the story while determining if the themes interpretation fits not only the context of the respectiv e section, but of the text as a whole. In following the recomm endation, the researcher sought to reflect critically on the choices made in selecting essential themes. Further, distracting and extraneous speech was deleted from the text. Similarly, repeating words that did not contribute to the overall statement were deleted. As further noted by Marshall and Rossman (1999), the culminating stage of the inquiry methodology was via the collective desc ription of the esse nce of the phenomenon of interest. Also referred to as structural sy nthesis, this stage invol ves exploration of all

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70 possible meanings and perspectives based on th e collected data. This final stage in the in-depth interview analysis concludes w ith a description of the essence of the phenomenon and its deep structure (p. 113). In terms of meeting tests of rigor in qua litative inquiry, Guba and Lincoln (1983) outlined four terms and processes to parallel the scientific concerns of internal and external validity, reliability, and objectivity. Specifically, they challenge researchers to establish credibility, fittingness, and the abil ity to audit and conf irm findings (1983). To cushion against what Guba and Linc oln (1983) termed distortions resulting from the researchers presence (p. 105) and from the fieldworkers involvement (p. 105) with the subjects, and to guard against bias on the part of the researcher, credibility was established through the initi al attitude instrument maile d to the target population. Contact with the population members by the rese archer had been absent for two to three years, dependent upon when the participants completed the course, before the study. The focus of the semi-structured interview was placed on the participan ts experiences using the educational innovation after initial exposure to it. Dir ect questions pertaining to the course or methods used to introduce the innovation were purposefu lly omitted from the interview guide; thereby limiti ng a respondents perceived need to respond in a favorable manner to interview inquiries. Another threat to credibility is related to the manner in which data is collected. Guba and Lincoln (1983) indicated severa l methods for addressing data collection credibility, and two methods were employe d in this study. Utilizing multiple data collection approaches to obtai n and validate data served as a means to structurally corroborate and establish links between the methods (1983). Secondly, member checks

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71 were conducted with the data as transcribed to ensure that respondents expe riences with the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness were accurately captured. With respect to fittingness, this study was clearly designed to focus on only the experiences of the selected sample and s hould not be generalized beyond the target population. For the quan titative instruments utilized, re liability and validity measures were investigated and reported. Audit trails were established at all po ints along the data co llection continuum. Specifically, triangulation was achieved by weighing results from the multiple quantitative instruments ag ainst the experiences and outcomes described by the participants throughout the interview. In all cases where interview data were used, textual quotations were in cluded in the findings. One additional manner in which an audit trail was established was via the use of an independent researcher analyzi ng the transcripts from an obj ective viewpoint. Guba and Lincoln (1983) indicated that a second judge should be able to verify (p. 122) categories identified by the ini tial judge. A second research er analyzed two transcripts for themes. This researcher was connected ne ither to the study participants, nor to the institution in which the participants were en rolled in during the course. The independent auditors results coincided w ith the researchers findings. Summary This chapter addressed the research met hods and design employed to meet the six main objectives initially introduced in Chapte r 1. Specifically, the research perspective and qualitative inquiry approach were pres ented, and researcher subjectivity was

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72 recognized and explained. Moreover, popula tion and sample, instrumentation, data collection, and data analyses were proffered. The design of this study was de scriptive in nature and the attributes of a qualitative approach, supported with quant itative methods where appropr iate, were discussed. The population of this study was all elementary teachers who enrolled in and completed a course at California Polytec hnic State University in Sa n Luis Obispo, California ( N =48). The course related to integrating an agri cultural literacy curric ulum innovation and was entitled AGC X424: Organizing and Teaching K-6 Standards and Awareness in Agricultural Literacy. This course was offered duri ng the summer quarter sessions of 2002 and 2003. The sample of the study was purposively se lected based on initial data collected from the population and a justification fo r the purposive selection was offered ( n =10). The sample was used to collect in-depth and rich data to investigate the experiences of the teachers as related to the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. The instruments utilized in the study we re demarcated. The instruments were common to the Concerns Based Adoption Mode l and included the Stages of Concern questionnaire and the Level of Use Branch ing Interview protocol Additionally, a researcher developed attitudi nal questionnaire was utilized with the targ et population. Further, the researcher served as a qual itative instrument in examining the semistructured interview transcripts for emerging themes and essential stories relative to participant experiences with the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. Credibility and f ittingness of the methodology, along with the

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73 ability to confirm and aud it the findings of the study we re expounded. Data collection and analysis methods served as the ca pstone discussion in this chapter.

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Chapter 1 outlined the basis for conducting this study. A portrait of how current educational accountability prac tices shape beginning teacher concerns was painted, and recognized that teachers, as cu rriculum gatekeepers, are concerned with far more than simply what to teach to their students. Also in Chapter 1, the purpose of the study and appropriate research objectives were stated. Research methods were overviewed, relevant key terms defined, assumptions delineated, and study limitations stated. Chapter 2 provided a review of relevant l iterature related to agricultural literacy curriculum innovations. This literature review revealed a clear incong ruence of research methods and approaches to agricultural literacy curriculum de velopments. While research generally focused on student and teacher attitudes, barriers to curriculum implementation, and professional developm ent opportunities provided in tandem with agricultural literacy curriculum introduction, there were few st udies that utilized similar or consistent theoretical perspe ctives as a basis for conducting the research. As such, the Concerns Based Adoption Model arose as a viab le theoretical perspect ive for this study. There is an exiguous amount of research conduc ted in the agricultura l education research genre using this model; therefore, most of the Concerns Based Adoption Model empirical research presented in Chapter 2 was focused on educational studies outside of this arena. Chapter 3 outlined the research methodology and described the design utilized in this study. To that end, Chapter 3 delineate d the research persp ective and methodology,

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75 population and sample, instrumentation, and data collection and analyses procedures, as well as acknowledged researcher subjectivity. This chapter presents the findings that emerged from this study. The results address the objectives of the study and explore the concerns, levels of use, and innovation configurations of elementary teachers in their adoption and sustained use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness as a resource for teaching the California state educational sta ndards in grades kindergarten through eight. The target population for this study was el ementary teachers who participated in a five-week pre-service course introducing instructional activities for integrating agriculture into elementary curriculum at a West Coast university ( N =48). As outlined in Chapter 3, initial data collection occu rred via a mailed, researcher-developed questionnaire to assess populat ion demographics and attitude s toward agriculture. The use of agriculture as a context for teachi ng elementary students across the grade level content standards was also assessed. Of the 48 members of the target population, six coul d not be contacted for participation in this stud y. Therefore, the accessibl e population was reduced to 42 participants. From the accessible population, 36 of the initial instruments were returned for an 85.7% response rate. Lindner, Mur phy, and Briers (2001) concluded that nonresponse error control measures are not necessa ry for studies that yield 85% or greater response rates. Accessible Population Demographic a nd Psychographic Characteristics One hundred percent of the returned instru ments were deemed usable for assessing the demographic and psychographic characteri stics of the target population. Female respondents comprised 88.9% of returned instruments ( n =32). The average age of

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76 respondents was 25 years old. Respondents ranged in age, however, from 22 to 53 years old. Nearly 70% of respondent s reported being either 23 ( n =12) or 24 ( n =11) years old. Of those respondents who indicated they were currently teaching ( n =31), the mean number of years of teaching e xperience reported was 1.3 years. Notably, population characteristics indicat ed not all of the respondents currently held teaching positions (see Table 4-1), but that did not preclude their participation in the initial stage of the study to ga ther attitudinal data related to teaching elementary students using agriculture as an integrating context. Table 4-1. Summary of Currently Teaching Part icipants and their Use of Agriculture and the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness ( n =36) Statement f % Yes, I am teaching agriculture using CCGALA 8 22.2 No, I do not use CCGALA but I infuse agriculture in other ways 9 25.0 No, I am not teaching any agriculture in my classroom 14 38.9 I am not currently teaching 5 13.9 While 14 respondents (38.9%) reported not teaching any agricultural concepts in their elementary classes, 17 (47.2%) indicated they were teaching agricultural concepts. This teaching was accomplished either through use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness or was infused via other preparation means. Figures 4-1 and 4-2 indicate the dist ribution of teachers ac cording to the type ( public, private, or charter ) and location ( urban, suburban, or rural ) of school in which they are currently teaching.

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77 Charter Private Public Type of school 100 80 60 40 20 0 Percent Figure 4-1. Type of school Of the 31 respondents who are currently teaching, 90.3% ( n =28) reported teaching in a public school setting. Two of the re maining three respondents (5.6%) reported teaching in a private school setting, while th e remaining participan t taught at a charter school.

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78 Rural Suburban Urban School area 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Percent Figure 4-2. Location of school With respect to geographic location in which each respondent was teaching, 51.6% reported teaching in a suburban area ( n =16), and another 35.5% specified teaching in a rural area ( n =11). Merely five respondents repo rted teaching in an urban setting. Objective One: Describe elementary te achers attitudes and perceptions of agriculture as a context for teaching elementary students. Previous Agricultural Experience The initial instrument asked populati on respondents to indicate previous agricultural experiences. Multiple selections were appropriate as statements related to

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79 production agricultural experiences and collegi ate agricultural cour sework taken (see Table 4-2). Table 4-2. Previous Agricultural Experience Previous agricultural experience f None 4 Raised in a rural/agricultural family 9 Participated in pr oduction agri culture 3 Participated in youth agricu ltural/FFA/4-H experience 4 Participated in paid work experience in agriculture 3 Majored in agriculture in college 1 Completed some agricultural coursework in college 29a aOf those who indicated completing some agricultural coursework in college, 20 indicated the only agricultural class completed was AGC X424 Only 27.8% of respondents ( n =10) indicated any previous experience related to production agriculture; involvement in a youth agricultural organizati on, such as 4-H or FFA; or a paid agriculturally -related work experience. Although more than 80% of respondents ( n =29) selected completed some agricultural coursework in college 20 respondents anecdotally noted on the instrume nt that the only ag riculturally related coursework completed was AGC X424: Organizing and Te aching K-6 Standards and Awareness in Agricultural Literacy. This is the course from which this studys population was comprised. Attitude toward Agriculture Attitude toward agriculture scores were determined by summing the individual values for the seven items that encompassed the agricultural attitudes construct of the initial population instru ment (see Figure 4-3). Scores ranged from 18 to 30. The mean score was 23.92 ( SD = 2.53).

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80 30.00 28.00 26.00 24.00 22.00 20.00 18.00 Attitude toward agriculture score 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Frequency Figure 4-3. Distribution of participant attitudes toward agriculture scores Individual item means ranged from 3.28 to 4.86 on positively worded items (see Table 4-3). The two negatively worded items resulted in means ranging from 1.61 to 2.28 and were reverse coded to calculate th e attitude toward agriculture score. Table 4-3. Attitude toward Agriculture Construct Summary of Individual Items Item M SD Agriculture provides beneficial products for society 4.86.35 Agriculture provides safe products for society 4.28.66 There are numerous career opportunities in the field of agriculture 4.11.82 Most teachers in my school have a positive image of agriculture 3.50.88 Most students in my school have a positive image of agriculture 3.281.06 Most elementary teachers are unaware of the impact of agriculture on their daily lives 2.28a.91 Most elementary students are unaware of the impact of agriculture on their daily lives 1.61a.65Note. Likert-type scale was 1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree. aNegatively worded items. Coding was reversed when computing attitude score.

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81 Attitude toward Agriculture as a Cont ext for Teaching Elementary Students Participant scores of attitude toward us ing agriculture as a context for teaching content grade level standards at the elemen tary level were calculated by summing the individual scores across the 21 items compri sing the construct (see Figure 4-4). Valid data were collected from 36 respondents w ith scores ranging from 62 to 96. The mean score was 82.67 ( SD =7.89). 100.00 90.00 80.00 70.00 60.00 Attitude toward using agriculture as a context for teaching elementary students scores 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Frequency Figure 4-4. Distribution of participant attitudes toward agriculture as a context for teaching elementary students scores Individual item means ranged from 2.19 to 4.72 across all items (see Table 4-4). With respect to attitudes toward multiple discip linary applications of agriculture as an integrating context, congruence between scien ce and agricultural inte gration recorded the highest mean (4.56, SD =.61) followed by social science (4.39, SD =.69), language arts (4.25, SD =.65), mathematics (4.25, SD =.69), and fine arts (4.06, SD =.89), respectively.

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82 Table 4-4. Attitude toward Using Agricult ure as a Context for Teaching Elementary Content Standards Construct Summary of Individual Items Item M SD All elementary students should be aware of agriculture 4.72.45 Agriculture should be offered in both urban and rural areas 4.58.55 Agriculture integrates multiple disciplinary applications in: Science 4.56.61 Social science 4.39.69 Language arts 4.25.65 Mathematics 4.25.69 Fine arts 4.06.89 Elementary education about agriculture can help protect th e environment and our natural resources 4.47.61 Every elementary student would bene fit from some instruction about agriculture 4.44.77 Using agriculture as the context fo r teaching makes cross-disciplinary instruction more meaningful 4.17.66 Infusing agriculture into elementary classrooms makes academic principles more meaningful to students 4.17.66 Stronger ties should be made between agri culture and elementary curricula 4.14.64 Infusing agriculture into elementary cl asses is beneficial for lower achieving students 4.11.71 Elementary agriculture curriculum shoul d become more cross-disciplinary based 4.06.63 Teaching using agriculture as the cont ext is effective in helping students understand the subject matter 4.06.72 Using agriculture as the context motivates students to learn 3.92.77 Infusing agriculture into elementary cla sses is beneficial for higher achieving students 3.89.67 Learning is easier for students when teach ers use agriculture as the context 3.47.65 Increased emphasis on using agriculture as the teaching context produces little change in students achievement 2.58.55 Agriculture in elementary schools is most be neficial to students in rural areas 2.19.82 Agriculture in elementary classes sh ould be offered primarily in urban communities 2.19.79Note. Likert-type scale was 1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree. Purposively Selected Sample As previously delineated in chapter 3, a sample of the target population was purposively selected based on initial instru ment response to demographic questions regarding teacher use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness ( CCGALA ) as a mechanism for integrating agriculture across the elementary

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83 content area standards. Four res pondents who indicated use of the CCGALA, along with six respondents who reported no use of ag riculture as a context for teaching, were selected for participation in the remainder of the study as it pertained to the remaining research objectives. The demographic characte ristics of the sample can be viewed in Table 4-5.

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Table 4-5. Summaries of Purposivel y Selected Sample Participants ID Gender Age Years teaching Grade currently teaching Agricultural background Use of CCGALA Days taught agriculture School type School location Agriculture attitude scorea Elementary attitude scoreb 204 Female 24 2 4th Collegiate & production Yes 100 Public Suburban 26 90 211 Female 25 1 7th Collegiate Yes 30 Public Urban 24 90 212 Female 24 1 1st 1 college course Yes 200 Public Suburban 27 80 236 Female 23 1 1st 1 college course Yes 50 Private Suburban 23 96 207 Female 27 2 8th 1 college course No 0 Public Rural 24 84 247 Female 23 1 5th 1 college course No 0 Public Rural 28 80 240 Female 23 1 3rd 1 college course No 0 Public Suburban 26 75 215 Male 53 1 K None No 0 Public Rural 28 66 209 Female 24 1 5th 1 college course No 0 Public Suburban 21 79 219 Female 23 1 7th-8th Collegiate No 0 Public Suburban 18 71 aPopulation =23.92. bPopulation =82.67. 84

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Gender, average age, and teaching expe rience demographics of the purposively selected sample parallel those of the target population (see Table 4-6). Table 4-6. Summary Means of Sample and Target Population Demographic Characteristics Characteristic Sample X Population Gender 90% female 88.9% female Age 25 years 25 years Teaching experience 1.2 years 1.3 years School type 90% public 90.3% public School location 60% suburban 51.6% suburban The population and sample characteristics were nearly identical in terms of gender (=88.9% female, X =90% female), age (=25 years, X =25 years), and teaching experience (=1.3 years, X =1.2 years). Objective Two: Describe elementary te achers current stages of concern with respect to implementing an agr icultural literacy curriculum. Subsequent to the selection of the purpos ive sample for interviews and further analyses of teacher concer ns related to the adoption and sustained use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness, each interviewee was asked to complete a Stages of Concern instrument. Instrument developers reported test/retest reliability ratings for the St ages of Concern Questionnaire ranging from .65 to .86 and internal consistency alpha-coefficients ranging from .64 to .83 (Hall & Hord, 2001). Stages of concern data were analyzed utilizing the Stages of Concern Quick Scoring Device (Hall, George, & Rutherfor d, 1998a). Raw scores were totaled and summed relative to each stage, as outlined in Chapter 3. Following summation, raw scores were converted to relative intensity pe rcentiles according to the Stages of Concern 85

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86 Raw Score-Percentile Conversion Chart for the Stages of Concer n Questionnaire (see Appendix I). Individual peak stages of concern were id entified for each particip ant in the sample. Figures 4-5 and 4-6 illustrate the relative intensity of the pa rticipants for each respective stage of concern. According to Hall, Geor ge, and Rutherford (1998a), the greater the score in a stage of concern, the more inte nse the concerns are at that stage. California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness Non-User Stages of Concern Figure 4-5 illustrates the di stributions of stage of c oncern relative intensity for those sample participants who indicated they were not using CCGALA as a context for teaching across the elementary grade level content standards. CCGALA Non-User Stages of Concern0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Awareness Informational Personal Management Consequence Collaboration Refocusing StageRelative Intensity 207 209 215 219 240 247 Figure 4-5. Distribution of stages of concern for CCGALA non-users ( n=6)

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87 The highest stage of concern, with a rela tive intensity score of 93 (raw score=15), for self-reported CCGALA non-user number 207 is awareness The second highest stage of concern is informational (relative intensity=63, raw score=17). The highest stage of concern, with a rela tive intensity score of 90 (raw score=25), for self-reported CCGALA non-user number 209 is informational The second highest stage of concern is awareness (relative intensity=86, raw score=12). The highest stage of concern, with a rela tive intensity score of 98 (raw score=20), for self-reported CCGALA non-user number 215 is awareness The second highest stage of concern is informational (relative intensity=80, raw score=22). The highest stage of concern, with a rela tive intensity score of 98 (raw score=21), for self-reported CCGALA non-user number 219 is awareness The second highest stage of concern is management (relative intensity= 77, raw score=20). The highest stage of concern, with a rela tive intensity score of 84 (raw score=23), for self-reported CCGALA non-user number 240 is informational The second highest stage of concern is awareness (relative intensity=77, raw score=9). The highest stage of concern, with a rela tive intensity score of 90 (raw score=25), for self-reported CCGALA non-user number 247 is informational The second highest stage of concern is personal (relative intensity=85, raw score=25). California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness User Stages of Concern Figure 4-6 illustrates the di stributions of stage of c oncern relative intensity for those sample participants who indicated they actively used CCGALA as a context for teaching across the elementary grade level cont ent standards. Peak stage concerns are unique to each individual participant who used the educational innovation.

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88 CCGALA User Stages of Concern 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Awareness Personal Consequence Refocusing StageRelative Intensity 204 211 212 236 Figure 4-6. Distribution of stages of concern for all CCGALA users ( n =4) The highest stage of concern, with a rela tive intensity score of 85 (raw score=25), for self-reported CCGALA user number 204 is personal The second highest stage of concern is informational (relative intensity =80, raw score=22). The highest stage of concern, with a rela tive intensity score of 90 (raw score=25), for self-reported CCGALA user number 211 is informational The second highest stage of concern is management (relative intensity= 85, raw score=21). The highest stage of concern, with a rela tive intensity score of 84 (raw score=11), for self-reported CCGALA user number 212 is awareness The second highest stage of concern is informational (relative intensity =80, raw score=22). The highest stage of concern, with a rela tive intensity score of 76 (raw score=27), for self-reported CCGALA user number 236 is collaboration The second highest stage of concern is informational (relative intensity=57, raw score=15).

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89 An aggregate reporting of data across all sample respondents ( n =10) is contained in Table 4-7. Data were compiled based on the frequency of indi viduals that registered the greatest relative intens ity for each stage. Table 4-7. Frequency of Highest Concer ns Stage for Individual Users of CCGALA Highest Stage of Concern 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 CCGALA Users 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 CCGALA Non-users 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 Each reported CCGALA user in the sample had a uni que high stage of concern. No highest relative frequency c oncerns were recorded for ma nagement, consequence, or refocusing stages. All self-reported non-users of the CCGALA in the sample reported a highest relative frequency concern as either awareness or informational Objective Three: Describe elementary te achers current levels of use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness As described in chapter 3, the Branchi ng Interview Protocol was utilized to determine the Level of Use for each participant in the sample. For purposes of reliability, the Branching Interview Protocol was used to objectively assess part icipants levels of use (see Table 4-8). Interview transcripts were further analyz ed for statements indicating levels of use. Loucks, Newlove, and Ha ll (1998) provided guidelines for assessing interviewee statements and assigning su ch statements to a level of use.

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90 Table 4-8. Participants Level of Use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness ID Level of Use Study classification Self-reported days taught agriculture 204 III User 100 211 IV A User 30 212 IV B User 200 236 IV A User 50 207 0 Non-user 0 209 I Non-user 0 215 0 Non-user 0 219 0 Non-user 0 240 0 Non-user 0 247 I Non-user 0 Congruent with results from the initial instrument sent to the target population, the selected sample of non-users of the CCGALA, registered at either the non-use ( n =4) level or the orientation level ( n =2). The remaining participan ts were distributed through the mechanical use ( n =1), routine ( n =2), and refinement ( n =1) levels of use, as defined by Hall and Hord (2001). Table 4-9 presents a frequency summary of participants by level of use classification. Table 4-9. Summary of Frequency of Pa rticipants Levels of Use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness Level of Use 0 I II III IV A IV B V VI Number of individuals 4 2 0 1 2 1 0 0 Following the recommended guidelines for ra ting the overall level of use (Loucks, Newlove, & Hall, 1998), each respondents in-d epth interview transcript was analyzed for statements that reinforced the initial level of use placement. Figure 4-7 and 4-8 illustrate a set of typical res ponses a rater may encounter when classifying an individual into a level of use.

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91 Level of Use Classification Typical Responses 0 Non-User I dont see in the near futu re my learning anything about it. I have too many other things to do. Im really not looking for anything right now. I am not using the innovation and have no plans to. Ive heard of it, but at this time Im not interested in learning anymore about it. I Orientation Ive set as ide time every week for studying materials about the innovation and talking to people about the possibility of using it. Im looking at materials pert aining to the innovation and considering using it some time in the future. Ive attended a workshop and sat in on classes where teachers are using it. II Preparation Im looking through all th ese materials, attending workshops and basically getting organized to use it. Im going to start using it next semester. Since Ill be using it come Sept ember, Im identifying right now what Ill need and when I should begin to set things up. III Mechanical Use Most of my effort is going into organizing materials and keeping things going as smoot hly as possible every day. Im not really sure what Ill be doing with it late r this year or what its effects are and will be. There still seems to be so many problems to work out. Im planning every night for what I will do the next day. I know in general what Ill do next month, but have not made detailed arrangements. Most of my time I spend with my colleagues trying to get things organized so the innova tion can be more effective with students. Figure 4-7. Summaries of typical res ponses at levels 0, I, II, and III (as adapted from Loucks, Newlove, & Hall, 1998)

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92 Level of Use Classification Typical Responses IV A Routine This year has worked out beautif ully. Im sure there will be changes next year, but basically well use the same ideas from this year. The students adjust so nicely to the innovation that I just havent felt like Ive needed to make many changes. Weve done evaluations, but all the fee dback has been good, so we really have not made any changes based on feedback. IV B Refinement Im trying to find out from books and workshop sessions how I can combat this effect (described particular effect) that the innovation seems to be having on students. I discuss some of the things that seem to be working best with my children and also the things I m changing because they arent as effective as Id like. I recently developed a more detailed assessment instrument to gain more specific information from students on where I need to change my use of the innovation. Im in the process of compiling the results. I provide a period each day for students to tell me whats on their minds what they are liking and disliking about my use of the innovation and why. V Integration A group of us started out working together when we began to use the innovation. Since then, we have branched out and pulled in other teachers including a new teacher this semester. Working together helps me to avoid repetition in content for our children. An experienced faculty member who just joined our group is strengthening our use of the innovation when it comes to more relevant interaction betw een us and our students. We have increased our original group from two to three because we discovered our students can profit from more coordination of use. Not everyone has all the skills needed to make best use of this innovation when it comes to relevance for childre n. For that reason, Ive been working with another teacher for two years, and recently a third teacher is working with us. VI Renewal I am still interested in the innovation and using it with modifications. Frankly, Im reading, talking, a nd even doing a little research to see whether some other innovation might be better for children. There are so many potentially worthwhile innovations when it comes to what happens to children that Im taking a good look at several of them together with what we are using here. Im seriously considering combining use of another innovation with the one Im now using. The combinati on ought to be more valuable for students. Figure 4-8. Summaries of typical responses at levels IV A, IV B, V, and VI (as adapted from Loucks, Newlove, & Hall, 1998)

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93 Mechanical use refers to significant effort bei ng placed on the short-term, day-today use of an educational innovation. Changes, if any, are centered more on user, rather than client, needs. The particip ant who registered as a mechanical user of the innovation responded to a question regarding overcoming the perceived barrier of time to more fully implement the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. Her statements coincided with the concern of using it as a te aching tool for day to day use without much opportunity, as a new t eacher, to plan for future use: I feel like if I could just teach the same grade level once, then I would have time to really look at some of those other areas. I was just finishing some work and they asked me, Oh, what would you want to do for ne xt year? Its lik e, well, this year I really developed a plant unit, so next year Id like to develop an animal unit and if I could just stay in the same grade leve l (laughs), it would just keep developing. (ID 204) The Level of Use Branching Interview Pr otocol indicated two of the respondents were at level IV A, routine use. Routine use refers to stabilized use of the innovation with thought being given to neither improveme nt, nor consequences of its use (Loucks, Newlove, & Hall, 1998). Two statements, one from each level IV A user, indicated congruence with this descriptor. Ive used it from day one in the classroom this year when I stepped in and didnt have any social studies or science curriculum set or any idea of where to begin. I took what I liked most and what was most familiar to me which is, you know, nature and everything outdoor s and I brought that into th e classroom and the class theme for the first three months was about trees. So everything we did we tied in: from what we were learning in grammar to the tree we had adopted to science lessons. We planted beans and we measured things. With all the weather that we were studying, we went outside on nature walks. So it really helped me just create a focus for the beginning of the year a nd then through that, you know, Ive tied in other things. I adapted the guidelines to meet my immediate needs of it so the suggestions and the guidelines that requi re more prep time and more planning, which I am totally able to do in the futu re and willing to and wanting to, I wasnt able to do this year. So knowing now what I want to focus on for the next year I can more completely use the guidelines. (ID 236)

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94 I got a call from a mom who said the kid tota lly hated math last year and that, even though hes not passing the classe s in any of the but, hes finding that its more motivating. She mentioned the banana act ivity to me, and so that provided feedback to me, but that got him exc ited, and obviously hes liking whats happening in the classroom because he likes math this year. (ID 211) The fourth respondent from among those who considered themselves users of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness emerged as a level IV B user, or at the refinement level. Refinement refers to the use of the innovation to increase the impact on clients within th e immediate sphere of influence (Loucks, Newlove, & Hall, 1998, p. 187). In discussing an autistic stud ent in this participants class, the teacher uses an ag ricultural context to engage the student in more productive conversations when he has outbur sts related to his disability. A lot of times, when he acts up or needs to be separated from the class, I have to take him outside. Hes rea lly, really big into dinosa urs and its amazing how much he knows about dinosaurs and when we go outside hell be going off about some dinosaur and how it eats this other dinosau r. Ill try to like encourage, not encourage, but just like, branch off of that, you know, Do you think they had that kind of plant back then? and Well, what do you think he would eat now? and How do you think they would live in our environment? I just kind of, spawning, cause hes gonna ramble anyway. I mi ght as well, you know, branch it towards something productive versus something thats going to be two dinosaurs fighting and dying a lot. I try and make them more educational conversations because you have to with him, and that incorporates sc ience; otherwise, youre gonna lose him. Hes not going to be interested. (ID 212) Sixty percent of the respondent s in the sample classified themselves as non-users of the CCGALA ( n =6). Of those, four emerged at level 0, non-user, level of use and the remaining two surfaced at level I, orientation Non-user descriptors range from a person who has never heard of the innovation to one who has knowledge of the innovation, but who is not currently considering or engaged in use. Further, a person at level 0 is passive with respect to consideration of its use. Stat ements from participants at level 0 paralleled

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95 these when discussing hindrances in considering adoption of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. Probably the main thing is that this is my first year teaching and Im doing a scripted program. An intervention scripted program so that, here its SRA, its the state adoptive program and its very script ed teachers up in the front and okay, say this, read this and that. It is where, Im not teaching science. Im just teaching English, math and history and so I think that has hindered me to be able to incorporate it into the lesson plans. (ID 207) In the real world, you really cant do that and were not set up for that. Yes, we do have a garden out there that we walk th rough periodically, but its so much effort. Theres so little time because all the sta ndards in math, reading, language arts, uh, P.E., science, all these other things, you know, that are being demanded. The science and social studies arent there yet, but theyre coming. They said that there is no time for the luxury of agriculture, but it would be nice to figure a way to do it. If you can figure a way to do it, go ahead and do it. (ID 215) I just teach English, you cant really in corporate agriculture its hard. And, frankly, its hard just to teach just the state standards alone. There are so many and they are so obscure. And, I dont kno w, I dont like the curriculum and we dont get any choices. Its just tough. This year has been about survival. Its just been, I barely can do the standards, so I cant do a nything extra. Its been really stressful, so thats why. (ID 219) I came into it [the teaching position] right be fore state testing started, and so a lot of what my principal had asked me to focu s on was preparing the students for state testing. And because I jumped into it like two days finding out what I was supposed to be doing, I just, I felt very ru shed and like I didnt have enough time. So I havent incorporated a lot of outside different things into my daily routine in the classroom, just, um, cause up till now its been really busy. And I know busy is no excuse, but thats why. (ID 240) The orientation level of use pertains to a person s desire to acquire information regarding the educational i nnovation and/or is explori ng the innovations value and potential demands upon the user and his or her system (Louc ks, Newlove, & Hall, 1998). Statements made by the two respondents at this level are highlighted below. I havent used [ CCGALA ] a lot. I havent really done much with agriculture in my classroom right now. Um, I would defin itely like to because, especially around here, theres so much agriculture going on. I think its important for the kids to, you know, have an awareness of it, but I have nt really used it yet at all in the classroom, any sort of agriculture. (ID 247)

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96 I think that I want to go back and look at them [ CCGALA ]. They are very user friendly if you will. I think theyre very straight forward and they are easy to use and go through and I guess, in honesty, I havent really gone through and used them or looked at them in awhile. But I remember when I got them, like my little first through third that I ha ve, its just, its somethi ng I never would have thought of. Im like Oh, yeah. When you go thr ough and look at you r eally can see how it does relate to the standard s that you have. (ID 209) Interestingly, one of the level 0 participants demonstrated movement toward level I at the end of the in-depth interview. Sh e indicated explicitly, and contrary to her response to the Level of Use Branchi ng Interview protocol, the following: After thinking about this and talking, Im like, I want to go home and pull out my stuff and look through the stuff that we di d in class and see if I can incorporate anything. (ID 207) Objective Four: Delineate the essential components for ideal, acceptable, and unacceptable implementation of an agricultural literacy curriculum. As outlined in Chapter 3, a modified Delphi method was employed to obtain the data for constructing an innovation c onfigurations map related to the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. The panel of experts used in this portion of th e study was comprised of individuals who contributed to the initial development of the CCGALA. Furthermore, those experts also served in capacities such as current elementary educators, university teacher educators, Calif ornia Department of Education agricultural literacy personnel, s econdary agricultural educators, trained CCGALA workshop facilitators, and Califor nia Agriculture in the Classroom coordinators. Round 1 of the data collecti on relative to this objective resulted in the compilation of expert responses regarding descriptors of the CCGALA ( n =15). Additionally, experts were asked to describe what one mi ght observe in classrooms where the CCGALA was being utilized well and not very well. Finally, the panel of experts was asked to describe

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97 behaviors of students and teachers when the CCGALA was in use. Table 4-10 illustrates an example of two responses from the panel of experts.

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Table 4-10. Round 1 Example Expert Panelist Responses ID Primary experience with CCGALA CCGALA description Used well Not used well Teachers & students doing 115 Developer, Teacher user, Other (lib. Media teacher) 1st concrete, hands on tool for educators to implement Agricultural curriculum CA state standards referenced Agricultural curriculum is integrated Student projects, demonstrations, illustrations, literature, media Hands on to support standards No link to agriculture with grade level standards Students & teachers engaged in activities to correlate the standard addressed & agricultural information CCGALA is a tool providing hands on opportunities to embrace agriculture in the classroom 120 Developer Connects agricultural lessons, units, & activities to state standards across disciplines Provides a context for understanding mostly abstract standards Student-centered instruction Agriculture is the context for teaching core disciplines Students actively engaged Teacher-centered instruction No real-world (agricultural) connection for students Actively participating in the act of learning 98

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Based on first round analysis of the word picture descriptions provided by the 15 respondents, a list of compone nts and possible variations of those components was compiled for use during Round 2 (Appendix J). The list was sent electronically to the respondents from Round 1 ( n =13). Respondents were asked to designate each variation from each of the six component areas as ideal, acceptable, or unacceptable. Table 4-11 shows the frequency of ideal, acceptable, a nd unacceptable responses from the panel of experts who responded in Round 2 ( n =13). The final round of analysis for the constr uction of the innova tion configurations map was distributed electroni cally to the panel of expe rts seeking opinion convergence regarding the placement of ideal acceptable and unacceptable variations within each of the six components. The panel of experts unanimously agreed ( n =13) with the results of the innovation configurations map for use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness (see Figures 4-9 and 4-10). 99

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100 Table 4-11. Summary of Fr equency of Responses to Variation by Component Component 1: Use of CCGAL A & Curricular resources Variation Ideal ( f ) Acceptable ( f ) Unacceptable ( f ) 1 7 5 1 2 8 5 0 3 1 9 3 4 0 4 9 5 0 3 10 Component 2: Cross-disciplina ry state educational standards are addressed using an agricultural context Variation Ideal ( f ) Acceptable ( f ) Unacceptable ( f ) 1 13 0 0 2 11 2 0 3 1 11 1 4 0 4 9 5 0 0 13 Component 3: Experienti al learning opportunities Variation Ideal ( f ) Acceptable ( f ) Unacceptable ( f ) 1 13 0 0 2 2 11 0 3 0 0 13 4 0 0 13 Component 4: Instructional approach Variation Ideal ( f ) Acceptable ( f ) Unacceptable ( f ) 1 13 0 0 2 2 11 0 3 0 11 2 4 0 0 13 Component 5: Student assessment Variation Ideal ( f ) Acceptable ( f ) Unacceptable ( f ) 1 12 1 0 2 2 11 0 3 0 3 10 Component 6: Lesson presentation and purpose Variation Ideal ( f ) Acceptable ( f ) Unacceptable ( f ) 1 11 2 0 2 3 10 0 3 0 0 13 4 0 0 13

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Innovation Configuration Components and Variations of the use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness Teacher ____________________________________________ Rater ______________________________________________ I. Use of CCGALA & recommended curricular resources 1. Refers to only recommended lessons & resources 2. Refers to CCGALA and uses some recommended lessons & resources to supplement existing teacher-developed or site-endorsed curriculum 3. Refers to CCGALA and uses only existing teacherdeveloped or site-endorsed curriculum 4. Does not refer to CCGALA, but uses agricultural lessons and resources to supplement existing teacher-developed or site-endorsed curriculum 5. Does not refer to CCGALA and uses only existing teacher-developed or siteendorsed curriculum II. Cross-disciplinary state educational standard s are addressed using an agricultural context 1. Consistently employs an agricultural context to meet grade level standards across all disciplines (mathematics, science, social science, and language arts) 2. Consistently employs an agricultural context to meet grade level standards across two to three disciplines (mathematics, science, social science, and language arts) 3. Occasionally employs an agricultural context to meet grade level standards across all disciplines (mathematics, science, social science, and language arts) 4. Employs an agricultural context without consideration of grade level state standards in any discipline (mathematics, science, social science, and language arts) 5. Does not employee an agricultural context to meet grade level standards in any discipline (mathematics, science, social science, and language arts) III. Experiential learning opportunities 1. Students engage in experiential learning activities directly related to agricultural and environmental topics; reflection (via journals, discussion, or other) is always included to complete the experiential learning loop 2. Students engage in experiential learning activities directly related to agricultural and environmental topics; reflection (via journals, discussion, or other) is sometimes included to complete the experiential learning loop 3. Students may engage in activities, but the teacher does not facilitate or make connections with agricultural or environmental topics; reflection is rarely included to complete the experiential learning loop 4. Experiential component (laboratories, activities, etc.) of suggested lessons is omitted; written assignments are relied upon for primary activity base. Reflection is never included To the left of slashed line is an ideal variation ______ To the left of the solid line is an acceptable variation ______ To the right of the solid line is an unacceptable variation Figure 4-9. California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness innovation configurations map (page 1) 101

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IV. Instructional approach 1. Daily student-centered instruction with multiple modality approach. Students are encouraged to interact with peers regarding agricultural concepts 2. Mostly student-centered instruction with occasional (1-2 instances per week) lecture-based instruction 3. Mostly teacher-cen tered instruction with occasional (1-2 instances per week) cooperative learning opportunities (working in pairs, small groups, large groups) 4. Daily teacher-centered instruction, lecture-based format. Teacher determines outcomes. Students learn in large heterogeneous classes and are rarely or never encouraged to engage in peer to peer communication V. Student assessment 1. Student progress and knowledge are assessed in a variety of ways, including (but not limited to) developing self-assessment tools. Focus is on concept-attainment and critical thinking 2. Student progress and knowledge are assessed via unit exams that may be measured through projects presented, oral and/or written exams, or student portfolios. Focus is on concept-attainment and critical thinking, but frequent reference is also made to standardized testing. 3. Student progress and knowledge is assessed solely via traditional paper and pencil exams. Focus is on, and frequent references made to, standardized testing. VI. Lesson presentation and purpose 1. Students have a clear understanding of lesson purpose and objectives. Lesson presentation is seamless from introduction to conclusion. Frequent references are made between the agricultural concept presented and the standards addressed. Agricultural concepts presented follow a logical path. 2. Students have a clear understanding of lesson purpose and objectives. Lesson presentation is seamless from introduction to conclusion. Standards addressed are written on the whiteboard or chalkboard, but overt reference to standards is omitted. Agricultural concepts presented follow a logical path. 3. Students have an unclear or hazy understanding of lesson purpose and objectives. Standards addressed are written on the whiteboard or chalkboard, overt reference to standards is omitted. Agricultural concepts presented lack a logical flow from one to the next. 4. Students are unsure of lesson purpose and objectives. Teacher omits checks for understanding and/or opportunities for student practice. No reference or connection to state standards is made. Teacher wanders from one agricultural topic to the next without any logical flow. To the left of slashed line is an ideal variation ______ To the left of the solid line is an acceptable variation ______ To the right of the solid line is an unacceptable variation Figure 4-10. California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness innovation configurations map (page 2) 102

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Objective Five: Describe the innovation co nfigurations that teachers employed while implementing an agricultural literacy curriculum. Although only 40% ( n =4) of the purposively selected sample described themselves as users of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness educational innovation, the transcripts from a ll interviews were analyzed and used in conjunction with the innovation configurations map resulting from Objective Four. All transcripts were reviewed and classified as ideal, acceptable, or unacceptable because every participant in the sample revealed thr oughout the interview that he or she was using agriculture as a teaching c ontext in some variation. The Innovation Configuration Components and Variations of the use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness were crosschecked against the sample participants transcript data. Specifically, participant descriptors for self-reported use of the edu cational innovation and/or the self-reported use of agriculture as an integrating context acr oss elementary grade le vel content standards were used to establish justification for classification as ideal, acceptable, or unacceptable use. Because the innovation configurations ma p for this educational innovation was developed simultaneously to the investiga tion of participant experiences with the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness not all of the components may have emerged from the interview data. Therefore, whenever no evidence emerged in the data regarding a particular compone nt, that component was not assessed for classification. A ppendix K provides composite profiles of the configurations each member employed when agriculture was utilized as a teaching context in his or her classroom. 103

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104 Six of the sample members indicated they did not use the CCGALA as a means to teach across the grade level content standard s; therefore, each was classified as unacceptable in his or her use as it pe rtained to Component 1 (ide ntified in Objective 4). Supporting statements from within each member s narrative supported that classification. Of the four sample members who indicated they used the CCGALA, two members narratives revealed statements they were using the CCGALA and agriculture in an unacceptable manner. The remaining two me mbers who indicated use of the CCGALA registered statements classifying them as ideal and ideal/acceptable respectively, as related to Component 1. Three of the four self -reported users of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness provided supporting narrative statements related to the second component of the innovation configura tions map. Their statements indicated one was at an ideal level, one was at an acceptable level, and the third was borderline acceptable/unacceptable The fourth users narrative lacked specific reference to using agriculture across the content area standards. Five of the six self-reported non-users made statements congruent with the unacceptable variation of Component 2. Th e sixth non-user alluded to an acceptable configuration in using agriculture to t each across the content area standards. With respect to providing experiential le arning opportunities for students, all four of the self-reported CCGALA users employed configura tions that were either acceptable or ideal Only two of the six non-users employed acceptable configurations of Component 3. The remaining four non-users fell into the unacceptable category.

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105 All four of the self-reported CCGALA users employed acceptable ( n =2), borderline ideal/acceptable ( n =1), or ideal ( n =1) configurations for Component 4. None of the nonusers utilized unacceptable configurations with respect to instructional approach. However, two of the six non-user s lacked narrative statements re lative to this component. The remaining four utilized acceptable ( n =3) or ideal ( n =1) configurations. Nine of the ten members lacked narrative statements alluding to student assessment as delineated in Component 5. The singl e member who provided evidence in her narrative regarding assessment indicated an ideal configuration with respect to this component. Only one of the 10 members provided narra tive statements relative to the sixth component. His statements indicated he employed configurations related to lesson presentation and purpose that bordered between ideal and acceptable Objective Six: Describe the perceived outcomes experienced by teachers who adopted the agricultural literacy curriculum. The thematic reduction yielded eleven releva nt textual areas that were reduced to three common themes. Participant narratives revealed their na vigation through these themes during their conscious and subconscious consideration of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness and its use as a means to meet grade level content area standards. The eleven areas that emerged from the relevant text analysis included: Workload Self-perceived role as faculty member In-service collaboration Continued professional development opportunities Administrative support Initial exposure to CCGALA Cooperating teacher behaviors

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106 Student behaviors Changing teacher roles Misunderstanding of CCGALA Following the relevant textual analysis, th e narratives were further analyzed and reduced to repeating themes. Three comm on themes arose from the textual areas: Time Limitations Role Perceptions and Change Facilitators Figure 4-11 illustrates the division of the textual areas into the three common themes. Time Role Perception Change Facilitators Workload Misunderstanding of CCGALA Initial exposure to CCGALA In-service collaboration Self-perceived role as faculty member Student behaviors Changing teacher roles Continued professional development opportunities Need for experienced mentors Administrative support Cooperating teacher behaviors Figure 4-11. Emerging themes related to the pe rceived outcomes a nd experiences of elementary teachers using an ag ricultural literacy curriculum Theme 1: Time As each of the respondents was in his or her first or second year of teaching, many of the concerns expressed were in line with Fullers (1969) task concerns and the pressures of time. Throughout the interview pr ocess, the ten particip ants indicated a high level of concern for the limited amo unt of time in the teaching day. Perceived workload expectations emerge d as a seemingly insurmountable hurdle for many of the participan ts, regardless of self-repor ted use or non-use of the CCGALA. Time plays a factor for one member (ID 204) in her second year of teaching. Despite sporadically using agriculture as a teach ing context, her concerns centered on time required to learn new subject matter:

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107 I think, honestly, its just been a time issue this year. I feel lik e Ive had very little time to learn anything extra. Like, last year, I taught seve nth and eighth grade science and so I was just kind of focuse d on learning what I needed to teach and this year I got switched to fourth grade so I was learning all over again (laughs). Additionally, responses to the workload expectation were mired in meeting the demands of state standards through mandate d and scripted curri cula. All of the participants acknowledged the priority placed on grade level content standards in California. To assess if th e standards are being taught, focus is placed on taking standardized examinations and teaching the standards from mandated curriculum programs. As such, one member (ID 219) who taught in a low performing school classified her non-use of CCGALA as a situation rooted in survival mode: I really have to take it myself and incorpor ate it, and frankly, its hard just to teach just the state standards alone. Its been a challenge this year because there are so many and they are so obscure and I dont know, I dont like the curriculum, and we dont get any choices. Its ju st tough, and this year has been about survival. Its just been, I barely can do the standards, so I cant do anything extra. Ive been really stressed, so thats why. This is only my first year, so, later down the road when things, you know, calm down, and I ca n, I know what Im doing, that would obviously be an option. In contrast, one member, who reported using the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness from day one, indicated no difficulty in meeting state standards while using agriculture as th e teaching context. From her viewpoint, time was less of a factor because she was able to us e agriculture as an integrating factor that allowed her to go more deeply into concepts at a slower pace (ID 236): Im finding that Im meeting all of them using agriculture because Im using the standards and then just teaching them, you know, and theyre so general that its not difficult. You know, this is the base line and then you either do it, you either teach it on a superficial level or you go much deeper with it and using agriculture makes that a much deeper learning experi ence for them. So I find that if Im teaching to a standard and it didn t quite sink in, then Ill go to CCGALA and see whats suggested there and then try it that way and more often than not, it turns out that that was a successful way to teach the concept.

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108 Even when members referred to their student teaching experiences, workload perceptions were cited as major factors prev enting incorporation of agriculture into the curriculum. One member (ID 215), who made initial overtures about teaching with agriculture during his initial and full-time student teaching experiences, was told that there were too many time constraints: I did talk to the two master teachers that I had . and I did talk to them about integrating art into my lessons and that I ha d this interesting class with agriculturethe one that you taughtand th e response to that was, W ell, in the real world you really cant do that and were not set up fo r that, and yes we do have a garden out there that we walk through periodically, but its so mu ch effort, theres so little time because all the standards in math, r eading, language arts, P.E., science, all these other things, you know, that are be ing demanded and the science and social studies arent there yet, but theyre coming. They said that there is no time for the luxury of agriculture, but it would be nice to figure a way to do it. Another member (ID 207) focused on the scri pted, site adopted curriculum used to teach the grade level standards at her school: Probably the main thing is that this is my first year teaching and Im doing a scripted program, an intervention scripted program. Here, its SRA. Its the state adoptive program and its very scripted teachers up in the front and okay, say this, read this. Several time-themed components emerged fr om the narratives as they related to misunderstandings of the integration contex t of agriculture. Specifically, members repeatedly referred to use of the CCGALA as an additional curricular program, rather than as a means to meet the same standards that other programs were meeting. Therefore, members perceived CCGALA as a further strain on time already filled with other expectations. One 5th grade teacher in her first year of teaching (ID 247) characterized the use of an agricultural context as extraneous to other priorities: Theres so much in fifth grade that th eyre responsible for that, you know, if you deviate too much from a standard and do a qui ck lesson, it, then its (pause) so that would be my main deterrence; that theres just not time that you could fit it in. But I know that Im sure you can tie it into the standards in some ways, so just

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109 depending on how you organize in subjects. But yeah, also at the time there are constraints to be able to do activities that do incorporate agriculture It takes just so much time. Another member (ID 240), who did not classi fy herself as a teacher who uses the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness, expressed a desire to use CCGALA and agriculture as a teaching context, but misunderstanding of the CCGALA resulted in false manifestation of a set of agricultural standards: I think theyre similar to the guidelines or state standards we have to follow, so I dont think it would be any harder to inco rporate them. I thi nk its just a lot of times we see math and reading, writing as the most important things to get in and there are only so many hours in the day, so I think thats why a lot of the times it gets brushed off. But, I think its importa nt. Id like to use it more. I mean, I dont think its hard. A precursor to the state mandated and s ite adopted curricula r programs were the grade level state standards. To ensure th at students have an understanding of the concepts presented, and to provide a standa rd measure of group mean knowledge gained, California relies on standardized tests for colle cting such student data. One member (ID 240) indicated the pressure placed on the schoo l and her, from multiple levels, to provide students an opportunity to score well on the standardized examination as a need to spend extra time preparing the students strictly for test readiness: Part of it, they just wanted me to make sure that I was gettin g my students ready to take the state testing beca use state testing is, you know, forced on them heavily as well because they want the schools to do well. I work in a dual emersion classroom, so we had to, I think, spend a little extra time just because my students dont speak English very well. So that wa s a big priority, I think, coming from my administrator, and whoever is above them, to do well, to improve scores. Pressure to perform well on standardi zed examinations was echoed by member 247: Like, there's such a press to do well on the state test that they are so strict, with "this and this and this has to be taught." It leaves no time for learning, for me to have, you know, these really cr eative great lessons that take two to three days,

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110 because I need to cover, you know, I need to cover at leas t three chapters in three days, not one concept in three days. All of the interviewed members indicated a level of excitement about sharing their experiences in using agriculture as a context for teaching, regardless of whether their use was on a daily basis, or if it was comprised of a few sporadic lesson plans throughout the academic year. When the subject of collabo ration surfaced during the inquiry process, however, nearly all of the members seemed to be operating in isolation with respect to the use of agriculture as an integrating context. Time to work with others may have limited the extent of collaboration experiences fo r two members. Collaboration for them consisted of loaning other faculty member s their resources for teaching. Member 236 revealed this in her narrative: Well, Ive loaned the CCGALA book to both the kindergarten teacher and the fourth grade teacher. The fourth grade t eacher is a new teacher like me and shes so excited about agriculture. She has a butterfly unit going on and they set up a butterfly garden, and she was so excite d about the fourth grade curriculum. Another member not using the CCGALA (ID 209) disclosed during the interview that she occasionally made use of agricultura l lessons as a means to provide real world connections for students learning about mathem atical concepts. Despite the success she perceived her students experienced, she still lacked collaborative relationships with her academic peers: If I did any sort of work with it, it was just me looking back on what I collected from the course that I took at Cal Poly and going through my lit tle thin guidelines of first through third because I never got four through eight, which is really sad. And then, kind of going back through the le ssons that I had collected and seeing if there was anything there that I could use, so I didnt collaborate with anyone. It was just me, by myself, with resources that I already have. While their narratives present a mired viewpoint with resp ect to their current year of teaching, many of the members expressed a le vel of anticipation, parallel to the Moir

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111 Model (Joerger, 2002), for collaboration in th e coming years. As such, a fourth grade teacher from a suburban area (ID 204) said: Even moving to fifth grade next year, the teacher next door and I have been talking about maybe, like, Ill teach science and sh ell teach social studies for me, kind of switching. Another member (ID 211) who experienced no collaboration during her initial year of teaching expressed hope and anticipation about future collaborative opportunities: But I didn't take the time this year to colla borate with teachers about agriculture. That's probably something I'm going to be more, you know, apt to do when I've got my classroom set, because it'sI finally feel like everything in my classroom is going smoothly. Now maybe I can talk about other things like that; where now I'm "Okay, what's the best way to teach fracti ons?" (laughs) You know, I didn't really, I didn't really talk abou t agriculture that much. From a pre-service preparation standpoint nearly every non-user respondent cited time from initial exposure and experience with the CCGALA until obtaining a first teaching position as a hindrance to their use of the guidelines. The course through which the target population had initial exposure to the CCGALA was open to any junior, senior, or graduate level preservice elementary teache r. As such, some members enrolled in the course very early with respect to his or her target student t eaching date. Four of the six members who did not use agriculture as a context for teaching the grade level content area standards all cited the considerable time span from initial exposure to the guidelines until their first student teaching experience as a significant hindrance to using the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. All four of those respondents completed th e course a minimum of 18 months before beginning student teaching. For one member (ID 207), that time gap was a repeated theme within her narrative. When asked about her agricultural litera cy level changes, she

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112 alluded to a desire to use it as a teaching context, but had forgotten about the course and course materials: I think I definitely increased my literacy in agriculture just from taking your course at Cal Poly in the summertime and I don t know, increased it by maybe say 40%. And I would, like I said, Im just kind of bus y with everything. You forget about it, but I definitely think it is a good way, esp ecially with low level students, to get them, its more of a hands on type of appr oach to curriculum. So I think it would be something thats definitely benefici al for them to use in the classroom. Later in the interview, th e member struggled to reca ll the ease of use of the CCGALA: Um, honestly its been what, two or three y ears, I cant really remember them but I think when I used them in class that they re fairly easy to use. I dont remember like them being difficult to understand. Furthermore, when asked about factor s that may have prohibited her from incorporating the curriculum innovation in to her teaching repe rtoire, she said: Honestly, just like forgetting about that class because I took that class and then I think I went into my, um, credentialing pr ogram. I think it might have been right maybe even in the beginning of the credenti aling program but I kind of just put it in the past and forgot about it, even tho ugh I enjoyed it so much, but just, you know, you put it on the side, you put it on a shelf and dont look at it. Finally, she concluded the interview with a statement that, while it reinforced Hall and Hords (1987) need for change facilitati on, was deeply rooted in concern regarding time left in the school year: Just, after thinking about th is and talking, I want to go home and pull out my stuff and look through the stuff that we did in cl ass and see if I can incorporate anything into, probably this year theres only like three weeks left. Maybe not, but, you know, depending on what I teach next year. I remember you can integrate it into pretty much any subject. During student teaching, another member a lluded to the time that had passed after initial exposure (ID 247): I would just say that Id been so busy and caught up in student teaching and um, school, graduating in general, but I kind of probably just forgot, you know. I mean,

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113 I have all my resources but having it on my schedule and I know I need to teach this lesson, that lesson and so I just, it probably just kind of passed my mind. I might have shoved it in my drawer, all my stuff in a drawer a nd I havent looked at a lot of it, so that would be my reason or excuse. Later in the interview, she used the lapse in time as justification for needing followup training and facilitation by role models and mentors: During the class, it was so exciting, but it wa s a year and half late r that I started my student teaching. So I think part of that I kind of lost it, but maybe seeing other teachers model and use it al so, that would be very good. A third non-user member (ID 240) expressed a need for more resources and guidelines to use agriculture as an integrating context. Her narrative, however, revealed a realization that she already possessed many resources, but th e time span contributed to her forgetting about the resources: The only thing, I mean, I probably have resour ces down in my closet of all, where I can go to get ideas and stuff, um, but maybe just more ideas on like projects like Project Learning Tree, um, so more suggesti ons, just so I have a, um something to choose from. When asked to describe an understanding of the CCGALA, the gap between initial exposure and teaching practice emerge d in the narrative of member 219: Well, its pretty much the st andards of agriculture, from what I understand. Just the basic, its been so long since we took the cl ass. Pretty much, I think, since I teach English, thats, and its middle school, its just low priority, as far as teaching, I dont really remember much, its just th e basics, anything, ev erything related to agriculture, is what I remember. Theme 2: Role Perceptions Another consistent theme that emerged from the narratives pertained to how members viewed themselves as faculty member s, and how that view affected their level of comfort in introducing the CCGALA as a suggested or preferred method of delivery. Additionally, the members articulated perceive d changes in their roles in the classroom and in the behaviors exhibited by their students.

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114 To begin with, many of the members likened themselves to inexperienced new professionals who were relegated to listeni ng to the wisdom of the veteran teachers during faculty and department meetings. One fi rst year teacher, who taught in an urban public school (ID 211), related her experiences in department meetings dominated by older teachers. In contrast, however, she i ndicated that if the older teachers introduced the topic of teaching agriculture, she w ould be more inclined to contribute: I'm more just soaking up their advice and information, like writing everything down and taking in all their ideas, finding out what works best for me and how I can incorporate it into my classroom. If they were talking about how to incorporate agriculture into their classroom, I would ha ve definitely talked about that more. Another member (ID 209) revealed in her na rrative an insecurity of not wanting to stray from the curric ular status quo: I think part of it is just being a first y ear teacher and being into it, you kind of go with the basic plan that everyone else has already set up. I dont want to feel like the new kid stepping out of line and you wa nt to kind of follow suit with what everyone else is doing. Still another member (ID 219) vilifie d herself for her inexperience: I feel like I know nothing, so I feel like I can t really contribute. I know thats not true, but since I feel like whenever th ey ask, Oh, what do you think we should do about this? I just feel like, well, I dont know, I dont know anything yet, Im still new, and I still have a lot to learn. Whereas many members taught in large schools with multiple faculty members functioning as grade level teams, member 236 is the only first grade teacher at her school. As such, she indicated a specific level of perceived responsibility to her students in representing their needs and interests: Because theres only one voice per grade, I feel its my responsibility to speak up and be vocal and its very supportive so if you do have, you know, anything that you want to share or bring ideas to the tabl e, theyre definitely open to suggestions.

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115 Despite the preponderance of na rrative evidence of insecu rity in the presence of their teaching peers, that diffidence ceased when they described their changing role as teachers. The self-discovery and realization that their roles as teachers, when using an agricultural context, had shifte d from that of espousers of know ledge to facili tators of the learning process recurred thr oughout the inquiry process. As member 211 explained, her students evolved into a peer to peer teaching situation, so she realized that she had more time to move among the students and answer th eir questions, rather than having to stand at the front of the room and function as the sole source of information: I kind of walk around and I just answer quest ions that are posed to me. There's a lot of hands-on stuff through every one [le sson] that I've done. It's been group work and I just go around. I'm more like there for guidance. Even though one member did not have an existing agricu ltural background (ID 240), she did not allow her inexperience to ha mper her use of agri culture as a teaching context. As such, she revealed how she was being more overt in her conversations with the students to build and constr uct their own learning experiences: I didnt know, so I encourag ed them to go on their own and find that out, bring it back and share it with us, so they can teach us something; and so encouraging them to take control of their own learning because they dont always learn in a classroom. Another aspect that emerged from the narr atives was the level of enthusiasm that the members enjoyed from using agriculture as a teaching context. Member 212 experienced an increased ag ricultural literacy level after initia l exposure to the CCGALA and explained the perceived effect of her enthusiasm on her students: I find that Im actually interested in agricu lture. I was never one to be in 4-H and that kind of thing. I was more of a tennis pl ayer sort of girl, bu t after that class and just a few other things, I got more interest ed in science, and just how agriculture affects people and their lives. So I think that just by being interested in something, youre more likely to tell other people about it, and so it obviously comes up in, in my lessons and I get all amped up about it in a lesson. The more Im amped on

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116 it, the more theyre going to be, even if th eyre not interested in whatever the lesson is. Its just me being excited about it. It s going to excite them to, to learn about more different things that may interest them. Across the sample, members perceived that students were engaged, enthusiastic, and using multiple modalities throughout the lesson cycle when agriculture was used as an integrating context. Additionally, members perceived that, when using an agricultural context, the real world connection made grade level standard concepts more concrete to the students. Despite describing herself as a non-user, member 247 related a lesson she taught using vegetables to teach students mathematical concepts: Theyre more excited about it. The plan t that they were taking measurements on was something that they can really conn ect to, and rather than learning a math equation on the board, theyre in there w ith their hands on it and its exciting for them. So I would say that it helps so much, and its exciting as a teacher because you want to see your kids excited about it rather than just, you know, you have your good students that will do all the work th at you tell them to do, but then there are those that dont and so, for thos e kids, they rea lly get involved. Another member (ID 240) noticed a hei ghtened motivation in her students to spontaneously bring items from home related to the aquaculture unit in which they were engaged. She was unexpectedly surprised by the extension of learning outside the classroom. Well, I would expect the students to be more excited about the learning, because what were doing right now is more, um, it s not so much like seat work. They arent sitting at their seat and practicing their math facts or sitting at their seats and practicing writing a paragra ph, but they actually get to see something from outside the classroom. I think that gets them excited because its something new, something they see thats not at school th at they can continue to learn about when schools over. So, I expected them to be excited about it and they have been. Um, unexpected would be kids that bring stu ff in from home. I hadnt thought about that, kids taking it home and talking to their families about it and, and extending their learning that way. That was unexpected.

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117 When talking about her per ceptions of what happens in her classroom when she uses agriculture as a teaching context, me mber 211 discussed the change in student interaction: The students are collaborating a lot more. They're asking me questions. And I like that I can go around to each little group. There are st udents who need a lot more help and then there are my hi ghest students who can just sa il at it. So that's why I'm even thinking about changing this week and I'm just going to put them back into groups for good for the rest of the year now that testing is over and stuff, so this will be a benefit to the cooperative groups. I think the students helping each other out and then me being able to do a lot more one-on-one with them during those activities. Still another respondent, who classified he rself as a non-user (ID 209), related an experience where she used a hands-on approach to teaching the food guide pyramid. Her narrative overtly pointed to in creased student engagement: For that small part of the lesson they we re more engaged than, say, me standing up talking at them, where they have to sit ther e and listen to me. So anything that they get to be involved in, more hands on with themselves, you see the level of interest peak more so than just having to listen to me talk all day. Student self-esteem and opportunity for succe ss are central to the narrative of one first grade teacher (ID 236). She perceived that her lower ability level students were more engaged in class when learni ng utilized an agricultural context: Students who tend to be a little bit more w ithdrawn or just kind of indifferent about the lesson get so engaged and excited about what were doing and participate more. You dont have to have taught them anything, specifically, to be ab le to come into one of the lessons on agriculture and, as I sa id, its just what they know before. So maybe a student who isnt able to be su ccessful in reading right now, which is really big, knowing that theyr e interested in the different elements of agriculture, you can bring that in right away and then they feel successful and intelligent and that theyre adding to the class; where nor mally, in a class that is so focused on language arts and math, if those arent thei r strong points, then theyre not able to feel as successful as maybe other students.

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118 Theme 3: Change Facilitators As delineated in Chapter 2, a change facilita tor serves as a key factor in the success or failure of an educational innovation. Typi cally characterized as principals, teachers, and/or other district personne l in an educational system these individuals provide assistance to innovation users as they develop the confidence and competence needed to sustain successful use of an innovation (Hall & Hord, 1987). The perceived needs of the respondents as they discussed beginn ing and/or sustained use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness reflected both the lack of, and the need for, change facilitation via multiple dimensions. Furthermore, anecdotes of cooperating teacher behaviors emerged as crit ical components from the viewpoint of the beginning teachers. Members repeatedly expressed a desire to see lessons from ot her teachers who are using the CCGALA. That desire extended to a need for mentor teachers to not only share materials and resources, but to provide obs ervational opportunities whereby the mentor teachers would model integration of agricultura l lessons across the curriculum standards. The members indicated that ha ving a set of teachers with whom they could collaborate and learn from would assist them in stre ngthening their comfort and confidence level using agriculture as an integra ting context. Member 247 said: I have all of the resources, but sometimes its hard to apply those without seeing a lot of, you know, seeing someone model it or do it for you, so that sometimes can be difficult I always l earn a lot from the other teach ers, you know, at the school sites and even my cooperating teacher and others. That was echoed by a member who taught ei ghth grade (ID (207). Her perception of herself as an inexperienced new teacher revealed:

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119 Probably because I am so new at teachi ng and the subject, eighth grade middle school level, that maybe observing someone who uses it, maybe with math or observe lesson plans that somehow theyve in corporated it into their teaching style. Another member (ID 209) touched on her la ck of previous ag ricultural knowledge when she indicated a need for role models a nd mentors who regularly use agriculture as a context for teaching: I think if I had someone at my school th at was like, You know [name deleted], I kind of do it this way, you know, I use agri culture in the classroom to help teach other things. It would help encourage me Like if I have to start running around myself, I dont necessarily thi nk that I would be able to do it. And also I dont have, you know, that much background with it or supplementary materials or lesson plan ideas that I could help integr ate it in through all of my teaching, so I think thats a bit of a road block. Another method of change fac ilitation the participants pe rceived would assist them to begin and sustain use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness is through regular professional de velopment activities. Member 240 outlined a specific outline for a day long workshop that paralleled workshops she had previously attended: Maybe if agricultural people came into th e classroom and showed how a lesson can be done in the classroom and then, uh, di rected us where we could go for the resources. And the second half of the da y was collaboration between teachers and how they wanted to use it. An alternative to a one-day workshop was presented by member 209 in the form of a conference relate d directly to the CCGALA. She indicated that di strict level support and sponsorship of professional development activities would serve as an endorsement and encouragement for teachers to attend: If there is some way that the districts were involved and offered some sort of you know, Hey, if youre interest ed in implementing, you know, CCGALA into your classroom, were having a conference or were having a Saturday where you can come and learn all these things and get expos ure and see sample le ssons. I think if teachers had the ability to see that sort of thing then that w ould definitely spark

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120 their interest and be like, Oh, my gosh, I could do that I could use that in my classroom. I could implement that. One member who regularly uses agricultu re as an integrating context (ID 204) indicated that multiple exposures to agricu ltural curriculum as a preservice student already served to solidify her use of it as a teacher: The basic thing was that we worked togeth er and developed units that they wanted us to use. Like, one person, one group, did worms, and then our group did seeds, (laughs), so thats probably why I still teach it so mu ch because its engrained. Hall and Hord (1987) indicated that princi pals can contribute si gnificantly in their role as a change facilitator with as little as what they termed a one-legged interview. Specifically, a one-legged interview is compri sed of an interacti on between the change facilitator and the i nnovation user lasting about as long as a person can stand on one leg without losing his or her balance. Exchange s during this time may be as simple as a principal inquiring about the use of the innovation and the teachers comfort level with the innovation. Simply showing interest in wh at the teacher is doing, and how well he or she is handling the change, may be enough to su stain use and enthusiasm by the teacher. The respondents in this study were no different in their need for administrative support of the CCGALA. For the participant who taught first grade and used agriculture as the integrating context from day one (ID 236), her administrati on played a critical role in her sustained use: And, as far as administrative support, anyt hing that Ive done in class that is, you know, above and beyond what has been done before and that includes all the, you know, hands-on science experiments and activities weve been doing, theyre completely supportive of a nd excited about and wanti ng to know more about.

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121 Other participants shared a de sire for implementation of the CCGALA to be facilitated at a higher level of administration. Notably, me mber 209 expressed a need for district-driven implementation to break through the barrier of mandated curricula: I think that would be really helpful, but its also the kind of whole support from the district level because, as much as I think that, if I were to implement something like that in my classroom, as much as I think my principal or department head would be like, Wow thats really nove l, thats really something different. At the same time, I also think he would be like, Tha ts nice and all, but you need to focus on what we need to go through and meet st andards like youre supposed to. You really need to get through the reading adoption or you do really need to get through the math adoption. So I think, I mean as gr eat as it would be to start at the teacher level, I think where it needs to start is at the district level and trying it that way because it can kind of umbrella effect out to all of the teachers in the district. Finally, cooperating teacher behaviors were discussed as significant factors, from both a positive and a negative perspective, in the educational innovation adoption process. For all of these new profe ssionals, cooperating teacher ch ange facilitation, or the lack thereof, contributed significantly in the members decisions to use the CCGALA. Some members received positive feedback a nd encouragement from their cooperating teachers, while others had less positive experiences. For one member (ID 236), her cooperating te acher served as a change facilitator by allowing her to use the innovati on in class, and by reinforc ing the teaching technique via further use: Oh, she loved it. She thought it was a great idea and it made the children very engaged immediately and we did all the wo rk outside and they thought it was so cool to be outside, Wow, we never go out side. And then when we came back inside the classroom they just had a wea lth of information to put down on paper. We did, you know, brainstorm, they all s houted their ideas out on the board and you know, wrote some of their suggestions and then they were able to just write, and so my master teacher was, Oh, my gosh were going to do this more often, you know, go outside and use our resour ces that we have out there.

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122 A cooperating teacher who was already using agriculture as an integrating context served as a positive change facilitator for member 212. Her cooperating teachers experience and influence were be neficial in increasing her aw areness and appreciation for a myriad of resources available: Yeah, she had a great resource, you know, t ons of resources. But, she was very open to my, you know, instructions and What if we do this and you know, kind of modifying her own lessons. But, yeah, it was, it was great be cause she had such a knowledge of agriculture and science in he r own classroom that I could easily just enhance that and build onto that. Many of the members reported timidity in in troducing the idea of agriculture as an integrating context. Rather, those members simply continued within the same teaching vein the cooperating teacher had previously established. The issue of timidity was clear with a teach er who primarily teaches language arts (ID 219): Well, I, its not that I didnt have a choi ce there, its just I had my master teacher, when they told me, Okay, so this is wh at were doing. So this is what youre gonna take over, and I took over math, and it was just like fractions. I would just do whatever they told me. Member 215, despite being 52 years old at the time of student teaching, was another person reluctant to suggest a change in lesson delivery from what the cooperating teacher was already doing: Because the teachers had their, their curricu lum in place already it wasnt part of, it wasnt part of theirs and I wasnt go ing to just bring in my own, you know, uh ways of doing things. I mean, it wasnt fair to the kids to right there shock them with a new approach. So, what was wo rking, worked and I just followed through with that and was, when the new reading program was implemented and I took it over, it was just follow through on this. It relates to what they already learned. But, agriculture wasnt part of their teaching. For other members who did not use the CCGALA during student teaching, their narratives revealed reluctance on the part of the cooperating teacher in allowing the

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123 student teacher flexibility a nd creativity in lesson design and delivery. Even when timidity was not an issue, the cooperating teache rs attitude toward the change in context was not positive. Such was the case wh en member 211 approached her cooperating teacher about using agricultural lessons: I don't think I pulled in too much agricultur al stuff, actually, be cause that was my first student teaching experience. I kind of just taught what the teacher did. She used absolutely nonothing besides worksh eets. It was worksheet after worksheet after worksheet. And I tried to present her with neat litt le activities, but I had to do exactly what she had to do. Even when approaching her cooperating teacher again, this member was still discouraged from using the CCGALA. I even remember asking her one time if th ere was a garden at that school, because, you know, we learned about A Garden in Every School I don't remember the exact name of it-but there was information on that in our class. I asked her about that. And she said "Oh, one was started awhile a go." It was in a fenced area behind her classroom. So I went and looked at it. There was nothing there. Nothing was growing. It was just this dirt, this rectangle of dirt, you know, marked off by a chain fence. I asked her if we could do stuff in it. She just said "No time. No time. No time, which seems kind of ridiculous now that I'm teaching. She could have made time if she wanted to make time. So that was all dictatorship, pretty much. She gave me what she wanted copied for the week and I was to be teaching those things. So . Yeah, it's too bad. Sh e should have taken the class (laughter). For two other members, they recalled using agriculture during their student teaching experiences, but not necessarily as an integrating context, nor as a part of something that they introduced. Member 247s narrative described a cooperating teacher who viewed agriculture as a fun, yet extraneous activity: She has been teaching so long, she does it, you know, kind of as a fun activity and the kids love it. I mean, theyre measur ing and doing different things so its definitely educational, but I wouldnt say th at she had looked at it as much as an agricultural, um, experience.

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124 Member 207s cooperating teacher had alr eady planned for a seed planting lesson in her curriculum before the st udent teachers arrival. As such, the member had no say in what was taught, and gave no overt thought to its use as an integrating context: I never looked at the standa rds for teaching agriculture. It was just part of the curriculum that the teacher, master teach er I was working with, wanted to do. Summary This chapter presented the findings of this study as they pertained to the outlined objectives. The objectives were to: (1) desc ribe elementary teachers attitudes and perceptions of agriculture as a context for teaching elementary students; (2) describe elementary teachers current stages of concern with respect to implementing an agricultural literacy curriculum; (3) describe el ementary teachers current levels of use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness ; (4) delineate the essential components for ideal, acceptable, and unacceptable implementation of an agricultural literacy curriculum; (5 ) describe the innovation configurations that teachers employed while implementing an ag ricultural literacy curriculum; and (6) describe the perceived outcomes experien ced by teachers who adopted the agricultural literacy curriculum. The findings presented in this chapter will be discussed in greater detail in Chapter 5. Discussion of these findings, conclusions, implications, and recommendations for both researchers and practitioners will also be presented in Chapter 5.

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125 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS The purpose of this study was to explore th e concerns, levels of use, and innovation configurations of elementary teachers in their use and sustained adoption of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness (CCGALA) as a resource for teaching the California state e ducational standards in grades kindergarten through eight. Objectives The objectives of this study were to: 1. Describe elementary teachers attitudes and perceptions of agriculture as a context for teaching elementary students. 2. Describe elementary teachers current stages of concern with respect to implementing an agricultur al literacy curriculum. 3. Describe elementary teachers current levels of use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness 4. Delineate the essential components for i deal, acceptable, and unacceptable implementation of an agricultural literacy curriculum. 5. Describe the innovation configurations th at teachers employed while implementing an agricultural literacy curriculum. 6. Describe the perceived outcomes e xperienced by teachers who adopted the agricultural literacy curriculum. Methods The guiding research objectives were a ddressed via an integrating methods approach. The target population was compri sed of all preservice elementary teachers who had enrolled in and completed AGC X424: Organizing and Teaching K-6 Standards

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126 and Awareness in Agricultural Literacy at a West Coast university ( N =48). Current contact information could not be obtained for six of the population members, thereby reducing the accessible population to 42 members. After the initial survey instrument was returned by 36 of the respondents (85.7% re sponse rate), a sample of 10 participants was purposively selected based on the self -reported number of days teaching using agriculture as an integrating context for teac hing across the grade leve l content standards. Four participants who in dicated they used the CCGALA and six who indicated no use of agriculture as a context for teaching were selected for follow-up participation in the study. Three instruments were used to assess respondent attitudes toward agriculture, stages of concern, and levels of use with respect to the ag ricultural literacy curriculum program. The first instrument was admini stered to the accessible population in its entirety, while the remaining two instruments were administered to only the ten members of the purposively selected sample. The initial instrument was researcher de veloped and designed to assess elementary teacher attitudes toward agriculture and using agriculture as an integrating context. The instrument utilized a five point Likert-type scale to measure two a ttitudinal constructs. Mean scores for each construct were summar ily obtained by adding the total score of all items comprising each respective construct. Demographic data were also collected via this instrument. Utilizing the Concerns Based Adoption Model (Hall & Hord, 2001), stages of concern and levels of use regarding the CCGALA were assessed. The Stages of Concern Questionnaire was modified to specifically address the agricultura l literacy curriculum

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127 program in question. Hall and Hords (2001) Stages of Concern Quick Scoring Device was used to provide a portrait of each members first and second highest relative intensity stages of concern. Theoretical test/retest re liability ratings for the Stages of Concern Questionnaire were evaluated by Hall and Hord (2001) and ranged from .65 to .86. Internal consistency alpha-coeffi cients ranged from .64 to .83 (2001). The Level of Use Branching Interview Pr otocol (Hall & Hord, 2001) functioned as the instrument used to assess the level in wh ich each participant fell with respect to how he or she used the CCGALA. Hall and Hord evaluated validity of the protocol by comparing intensive interview ratings against the protocol. The re searchers reported a correlation of .98 between the field observers ratings and the interviewers Level of Use ratings (2001). A modified Delphi method was employed to develop the Innova tion Configurations Map for the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. A list of developers was obtained from the gr ant project coordinator from which electronic mail was sent requesting their participati on in the construction of the innovation configurations map. Twenty de velopers agreed to participate, of which 13 completed all three rounds of the Delphi. In accordan ce with recommendations by Hall and Hord (2001) in carrying out the construction of an innovation configurations map, there were three open-ended questions init ially asked of the developers: (1) What would one observe in classrooms where CCGALA is used well? (2) What w ould one observe in classrooms where CCGALA is not being used well? (3) What will teachers and students do when CCGALA is in use?

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128 The responses to those three questions were reduced to common statements and organized into one of six components. Furthe r, developer responses served as the basis for the organization of variati ons of each component. Developers were asked during the second round to indicat e their preference of ideal, acceptable, or unacceptable as it pertained to each variation under a given comp onent. Round 2 responses resulted in an organized checklist of components with variat ions demarcated into a respective category deemed as ideal, acceptable, or unacceptable. The third round sought opinion convergence by the participants as they were asked only to agree or disagree with the arrangement of the chec klist as it emerged from the re sults. A unanimous response was obtained from the developers and they were in agreement with the checklist. In accordance with recommendations by H eck, Stiegelbauer, Hall, and Loucks (1981), CCGALA respondents were asked to describe their use of CCGALA Further questions and probes related to responses pr ovided by the participants were captured and analyzed to distinguish us e of the component s identified in th e general innovation configuration map. Each res pondents self-reported use of CCGALA was then categorized as ideal acceptable or unacceptable Finally, an in-depth, semi-structured in terview was conducted with each of the members of the purposively selected sample Following a phenome nological research perspective and methodology, this study fo cused on elementary teachers attitudes toward, and experiences with, the use of agri culture as a context for teaching across the elementary content areas. Following transc ription of the interviews, each members responses were critically reflected upon a nd analyzed using only the participants language for the thematic reduction. Eleven thematic areas were identified as they

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129 pertained to the participants experiences and outcomes throughout the adoption decision process with the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. Following relevant textual analysis, narratives were further analyzed and reduced to repeating themes. Three common themes arose from the textual areas: Time Limitations R ole Perceptions and Change Facilitators Summary of Findings The findings of this study were summar ized using the objectives outlined in Chapter 1. Objective One The first objective sought to describe elemen tary teachers attitudes and perceptions of agriculture as a context for teaching el ementary students. Further, demographic indicators of the population were obtained a nd reported in this objective. Demographic results indicated the accessible population was comprised of 88.9% female respondents ( n =32) with an average age of 25 years. Respond ents were asked to indicate if they were currently teaching. If so, they were asked to in dicate their use, if a ny, of agriculture as an integrating context for teaching across the grade level standards. The 31 currently teaching members reported a mean of 1.3 year s in the classroom. Of the 31 members currently holding a teaching position, 14 repor ted not using any agricultural lessons to teach elementary students. Seventeen member s reported using agriculture to teach across the grade level content standards, but only eight of those responde nts were using the CCGALA as a resource for teaching. Participants expressed relatively favorabl e attitudes toward agriculture and toward its use as a means to teach elementary student s across the grade level content standards. The mean attitudinal score across the 36 respondents in the attitude toward agriculture

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130 construct was 23.92 with a range of 18 to 30. The attitude toward agriculture construct was comprised of seven items. The mean attitudinal score across the 36 respondents in the attitude toward using agriculture as c ontext for teaching elementary students was 82.67 with a range of 62 to 96. The attitude toward using agr iculture as context for teaching elementary students construct was comprised of 21 items. Objective Two This objective sought to describe elementa ry teachers current stages of concern with respect to implementing an agricultural literacy curriculum. Following selection of the purposive sample, interview appointments were established with the ten sample participants. In accordance with the recomm endations of Hall, George, and Rutherford (1998a), the Stages of Concern Quick Scoring Device was used to analyze data collected using the Stages of Concern Questionnaire. Individual peak stages of concern were identified for each member and the relative intensity for each stage was presented. As a group, the four members who indicated use of the CCGALA all registered at four different peak stages of concern. The four stages were awareness, informational, personal, and collaboration respectively. Six members reported not using agriculture as an integrating context. These members registered highest relative in tensity concerns evenly between the awareness and informational stages Objective Three This objective sought to describe elementary teachers current levels of use of the CCGALA. The Level of Use Branching Interv iew Protocol (Hall & Hord, 2001) was administered to the members following the st ages of concern questionnaire. Secondary analysis was conducted following recomme ndations outlined by Loucks, Newlove, and

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131 Hall (1998) whereby transcript data were analyzed for st atements indicating member level of use of the agricultural literacy curriculum. The results from the Branching Interview Protocol coincided with the data lifted from participant narratives. Four of the members who reported no use of agriculture as an integrating context registered at the non-use level. The remaining two members who indicated no use of agriculture as an integrat ing context registered levels of use at the orientation level. The four members who re ported using the agricultural literacy curriculum were distributed among the mechanical ( n =1), routine ( n =2), and refinement ( n =1) levels of use. Typical responses at ea ch respective level of use were reviewed and member narrative examples were lifted from the transcripts as they emerged relative to the level of use. Objective Four This objective sought to de lineate the essential com ponents and variations for ideal, acceptable, and unacceptable implementation of an agricu ltural literacy curriculum. Based on the three rounds of the modified Delphi, as outlined in Chapter 3, the participants word picture descriptions resu lted in six components of consideration pertaining to the CCGALA. The six components included (1) use of CCGALA and recommended curricular resources, (2) crossdisciplinary state educational standards are addressed using an agricultural context, (3) experiential lear ning opportunities, (4) instructional approach, (5) student assessmen t, and (6) lesson presentation and purpose. Within each of the emerging components, there were variation descriptors identified and the participants, via the Delphi process, indicated into which category of ideal, acceptable, or unacceptable each descriptor fell. The number of variations within each component ranged from three to five de scriptors, and the leve l of acceptability of

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132 each variation was determined via participant response in Round 2 of the process. Final opinion convergence was sought and obtained with unanimous participant agreement with the final appearance and content of the innovation configurations map. Objective Five This objective sought to describe the innovation configurations that teachers employed while implementing an agricultural li teracy curriculum. The narratives from each participant were reviewed, analyzed, and classified as ideal, acceptable, or unacceptable by component. Because the innovation configurations map was developed concurrently with the investigation of part icipant experiences as they related to the CCGALA, narrative evidence pertaining to every component may not have emerged from every participant. Whenever data were absent relative to a particular component, assessment of that component was omitted from this study. Six of the sample members indicated they did not use the CCGALA as a means to teach across the grade level content standard s; therefore, each was classified as unacceptable in his or her use as it pe rtained to Component 1 (ide ntified in Objective 4). Supporting statements from within each member s narrative supported that classification. Of the four sample members who indicated they used the CCGALA, two members narratives revealed statements they were using the CCGALA and agriculture in an unacceptable manner. The remaining two me mbers who indicated use of the CCGALA registered statements classifying them as ideal and ideal/acceptable respectively, as related to Component 1. Three of the four self -reported users of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness provided supporting narrative statements related to the second component of the innovation configura tions map. Their statements indicated one

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133 was at an ideal level, one was at an acceptable level, and the third was borderline acceptable/unacceptable The fourth users narrative lacked specific reference to using agriculture across the content area standards. Five of the six self-reported non-users made statements congruent with the unacceptable variation of Component 2. Th e sixth non-user alluded to an acceptable configuration in using agriculture to t each across the content area standards. With respect to providing experiential le arning opportunities for students, all four of the self-reported CCGALA users employed configura tions that were either acceptable or ideal Only two of the six non-users employed acceptable configurations of Component 3. The remaining four non-users fell into the unacceptable category. All four of the self-reported CCGALA users employed acceptable ( n =2), borderline ideal/acceptable ( n =1), or ideal ( n =1) configurations for Component 4. None of the nonusers utilized unacceptable configurations with respect to instructional approach. However, two of the six non-user s lacked narrative statements re lative to this component. The remaining four utilized acceptable ( n =3) or ideal ( n =1) configurations. Nine of the ten members lacked narrative statements alluding to student assessment as delineated in Component 5. The singl e member who provided evidence in her narrative regarding assessment indicated an ideal configuration with respect to this component. Only one of the 10 members provided narra tive statements relative to the sixth component. His statements indicated he employed configurations related to lesson presentation and purpose that bordered between ideal and acceptable

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134 Objective Six This objective sought to describe the pe rceived outcomes experienced by teachers who adopted the agricultural literacy curriculu m. Through qualitative inquiry analysis of the narratives provided by the members, the thematic reduction yiel ded results containing three themes. Members focused on (1) time limitations, (2) role perceptions, and (3) change facilitation as themes contributing to the decision process i nvolved with choosing to use the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness as an integrating means to teach across the elementary content area standards. Conclusions The sample in this study was not randomly drawn from the target population. With this limitation in mind, and based on the findi ngs, the following conclusions were drawn: 1. Elementary teachers expressed generally favorable attitudes and perceptions about agriculture and about agricultures use as an integrating context to teach across the content area standards. 2. Elementary teachers who were initially expos ed to an agricultural literacy program, but who lacked preservice and in-servi ce practice and experience with that program, exhibited either little concern or involvement with the innovation, or had a general awareness of and interest in learning more about the innovation. 3. Elementary teachers having preservice and in-service experience and practice with the agricultural literacy curriculum innova tion were less homogeneous in their individual highest stages of concern, and demonstrated a propensity to move toward more substantive stages of concern. 4. Elementary teachers who were initially expos ed to an agricultural literacy program, and who reported preservice and in-servi ce experience and practice using the program, were at higher levels of use than their non-agricultur al literacy program contemporaries were. 5. When considering ideal, acceptable, a nd unacceptable implementation of an agricultural literacy curric ulum, the six components delineated by the panel of experts were (1) use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness and curricular resources; (2 ) cross-disciplinary state educational standards are addressed using an agricultural context; (3) experiential

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135 learning opportunities; (4) in structional approach; (5) student assessment; and (6) lesson presentation and purpose. 6. When using an agricultural literacy cu rriculum, elementary teachers employed a variety of innovation configura tions related to each identi fied essential component. With the exception of experiential le arning opportunities an d instructional approach, elementary teachers generally articulated misunderstanding and misuse of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness and agricultural curricular resour ces as a context for teaching across the content area standards. 7. When using agriculture as a context for te aching across the content area standards, elementary teachers generally descri bed three themes encompassing their experiences and perceived outcomes. Specifically, those themes include a preoccupation with time, percep tion of their roles as teac hers and faculty members, and changes in student behavior, and an overwhelming partiality toward change facilitation. Discussion and Implications Objective One: Describe elementary te achers attitudes and perceptions of agriculture as a context for teaching elementary students. Conclusion: Elementary teachers expre ssed generally favorable attitudes and perceptions about agriculture and about agricultures use as an integrating context to teach across the content area standards. Agriculture in the Classr oom coordination of agricu ltural literacy programs, materials, and conferences has been under the auspices of the United States Department of Agriculture since 198 1 (United States Department of Ag riculture, 2005). Historically, attitudinal studies have shown that elementary teachers perceive agriculture as a positive means for teaching students abstract con cepts via a common context (Balschweid, Thompson, & Cole, 1998; Harris & Birkenhol z, 1996; Humphrey, Stewart, & Linhardt 1994; Knobloch & Martin, 2000; Swortzel, 1997; Trexler, & Suvedi, 1998). Moreover, members of the target population in this study elected to take the course that contributed to initial exposure to the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness in lieu of another required course for thei r major. To that end, it was expected

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136 that the target popula tion of elementary te achers in this study would have generally favorable attitudes toward agri culture and its use as an inte grating context in kindergarten through eighth grade classes. The concern with this and previous st udies was in the disparity between the positive attitudes and the reported use of each respective agricultural literacy curriculum program. Swortzel (1997) reported that Ohio elementary teachers used AgVenture Magazine an average of only 8.6 hours per school year. Lack of time, interest, and knowledge about that agricultural literacy program were the primary reasons noted for not using the program. Similarly, 61.2% of pa rticipants in a program designed to assist teachers with the integration of agriculture into existing coursework used less than 20 agricultural lessons in an academic year (Balschweid, Thompson, & Cole, 1998). Barriers to curriculum adoption in that study were tied to time, access to resources, and inconsistency in teaching appointments from year to year. Consistent with these and other studies, this study rev ealed that 52.8% of the targ et population was not using agriculture as an integrating context despite having favorable attitudes toward agriculture. Whereas this study may have terminated at the jejune leve l of investigation achieved by its predecessors, th e qualitative dimension allowe d for a deeper explanation of the conflict between elemen tary teachers attitude and action as it pertains to the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. Specifically, the sample participants narratives indicated a le vel of enthusiasm for agriculture and its use as a context for teaching that reinforced the favorable results of the quantitative instrument administered to the target population. Alt hough they were not asked to comment on the initial exposure to the cu rriculum guidelines, all of the sample

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137 respondents alluded to how much they enjoye d learning about agricu lture while enrolled in the preservice course. They perceived ag riculture as a means for students to connect learning in a manner that is relevant to the world around them. However, as is evidenced as a recurri ng theme in this study, many were mired in Fullers self and task concerns of new pr ofessionals seeking to carry out the demands of their teaching load (as ci ted in Hall and Hord, 2001). Ma ny were concerned with the day to day concerns of teaching state manda ted curriculum, and perceived no control over curricular decisions both within their teaching team and at their school site. Although the teachers expressed a general desire to teach agriculture, their perception of it as something extraneous to the existing state st andards resulted in many of them viewing an agricultural context as less than utile in meeting their prescr ibed curricular obligations. Notably, through the interview process, many of the non-users expressed an inclination to revisit the materials for the subsequent academic year and begin to implement an agricultural context ab ovo Objective Two: Describe elementary te achers current stages of concern with respect to implementing an agr icultural literacy curriculum. Conclusion: Elementary teachers who w ere initially exposed to an agricultural literacy program, but who lacked p reservice and in-service practice and experience with that program, exhibited ei ther little concern or involvement with the innovation, or had a general awarene ss of and interest in learning more about the innovation. Elementary teachers h aving preservice and in-service experience and practice with the agricultural lit eracy curriculum innovation were less homogeneous in their individual highest stages of concern, and demonstrated a propensity to move into more substantive stages of concern. Because they were in the first or second y ear of teaching, it was expected that most of the participants would be focused on wh at Fuller termed self concerns: those concerns that deal with teaching, but center on the teacher, rather than on the students (as cited in Hall & Hord, 2001). Participant co mments regarding the amount of time spent

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138 preparing lessons, grading assignments, and de termining ways to better manage their time were all comments that emerged from th e narratives in this study. The Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ) administered to the 10 sample members in this study yielded expected results when it revealed th at many of the members were at either the awareness or informational stages. The results of the non-user Stage of C oncern analyses followed Hall and Hords (1987) model. Hall and Hord indicated that a typical non-users rela tive intensity scores are highest at the awareness and informational stages (see Figure 5-1). Specifically, teachers who are not using an innovation ma y have little or no knowledge about the innovation, and exhibit little c oncern about learning more about it. These individuals are typically disengaged from the innovation. Hypothesized Development of Stages of Concern (Hall & Hord, 1987)0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 AwarenessInformationalPersonalManagementConsequenceCollaborationRefocusing Stages of ConcernRelative Intensity Non-user Inexperienced user Experienced user Figure 5-1. Hypothesized development of Stages of Concern

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139 Hall, George, and Rutherford (1998a) also typified the innova tion non-user profile as the most readily identifiable and most common profile when assessing stages of concern about a particular educational innova tion. Typically, a non-users highest stages of concern are at the awareness informational or personal stage. Lowest stages of concern for a non-user are consequence collaboration and refocusing (1998a). Five of the six non-user members of this study regist ered stages of concern profiles nearly identical to the typical non-us er profile as theorized by Ha ll and Hord (1987). Figure 5-2 depicts the similarity between the mean rela tive intensity data of the non-users in this study to Hall and Hords projected outcome. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 AwarenessInformationalPersonalManagementConsequenceCollaborationRefocusing Hypothesized non-user profile CCGALA non-user profiles Figure 5-2. Distribution of Stag es of Concern for CCGALA non-users ( n =6) Non-users with first and sec ond highest concerns at the awareness and informational stages indicate individuals who are somewhat aware of an innovation and

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140 interested in learning more about it. The low end stages of consequence collaboration and refocusing indicate that the participant is neither overly concerned with student impact of the innovation nor is the participan t teeming with ideas about how to make the innovation more applicable. When the relative intensity of the informational stage is near to that of the awareness stage, Hall and Hord (2001) opined that this indicates a non-user has a positive propensity to begin use of the innova tion. Those with high Stage 1 concerns ( informational ) need to hear small bits of info rmation about the innovation over time, rather than having information delivered all at once prior to implementation of the innovation. Many of the non-users in this study pointed to the amount of time that had passed from initial exposure until opportunity to use as reasons for not using the curriculum guidelines as a teaching tool. More specifically, they simply forgot about the resources they had learned. Fortunately, none of the nonusers registered profiles that indicated they were distrustful or negative in their potential use of the cu rriculum guidelines, as would be characterized by personal concerns overriding information concerns (Hall, George, and Rutherford, 1998a). Highest stage concerns for the four members who self-reported use of the CCGALA as an integrating context for teaching across the elementary grade level standards were unique to each individual. Three of the f our users, however, shared a second highest stage of concern at the informational level. To echo previous information, all of the members of this study were in their first or seco nd year of teaching. It was, therefore, not

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141 unexpected that all of the self-reported user s of the innovation would register first or second highest stage concerns at awareness informational or personal One of the innovation users was highest at the personal stage. At this stage, an individual is uncertain about the demands of the innovation, may feel inadequate in meeting those demands, and tentative in his or her role with the innovation (Hall, George, & Rutherford, 1998b). Furthermore, considerati on of potential conflic ts with the existing roles and structures of the organization of the system enter into the decision-making process with respect to implementing new i nnovations. This user clearly indicated a desire to integrate agriculture as a means for teaching across the grade level standards more frequently. However, her narrative alluded to respecting the guidance of an overbearing lead teacher who had been teac hing a particular way for several years. This user felt confident enough to integrate agriculture on an occasional basis, but was insecure in advocating the use of the educational innova tion to her departmental colleagues. An unexpected result with a sample group of inexperienced elementary teachers was the emergence of one user w hose highest concern was at the collaboration stage. This was the nearest any member in the study reflected the ideal goa l of concerns-based implementation (Hall & Hord, 2001). Preferably in reaching the ideal goal, the second highest concern would be at the consequence stage as that would indicate teacher focus on the impact of the innovation on the students, as well as how the teacher can work in concert with colleagues to improve delivery of the innovation. In this case, the members second highest stage of concern was informational In her case, she had been using the guidelines from day one to teach first grade be cause there was not an existing curriculum

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142 in place when she was hired. As a first y ear teacher, she looked immediately to the curriculum guidelines to fulfill that need, but was still searching for more information about the innovation while expl oring collaborative opportunities with others to make more widespread use of this i nnovation within the school system. Again, mean relative intensity data were us ed to derive a trend line of the four CCGALA users (see Figure 5-3). This tre nd line was overlaid onto the hypothesized inexperienced and experienced user profiles. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 AwarenessInformationalPersonalManagementConsequenceCollaborationRefocusing Inexperienced user Experienced user CCGALA user profiles Figure 5-3. Distribution of Stag es of Concern for CCGALA Users ( n =4) Non-user typical profiles reflected inexpe rienced users concerns as a normal distribution centered on the management stage. The experienced user, however, is less egocentric in his or her c oncerns and more focused on the impact of the innovation on

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143 students and on the goal of collaboration fo r a more comprehensive delivery of the innovation. This study revealed a pote ntial hybrid of those two profiles with a trend line indicating highest stages at informational and personal, whereas the lowest points of the curves were in opposition to the typical inexperienced user profile. Interestingly, the trend moves back in a favor able direction toward the collaboration stage The questions that logically follow are: Why are in experienced users not concerned with management ? and Why are they actively seekin g more information and collaborative opportunities? Because these were beginning elementa ry teachers choosing to use a new innovation, they may have, logically, been seeking more information about the innovation, while also examining their bac kground knowledge to ensure confidence in their ability to deliver the subject matter. These members were generally inexperienced in their background and exposure to agriculture. As elementa ry teachers in quest of information about this educational innovation, there was an added im plication that the agricultural context was foreign to them. As such, the participants may have experienced a heightened sense of urgency in seeking more information to reinforce their confidence in using agriculture at the elementary level. Mo reover, preservice exposure to the curriculum guidelines at a collegiate le vel, and underscored with a teaching methods approach, may have contributed to their wi llingness to use it in the classroom and to move more toward a collaborative stage wit hout having a solid agri cultural foundation in place.

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144 To move beyond self concerns and into task and impact concerns, Kember and Mezger (1990) indicated that inexperienced teachers need the assistance of on-going support and adequate contact with other innova tion users. Such is the case with the members of this study. Clear understanding of teacher Stages of Concern when undergoing the change process can serve as a catalyst to develop appropriately targeted professional development opportunities. By ta iloring workshops and other professional development opportunities to current teacher co ncerns, change facili tators may be more effective in providing information about th e innovation while bol stering participant confidence in the subject matter. Objective Three: Describe elementary te achers current levels of use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness Conclusion: Elementary teachers who w ere initially exposed to an agricultural literacy program, and who reported p reservice and in-service experience and practice using the program, were at hi gher levels of use than their nonagricultural literacy program using contemporaries. All four of the curriculum guidelines us ers suggested they had support from their cooperating teachers in utilizing agriculture as an integrating context while student teaching. Further, they continued use, albeit at varying degrees, during their first year of teaching. As expected, those elementary teacher s were at higher levels of use than the other members of the sample were. C onversely, none of the non-users experienced regular use and mentorship by cooperati ng teachers during their student teaching experiences; therefore, it was exp ected that they would be at the non-use and orientation levels of use. Users at the mechanical level of use function in the day to day, short-term use of the innovation. At this level, changes, if any, and use are dominated by user needs (Loucks, Newlove, & Hall, 1998). The need fo r a change facilitator at this level is

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145 critical as the implementing teacher is ineffi cient with his or her use of the innovation and is often disorganized in terms of time and acces s to materials. The regular presence of a change facilitator at this level would serve to guide a mechanical user to better conceptualize and implement the innovation (Hall & Hord, 2001). At such a tenuous time in the change process, the regular presence of a change facilitator, especially with a new teacher, could serve to avert frustr ation and premature abandonment of the innovation. The only member of this study at the mechanical use level, through statements evident in her narra tive, indicated she loaned her resources to other teachers interested in using agriculture as an integrat ing context, but did not have an experienced mentor with whom she cooperated. The two members at Level IV A, routine use, have establishe d a regular pattern of use and are stabilized in that us e. This level indicates that there is virtually little change made by the user, or that he or she only vari es use as a part of an established way of doing things (Loucks, Newlove, & Hall, 1998). Because the sample members were in their first or second year of t eaching, it is likely that if they continue to use the curriculum guidelines, they will not remain at this level. One confirmation of current level placement is a lack of change in current us e. Lack of change notwithstanding, Loucks, Newlove, and Hall posit there should be no valu e judgment applied to a user at this level due to the possible result of having recen tly made a high quality change (1998, p.183). Furthermore, he or she may be waiting fo r a period of time to reflect on the possible effects of the change. Both members of th is study who were Level IV A users are new teachers and have only begun regular use this year. Initial use as a beginning teacher may be equated to instituting just such a hi gh quality change. Therefore, because both

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146 members indicated they were successfully m eeting content area standards, it stands to reason that they will continue to use th e guidelines for a period of time before determining if changes or other adaptati ons are necessary for continued use. Sixty percent of the members who in dicated they were not using the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness were at the non-use level (LoU 0). The remaining 40% of non-users were at the orientation level (LoU 1). Characteristics of teachers at the non-use level range from individuals who have never heard of the innovation to those who ha ve heard of the innovation, but are not considering its use. The teachers in this study were all enrolled in, and successfully completed, a five-week preservice course sp ecifically designed to prepare preservice teachers in the use and implementation of th e curriculum guidelines. Therefore, all participants were at an equal awarene ss level of the curriculum guidelines. Many of the respondents at both the non-use and orientation levels expressed concern about scripted, site-adopted curricu lum programs that prevent use of outside resources to meet state standards. Their na rratives clearly demonstr ated a perceived lack of control in selec ting teaching methodologies to meet state standards, as well as insecurity about veering away from the existing delivery structure. As noted previously and discussed further in objective six, another caveat was that many of the non-use and orientation level participants pointed to the la pse in time from completing the course until student teaching as a barrier to implementation. Objective Four: Delineate the essential components for ideal, acceptable, and unacceptable implementation of an agricultural literacy curriculum. Conclusion: When considering ideal, a cceptable, and unacceptable implementation of an agricultural literacy curriculum, th e six components delineated by the panel of experts were (1) use of the California Curriculum Guid elines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness and curricular resources; (2 ) cross-disciplinary state

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147 educational standards are addressed using an agricultural context; (3) experiential learning opportunities; (4 ) instructional approach; (5) student assessment; and (6) lesson presentation and purpose. Perhaps the most significant scholarly contri bution resulting from this study is the development of an innovation config uration checklist relative to the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. In following Hords steps for creating an innovation configurations check list (1986), the origin al development team of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness provided feedback related to what the innovation was, what it should look like, and what students and teachers should be doing when it is in use. They were highly qualified for this task because they were all educators, teacher education faculty members, and peripheral agricultural educators from va rious agricultural outreach programs. The components drawn from the initial round of the Delphi were common acro ss all participant responses. In analyzing data and developing variations for each component, it was expected that all of the respondents w ould agree that the only id eal use of the curriculum guidelines, with respect to Component 1, use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness and curricular resources, was that the teacher would refer to the guidelines and use only the recomm ended lessons and resources. Contrary to that expectation, though, the devel opers indicated that ideal us e would be the variation as described above, along with the variation th at the teacher refers to the curriculum guidelines and uses the recommended resource s to supplement existing curriculum. In essence, the developers left space for teacher s to integrate the curriculum guidelines into existing site-adopted curriculum to allow teachers flexibility in outlining their own courses, as well as when using mo re scripted curriculum packages.

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148 Heck, Stiegelbauer, Hall, and Loucks (1981) recommended that the innovation configurations map be used in combination with interviews and classroom observations of the teachers while using the educationa l innovation. Inasmuch as the innovation configurations map for this study was devel oped concurrently to the investigation of elementary teachers experiences with th e curriculum guidelines, observation of the participants was not possible. As such, s ubsequent investigations with the innovation configurations map should incorporate obser vations into the decision-making process. The innovation configurations ma p developed for use with the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness was cross-referenced to member narratives and provide d rich data related to ideal acceptable and unacceptable use of the curriculum guidelines. The innovati on configurations ma p was supplied to the grant project director who agreed to ask te acher educators and cooperating teachers to use the map when working with and assess ing elementary teachers use of the CCGALA. This tool may be used by cooperating teachers, university supervisors, administrative evaluators, innovation develope rs, and others intere sted in assisting preservice and in-service teachers to diagnose the acceptability of c onfigurations used. Typically, innovation devel opers spend little time

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149 Objective Five: Describe the innovation co nfigurations that te achers employed while implementing an agricultural literacy curriculum. Conclusion: When using an agricultural li teracy curriculum, elementary teachers employed a variety of innovation configur ations related to each identified essential component. With the exception of experiential lear ning opportunities and instructional approach, elementa ry teachers generally articulated misunderstanding and misuse of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness and agricultural curricular resources as a context for teaching across the content area standards. Accessible population responses to the initial atti tudinal instrument indicated that 14 of the 36 respondents (38.9%) were not usi ng agriculture as a context for teaching across the content area standards. As suc h, it was expected that the newly-developed innovation configurations check list would be used with only those members of the sample who indicated they used the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness Upon analysis of transcript da ta, however, every member revealed use of agriculture as an integrating contex t in some manner during the academic year. With this revelation, the innovation confi gurations map was cross-referenced and appropriate text lifted from each sample participants narra tive as an indicator of the adaptations elementary teachers used in empl oying agriculture as an integrating context. The innovation configurations map was de veloped in tandem with the in-depth interview process, so there was no way to forecast what components would emerge from the innovation configurations map process. On one hand, this was problematic because not every component was addressed and assi gned a level of acceptability. However, it could also be heralded as a means to provi de objectivity to th e qualitative inquiry interview, since much of what emerged thr oughout the interview proc ess was parallel to the components that surfaced in the innovation configurations development. In addition,

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150 the participant narratives provided rich detail that alluded to the variations they employed while using agriculture as the integrating context. Eight members of the sample (80%) were rated as unacceptable in their use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness and recommended curricular resources (Component 1) While an unacceptable rating was expected because of disorganized use or lack of confidence due to participant background, member transcripts revealed an unexpected reason for the ratings. Reflecting on the accompanying narratives, many of the ratings could be attributed to a misunderstanding of the guidelines. Member comments indicated elementary teachers believed the curriculum guidelines were a se parate set of curricular requirements designed to supplant state mandated materials, rather than a means to integrate the standards thematically to increase tran sference across the content areas. That misconstruction perpetuated itself with respect to the second component, Crossdisciplinary state educational standards are addressed using an ag ricultural context. Fifty percent of the members were rated un acceptable in this component. Elementary teachers perceptions were gene rally engrained in such a way that they were unable to see the connections between agriculture and academia beyond a math and science connection. One member, who primarily ta ught English, failed to see an overt connection between agriculture and the languag e arts. Another elementary teachers onedimensional perception of social studies as history articulated her ow n barrier of being able to integrate agriculture more fully across this content area. Elementary teachers, regardless of th e degree to which they incorporated agriculture in their classrooms were generally rated as acceptable and ideal when they

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151 provided agricultural experiential learning oppor tunities for their students. The teachers provided evidence of concrete experience, reflection, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation throughout the narrativ es, even though they may not have been cognizant of those labels. Outcomes related to the instructional approach component of the innovation configurations checklist were surprising only insomuch as they contrasted so vehemently with the reported frequency of use of agricu lture as an integrating context. With the exception of two members narratives wh ere no evidence emerged, the remaining members were all rated as ideal and accepta ble with respect to this component. As expected, elementary teachers reported engage ment and enthusiasm by the students when agriculture was brought into th e educational formula for teaching content standards. The teachers perceptions of students who were tr aditionally less confident and participatory with lessons that are more passive indicated those same students were more attentive and focused when using agriculture as the integrat ing context. Likewise, teachers perceived that students retained information for a l onger term when contextually aligned with agriculture. Teachers also reported their ow n positive behavior and enthusiasm changes when incorporating an agricultural theme. Whereas teachers reported such positive results with respect to student and teacher behaviors and outcomes, this study would have been an exercise in futility had it not sought to uncover the themes behind the experiences of teachers incorporatin g agriculture into the classroom. Objective Six: Describe the perceived outcomes experienced by teachers who adopted the agricultural literacy curriculum. Conclusion: When using agriculture as a context for teaching across the content area standards, elementary teachers generally described three themes encompassing their experiences and p erceived outcomes. Specifically, those themes included a preoccupation with time ; perception of their roles as teachers

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152 and faculty members, and changes in st udent behavior; and an overwhelming partiality toward ch ange facilitation. As new professionals in the teaching field, it was expected that elementary teachers would raise concerns about lack of time to learn about and intr oduce a new curricular approach to their teaching re pertoire. Furthermore, little surprise was garnered by the result of the elementary teachers seeing them selves as faculty members who should learn from veteran teachers and who should maintain the status quo with respect to the school system. First year teachers are often overw helmed by the responsibilities of classroom management, preparing lessons in accordance with state standards, communicating with parents and administrators, and keeping current with respect to student assignments and assessments. What was surprising was the in tensity with which th e elementary teachers insisted that state mandated and site adopted curriculum materials mu st be taught and that effect on their organizational skills in developing and de livering contextual lessons relevant to the stude nts experiences. The focus on scripted materials was heavily laden throughout the sample, even to a high degree within those members who were using the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. As such, many of the users recalled their understanding of the curriculum innovation as a separate set of st ate standards in an agricultural content ar ea. The perception among those members was that they could not insert any other non-essential st andard instruction into the curriculum with such intense pressure on reading and mathematics curriculum requirements. One explanation as to why the elementary teachers felt such a need to not deviate from their curricular path was their percepti on of themselves as new faculty members. Because of their hiring recency, age, and naivet about the teaching profession, many

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153 members felt the need to burke their opini ons and ideas during faculty meetings in reverence to their older, mo re seasoned colleagues. For several members, that suppression may have been learned through expo sure to cooperating teachers who failed to encourage student teachers to take risks or to deviate from their planned curriculum. The elementary teachers in this study e xpressed their environmental adaptation by indicating that they did not try to change the routine while student teaching because it was not their class and they did not feel co mfortable attempting to shift delivery methods to the students. Selecting student teachi ng sites where cooperating teachers are wellversed and comfortable using an agricultural context may encourage student teachers to develop more confidence as advocates for th eir students and their curricular approach. Thompson and Balschweid (2000) asserted that teacher preparation programs should be instrumental in providing instruction on how to integrate agricultural concepts into science and other subj ect matter areas. Results of their study indicated that undergraduate preservice teachers did not n ecessarily need more courses in a given content area, but that they needed overt methodological instructi on on how to integrate content areas via a common theme. This study echoed Thompson and Balschweids (2000) results as the time differential between initial exposure and first opportunity for implementation was so great for many participan ts that they had si mply forgotten about the materials and how they could be us ed as an integrating context. There are measures that may be taken to assist in increasing elementary teacher knowledge retention of the CCGALA. To begin with, preservice students should be encouraged to complete agricultural literacy integration coursework within one year before entering an initial student teaching experience. Also, student teaching

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154 requirements should include assignments pertai ning to use of agriculture as a theme. Finally, university supervisors should activel y seek cooperating teach ers who are familiar with, and willing to allow student teachers to use, CCGALA while under their mentorship. Concurring with recommendations by Thompson and Balschweid (2000), participants in this study frequently cited a need for continuing pr ofessional development and on-site mentors who can demonstrate suc cessful use of agricultural contexts across the content areas as a means to assist them in beginning and/or sustaining use of the CCGALA. This desire for continuing edu cation and support throughout the change process reinforced Hall and Hords (2001) cont ention that change faci litation is essential from administrators, colleagues, program developers, and other stakeholders vested in the success of the educationa l innovation at hand. Throughout the interview series, elementa ry teachers who indicated they had simply forgotten about the materials later ex claimed that they were reminded about the materials as a result of initi al contact from the attitudi nal questionnaire and through the process of arranging for and conducting the in terviews. These teachers articulated an intention to revisit the re sources and look for ways to implement them in their curriculum. That revelation reinforced th e one legged interview dimension of the Concerns Based Adoption Model (Hall & Hord, 2001). Essentially, when change facilitators take a few mome nts out of the day to inquire about an innovation, how the teacher is coping with the changes, and to ask if any assistance is needed, the implementer of the innovation is motivated to continue with the change effort. Those few moments are literally de fined as the amount of time a person can stand on one leg without losing his or her balance, hence, th e name one-legged interview (2001). If

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155 administrators are aware of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness change facilitation can be assisted simply through periodic inquiries and exchanges in the school hallways. Recommendations for Practitioners 1. Many elementary teachers pointed to the length of time that had passed from initial exposure to the agricultural literacy curriculum until their student teaching experiences as a reason for not using agri culture as an integrating context for teaching. This would imply that univer sity teacher education programs should offer an agricultural literacy course no mo re than one academic year prior to the initial student te aching experience. 2. Elementary teachers need practice in making the connection between the agricultural concept and the appropriate grade level content area standards. Therefore, preservice instructional time should be spent more overtly teaching future elementary teachers how to read and use the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. 3. Student teaching assignments, for those pr eservice teachers attending California universities that endorse the use of agriculture as an in tegrating context, should be tied to use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. By requiring preservice teachers to use the guidelines and incorporate agricultural lessons into their preservice expe rience, they will be reinforcing the use of, and exposure to, the guidelines. 4. Change facilitators should u tilize teacher stages of con cerns to tailor development of workshops and other professional development opportunities. Targeting experiences to current be ginning teacher concerns ma y be more effective in providing information about the innovation while bolster ing participant confidence in the subject matter. 5. Change facilitation emerged as a recurrent need for increasing elementary teachers potential sustained use of the educa tional innovation. Therefore, university supervisors should spend time cultivating potential student teaching sites with cooperating teachers who have experi ence with, and regularly use, the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. 6. The innovation configurations map would be best utilized in tandem with both interviews and classroom observations Cooperating teachers and university supervisors should use the innovation configurations map when observing preservice teachers during their student teaching e xperiences. School site administrators should use the innovation configurations map when conducting annual observations of in-service professionals.

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156 7. The developers of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness should allocate resources more heavily toward the implementation portion of this curriculum innovation. As such, professional development opportunities should be provided for admi nistrators, cooperating teachers, and university teacher education faculty to educate them a bout the innovation, as well as to provide training and experience in how to more effectively function as a change facilitator. 8. To strengthen the agricultural backgrounds of elementary teachers, agricultural teacher education programs should cooperate with elementary teacher education programs to provide agricultural and teach ing methods courses to both elementary and secondary preservice teachers interested in using agriculture as an integrating context. 9. Given an increased nationwide focus on sta ndards-based education, universities in other states should explore funding for adap tation of, and research related to, the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness to reflect the state standards within each respective state. Recommendations for Further Research 1. Because this study was conducted with new pr ofessionals in either their first or second year of teaching, furthe r research should be repeated with this population in a longitudinal manner periodically over the next five years. Such research would provide a schema for tracking if/how elem entary teachers stages of concern and levels of use, as well as their innova tion configurations, change over time. 2. Quantitative analyses should be conducted to determine if significant differences exist between users and non-users continge nt upon the amount of time that lapsed between first exposure to the curriculum guidelines and opportunity for first use in the classroom. 3. One of the findings of this study was th at elementary teach ers of agriculture responded differently than expected in th e relative intensity of their stages of concern, as compared to previous studie s conducted with populations of high school teachers. Whereas the expectation was that these individuals would express concerns similar to their high school counterparts, elementary teachers in this study expressed intense levels of concern in the awareness and informational stages, as opposed to the management and consequence stages expressed by high school agriculture teachers. Conversely, elementary teachers in this study expressed their least intense concerns in the management and consequence stages than do either experienced or inexperienced users. Furt her research using larger sample sizes should be conducted to determine the potenti al for hybrid emergence of the model. 4. The California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness was funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and de livered via a variety of approaches at three West Coast universities. Res earch should be conducted within each

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157 population as defined by initial exposure at a respective universit y, as well as across the total population in an attempt to de termine the optimal delivery method to preservice teachers. 5. The Concerns Based Adoption Model should be used to assess veteran elementary teachers experiences with the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. 6. The change facilitator portion of the C oncerns Based Adoption Model should be a primary focus for further research with th is population. Specific ally, administrators at each school site should be interviewed pe rtaining to their stages of concern and to what extent they encourage el ementary teachers to use the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. 7. The Concerns Based Adoption Model s hould be used with other existing agricultural literacy curric ulum innovations to better assess and evaluate the sustained adoption and use, rather than focusing on attitudinal or base level knowledge assessments, as means for determ ining the success and validity of such innovations. 8. This study relied on self-reported data from the sample members. As such, further studies should be conducte d utilizing total immersion and observation methods within the members classrooms. Reflection Many agricultural literacy curriculum program s have been assessed in a variety of ways. The agricultural education profession has not endorsed one program over another, nor has any particular eval uative methodology been consistently used. Dass (1997) pointed to conflict with existing curricu lar structures as a barrier preventing implementation of new educational innovations, such as the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. Essentially, veteran teachers may be concerned with the potential longevity of curriculum innovations and may make commitment decisions based on whether or no t they perceive a program will remain a priority for the district or school. As suc h, agricultural literacy implementation efforts may be best focused on preservice teachers who have not yet established a routine and who may be less inclined to reject potential innovations in favor of the old way of

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158 teaching. To date, the focus of California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness implementation efforts has been with preservice elementary teachers. Additional challenges facing agricultural literacy innovations in the past have included assessment and evaluation of indivi dual units and programs. Terry, Herring, and Larke (1992) recommended that lists of ag ricultural literacy reso urces be packaged together and that in-service workshops and gr aduate credit courses be offered to assist and encourage teachers in their efforts to teach about agriculture (p. 58). The California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness was packaged in just that manner, and was designed to allow teachers to select materials with which they are comfortable. Meischen and Trexler (2003) lamented the suitability of one agricultural literacy programs benchmarks for the age groups for which it was designed. Specifically, they opined that an agricultural literacy curriculum should be developed to effectively understand a childs schema and to construc t a curriculum that causes dissatisfaction with pre-existing knowledge structures and pul ls students into the conceptual change process (p. 54). Bringing t ogether educators who were ex perienced working with each respective elementary grade le vel and educators who were e xperienced in agriculture, the developers of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy sought to achieve Meischen and Trexlers recommendation. While this study was in no way designed to be generalized beyond the target population, there are common threads woven th roughout this and prev ious agricultural literacy studies. The agricultural educati on profession has a rich history of research investigating teacher preparation. Surprisi ngly, research focused on teacher concerns

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159 related to materials and resources introduced for their use, at all levels, is extremely deficient. As such, investigation of prev ious and subsequent agricultural education innovation studies through a concerns base d lens may unveil more commonalities and themes that propel the agricultural educati on profession ever clos er to reaching the agricultural literacy goal of lifelong lear ning in and about agriculture.

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160 APPENDIX A INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL

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161 APPENDIX B PRELIMINARY LETTER

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162 APPENDIX C INTERVIEWEE INFORMED CONSENT Protocol Title: Elementary teachers experiences in adopting an agricultural literacy curriculum P lease read this consent document care f ull y be f ore y ou decide to participate in this stud y Purpose of this research study: To describe elementary teachers experiences using agriculture as a context for teaching elementary students What you will be asked to do in the study: To respond to a Stages of Concern questionnaire, participate in a Levels of Usage interview, and to answer and discuss 13 additional interview questions Time required: About two hours Risks and benefits: No more than minimal risk. There is no direct benefit to the participant. This research can add to the understanding of the experiences elementary teachers are having in relationship to using agriculture as a context for teaching, as well as what concerns teachers have when c hoosing to adopt an agricultural literacy curriculum. Compensation: Participants will receive a $100 honorarium, as well as travel expenses encumbered because of the interview process (including, but not limited to substitute teacher reimbursement). Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. The results will be presented in a dissertation as partial fulfillment of a doctoral degree program, to the California Food and Fiber Futures foundation in p artial fulfillment of grant requirements, and to education journals and magazines for possible publication. Voluntary participation: Your participation in this study is voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. You do not have to answer any questions you do not want to answer. Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: Kimberly Bellah, Agricultural Education & Communication Dept., 310 Rolfs Hall, PO Box 110540, Gainesville, FL 32611, (352) 392-0502, ext. 223 or James Dyer, PhD, Agricultural Education & Communication Dept., 310 Rolfs Hall, PO Box 110540, Gainesville, FL 32611, (352) 392-0502, ext. 239 Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study: UFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250, phone: (352) 392-0433 I have read the procedure outlined above. I voluntarily agree to participate in this study and have received a copy of this description. Participants signature Date Principal investigators signature Date Faculty advisors signature Date

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163 APPENDIX D CALIFORNIA CURRICULUM GUIDELIN ES FOR AGRICULTURAL LITERACY AWARENESS PARTICIPANT ATTITUDINAL INSTRUMENT

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164

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165 APPENDIX E STAGES OF CONCERN QUESTIONNAIRE ID# Please indicate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness (CCGALA) and agriculture as a context for teaching across the content areas. Please respond to the scale as follows: 1. I am concerned about students attitudes toward agriculture. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2. I now know of some other approaches that might work better. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 3. I dont even know what CCGALA is. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 4. I am concerned about not having enough time to organize myself each day. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 5. I would like to help other faculty in their use of CCGALA. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 6. I have a very limited knowledge about CCGALA and agriculture as a context for teaching. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 7. I would like to know the effect of using CCGALA and agriculture on my professional status. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. I am concerned about conflict between my interests and my responsibilities. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9. I am concerned about revising my use of CCGALA. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 10. I would like to develop working relationships with both our faculty and outside faculty using CCGALA. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 11. I am concerned about how using agriculture affects students. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 12. I am not concerned about CCGALA or agriculture as a teaching context. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 13. I would like to know who will make the decisions regarding CCGALA use. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 14. I would like to discuss the possibility of using CCGALA. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 15. I would like to know what resources are available if I decide to adopt CCGALA. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 16. I am concerned about my inability to manage all CCGALA requires. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Irrelevant Not true of me now Somewhat true of me now Very true of me now

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166 17. I would like to know how my teaching or administration is supposed to change. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 18. I would like to familiarize other departments or persons with the progress of this new approach. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 19. I am concerned about evaluating my impact on students. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 20. I would like to revise CCGALAs approach. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 21. I am completely occupied with other things. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 22. I would like to modify my use of CCGALA based on the experiences of my students. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 23. Although I dont know about CCGALA, I am concerned about other things in the area of agriculture as a context for teaching. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 24. I would like to excite my students about their part in this approach. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 25. I am concerned about my time spent working with nonacademic problems related to CCGALA and agriculture as a teaching context. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 26. I would like to know what the use of CCGALA and agriculture will require in the immediate future. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 27. I would like to coordinate my efforts with others to maximize agricultures effects. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 28. I would like to have more information on time and energy commitments required by CCGALA. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 29. I would like to know what other faculty are doing in this area. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 30. At this time, I am not interested in learning about CCGALA and agriculture as a context for teaching. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 31. I would like to determine how to supplement, enhance, or replace CCGALA. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 32. I would like to use feedback from students to change the program. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 33. I would like to know how my role will change when I am using CCGALA and agriculture as a teaching context. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 34. Coordination of tasks and people is taking too much of my time. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 35. I would like to know how CCGALA and using agriculture as a teaching context is better than the elementary curriculum we have now. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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167 APPENDIX F STAGES OF CONCERN QUESTIONNAI RE QUICK SCORING DEVICE

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168 APPENDIX G CALIFORNIA CURRICULUM GUIDELIN ES FOR AGRICULTURAL LITERACY AWARENESS INNOVATION CONFIGURATIONS ROUND ONE DELPHI INSTRUMENT

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169 APPENDIX H INTERVIEW PROTOCOL Interview guide I want to talk with you more now on your specific experiences with the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. I am interested in your understanding of your experiences, challenges, barriers, and how you perceive your studen ts outcomes as a result of using agriculture as a context for teaching. I would like to ask you a few questions. 1) Describe how your attitudes and perceptions toward agriculture were influenced through your use of agriculture as a teaching context? 2) What personal changes in agricultural literacy levels did you experience as a result of your use of the curriculum guidelines? 3) What factors helped you in teaching science, mathematics, language arts, and social science competencies in an agricultural context? 4) What factors hindered you in teaching science, mathematics, language arts, and social science competencies in an agricultural context? 5) To what extent did you use the curriculum guidelines during your student teaching experiences? 6) To what degree do you find the curriculum guidelines easy to use? 7) Describe your experiences related to teaching methods, strategies, and/or teaching techniques using agriculture as the context for teaching? 8) To what extent, and with whom, did you collaborate as a result of using agriculture as an integrating context? 9) Describe any changes in student behavior you observed when implementing the curriculum guidelines. 10) To what extent did you use the curriculum guidelines after completion of student teaching experiences? 11) Describe adaptations, if any, you made in implementing the curriculum guidelines. 12) Describe any expected and/or unexpected experiences you encountered in using agriculture as the integrating context? 13) Describe the type of perceived support did you received, if any, from others in the school system. Do you have any questions or comments for me that you would like to share? Thank you for your time today and I would like to follow up with you if the need arises.

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170 APPENDIX I STAGES OF CONCERN RAW SCORE PERCENTILE CONVERSION CHART FOR STAGES OF CONCERN QUESTIONNAIRE (HALL, GEORGE, & RUTHERFORD, 1998)

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171 APPENDIX J INNOVATION CONFIGURATION COMPONENT VARIATION TABLE

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176 APPENDIX K INNOVATION CONFIGURATION PROFILES ID 207 Component I. Use of CCGALA & recommended curricular resources Statement(s) Not at all. Ive not looked at them. This is my first year teaching and Im doing a scripted program, an intervention scripted program so that, here its SRA, its the state adoptive program and its very scripted. Designation of use Unacceptable Component II. Cross-disciplinary state educational standards are addressed using an agricultural context Statement(s) I never looked at the standards for teaching agriculture. It was just part of the curriculum that the teacher, the master teacher I was working with, wanted to do. Designation of use Unacceptable Component III. Experiential learning opportunities Statement(s) We did a class project. In little groups they had the seed, they planted the seeds and then it was, you know, I forget, it took like a month or something and we just watch the seed grow and the stages and it was very basic because it was second grade level [referring to student teaching experience]. Designation of use Unacceptable Component IV. Instructional approach Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use Component V. Student assessment Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use Component VI. Lesson presentation and purpose Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use

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177 ID 204 Component I. Use of CCGALA & recommended curricular resources Statement(s) I think Im using the materials and the general concepts and, a lot of times, without actually looking AT the guidelines. It [agricultural context] pops up quite frequently in our readings and then you take that reading and you take something from your knowledge of agriculture and integrate it, how it relates to even their own lives. Designation of use Unacceptable Component II. Cross-disciplinary state educational standards are addressed using an agricultural context Statement(s) I realize Im doing math cause were making charts and graphs, but I dont always n ecessarily connect that, oh Im also teaching history with it. I think more of social studies as being the past and a lot of times when Im teaching agriculture its more current issues that. I more thought of it originally as just t eaching science, and I didnt realize how I was teaching so much math with it. And I knew Id be developing their language arts skills with it b ecause of wr iting, but not to the extent that how often we journal everyday. So, I dont think I realized the extent of how it was gonna cross over so much. Designation of use Acceptable/unacceptable Component III. Experiential learning opportunities Statement(s) Anything that you can bring in thats hands on, that they can actually see or touch or feel. A lot of the agriculture stuff is really easy to bring in or touch or find a book about it. I knew Id be developing their language arts skills with it b ecause of writing, but not to the extent that how often we journal everyday. Designation of use Ideal Component IV. Instructional approach Statement(s) I know I expected that they would really enjoy it b ecause once again it was so hands on, they got to move around much more than a lot of the stuff that were doing in, in language arts and math right now, that they would get excited about it and enjoy it. Designation of use Acceptable Component V. Student assessment Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use Component VI. Lesson presentation and purpose Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use

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178 ID 209 Component I. Use of CCGALA & recommended curricular resources Statement(s) The only real experience or integration Ive had through agriculture in my classroom now, weve done some talking about natural resources and talking about the availability of them and how, when, how long theyre going to be around or not. And then did some talk about nutrition, food pyramid, everything like that going through the different things about it. Thats about as agriculturally based as Ive gone this year. Designation of use Unacceptable Component II. Cross-disciplinary state educational standards are addressed using an agricultural context Statement(s) Its just such a small part because even though its like you really cant integrate it with the math and the reading. I think people try to think of it more as like a science background, you know, where you kind of squeeze it in and unfortunately it goes through the teaching time dedicated to state mandated testing. Your reading, math and you see what else you have time for. Designation of use Unacceptable Component III. Experiential learning opportunities Statement(s) We focused mostly on like the food pyramid, thats what we focused on, going through each section. Well, what makes us go? A lot of brainstorming, a lot of partner share, group work, creating, you know. They did a diary of what they ate in a day. Designation of use Acceptable Component IV. Instructional approach Statement(s) Very high end student engagement, involvement and youre not just standing there talking to them. Theyre actually doing something. Theyre involved, theyre very hands on and I think that helps, engrain any, whatever the concept is that youre trying to get across. Designation of use Acceptable Component V. Student assessment Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use Component VI. Lesson presentation and purpose Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use

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179 ID 211 Component I. Use of CCGALA & recommended curricular resources Statement(s) I didn't use it more because I don't, because of time and me not planning well enough for it. It makes me get online more, you know, and read a little more about it. I still, like I said, don't do it enough, but if I want to find activities without, you know, using ag statistics instead of, you know, statistics from something else, then I'm learning a lot myself on things that I can bring into my classroom. Designation of use Ideal/acceptable Component II. Cross-disciplinary state educational standards are addressed using an agricultural context Statement(s) In my classroom I did only three activities this year, really, that were ag-related, because I felt so pressured with the first-year teaching thing. Designation of use Acceptable Component III. Experiential learning opportunities Statement(s) Probably group work. That was the first time I brought scales into my classroom, because we had to actually measure the mass of bananas and then the rind, and then did the total mass. So we had to do three parts of it. And that was the first time I used the scales. So that wasthat was good for me, because I hadn't done a lesson on that yet. But I think when I do activities like that; it's the cooperative groups, you know, where each student has been given an assignment. Designation of use Acceptable Component IV. Instructional approach Statement(s) Yeah, actually bringing an object like the bananas. I did that by bringing a lot of bananas, and I think that's what, you know, the kids got to do hands-on activities. So that made the math more successful, that they actually got to do it instead of listening to me lecture. I often lectured (laughs), more often than not. And so they grasp the material better when they're in groups, working on projects. So I think that with ag lessons, it forced me to have the constant hands-on material. Plus, they got to do a little bit of reading, which is really good, because I don't do a whole lot of reading Designation of use Acceptable Component V. Student assessment Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use Component VI. Lesson presentation and purpose Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use

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180 ID 212 Component I. Use of CCGALA & recommended curricular resources Statement(s) I try to enhance the lesson. Some of the lessons you can tell the students are just bored out of their minds and so I try and use what quickly I can find in the classroom. Designation of use Unacceptable Component II. Cross-disciplinary state educational standards are addressed using an agricultural context Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use Component III. Experiential learning opportunities Statement(s) I feel if they understand it more, they have a more personal connection to it. Then theyre just gonna be more excited about it. theyre gonna want to share it in a class, you know and if theres time you can share it, but then thatll build someone elses, you know, self esteem about sharing their story. Designation of use Acceptable Component IV. Instructional approach Statement(s) ELD methods where its kind of maybe a little more visual and youre not just teaching them orally. Youre teaching them with more ways that they can connect with their own background because then theyll understand what youre saying. in my personal life I incorporate more agriculture, like Ive gotten to be much more into plants and I bring that into the classroom. not just the physical plants but explaining it and, you know, different questions they may ask about it that, (laughs) I think its just, I feel Im more of an, Im mo re of a tool to teach them things rather than just the straight half of the easy answer and I think agricultures a great way to teach that. Designation of use Ideal/acceptable Component V. Student assessment Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use Component VI. Lesson presentation and purpose Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use

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181 ID 215 Component I. Use of CCGALA & recommended curricular resources Statement(s) I was just introduced to it there, but I really wasnt, you know, I didnt develop it and I wasnt interested in developing it at that point. I thought it was interesting, you know, because it was part of the class that I took, but my interest with agriculture is nil. Designation of use Unacceptable Component II. Cross-disciplinary state educational standards are addressed using an agricultural context Statement(s) So I decided that when my science lesson comes up, Im gonna just pick up where she was. We went through plants and how seeds get from one place to another. Why this plant is like this one. One has petals, this one doesnt, this one has leaves, and this one often loses its leaves or whatever. That was my focus for the science lesson, but then when I would do that, knowing that Im teaching science there, and then the reading lesson for that week was animals, wildlife, uh, I would look for stories in the library that I could read during the reading time. Thirty minutes that had to do with plants and animals. So, kind of integrating like that. So, but that was the extent of my quote unquote agriculture. Designation of use Acceptable Component III. Experiential learning opportunities Statement(s) I turn each of the science lessons that I did into our science art project. I would do that where we would make the plant out of muffin cups and sunflower seeds and use leaves from trees outside. I tried to bring things from outside in and they really spent more time doing rather than just putting, looking it up, Im done here, you know, Im gonna get a book and read now. So I think it engaged them a lot more. Designation of use Acceptable Component IV. Instructional approach Statement(s) It ties it together, it makes the day more complete when it isnt so disjointed. You know, if theres a common thread through certain portion of the day and even with the math section, um, I was using bean counts, you know, beans are agriculture (laughter) Designation of use Acceptable Component V. Student assessment Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use Component VI. Lesson presentation and purpose Statement(s) Presented as a lesson and expected children to feed back and learn. And then when I would ask them questions or do things to check understanding, they understood exactly what I wanted them to understand. I think its probably cause you know, over planning until two a.m. in the morning Designation of use Ideal/acceptable

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182 ID 219 Component I. Use of CCGALA & recommended curricular resources Statement(s) They have told us, oh, we have, you know, the state adopted materials. We have Prentice-Hall, and I also teach Highpoint, which is uh, the English learners curriculum. I teach, and its just, they pretty much have told us, youre only teaching from here and you cant use anything else. Designation of use Unacceptable Component II. Cross-disciplinary state educational standards are addressed using an agricultural context Statement(s) I just teach English. You cant really inco rporate agriculture, its hard and it, frankly its hard just to teach just the state standards alone. I kinda dont bring it up, because I, I dont know if its sensitive. I dont want them to feel, you know, upset about it, or, I dont know, I just dont want them to feel shamed, in that kind of thing. And you know, other parents, they, for a living, they go out and pick oranges. Designation of use Unacceptable Component III. Experiential learning opportunities Statement(s) Well, its, its more a, informal, kind of, just, sitting around and youre pretty much, youre talking. Youre discussing it with them and thats all I was doing. Designation of use Unacceptable Component IV. Instructional approach Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use Component V. Student assessment Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use Component VI. Lesson presentation and purpose Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use

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183 ID 236 Component I. Use of CCGALA & recommended curricular resources Statement(s) That all of the subjects can be taught using agriculture and that it doesnt just have to do with science. Ive pretty much based my whole science and social studies curriculums with this in mind and using this as a tool. Designation of use Ideal Component II. Cross-disciplinary state educational standards are addressed using an agricultural context Statement(s) It just worked so easily to incorporate everything in both science and social studies into the Project Learning Tree and the ideas suggested in CCGALA. With agriculture you can easily choose a theme and then, with that theme, it can be applied to all the different core competencies. Designation of use Ideal Component III. Experiential learning opportunities Statement(s) I used a nature journal and we would go outside and observe the different things that we are seeing. My teaching methods would be to do a discussion to get background before we do any activity or lesson and see what the children know. And then use that information and what Im bringing to do a hands on activity that has to do with what were going to be learning later. That also accesses more of the students background knowledge that they didnt necessarily know they had and then we come back and talk about what weve learned there. And then theres usually, you know, the follow up activity afterwards. Designation of use Ideal Component IV. Instructional approach Statement(s) It was in a third grade classroom and we tied it into language arts. I had to teach them a kind of style in poetry and so we brought it outside and first took scientific observations of a tree and then used those observations to follow the format as a poem that we are using and turn it into a poem. Designation of use Ideal Component V. Student assessment Statement(s) I had a few students who just didnt understand the concept and putting a ruler onto the little picture on the page wasnt doing it for them. So we pulled out the plants that they had planted before and took the ruler and measured the lengths of the stems and the leaves. I think having that real life thing that they had planted made the connection and I think its also important to get them off of the paper. And so, you know, because you can get in the routine of just putting the ruler against the picture and thats just what you do, but would have no idea how to transfer it to something else, so that was real ly helpful for those students. Designation of use Ideal Component VI. Lesson presentation and purpose Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use

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184 ID 240 Component I. Use of CCGALA & recommended curricular resources Statement(s) I came into it [current teaching position] right before state testing started and so a lot of what my principal had asked me to focus on was preparing the students for state testing. We had a specific set of test prep things th at we were supposed to use to prep the students for the testing. I couldve done Ag stuff separate from test prep in my other hours of the day, but not in that time, I dont think. Designation of use Unacceptable Component II. Cross-disciplinary state educational standards are addressed using an agricultural context Statement(s) I just didnt incorporate it into, um, what my master teacher wanted me to do. Unless I dont know that I incorporated it and I did. (laughs) The majority of my student teaching was based on ocean life and we might have gone into ... I cant really remember, like how the ocean, um. I dont, this is dumb, but I dont know if it incorporates the Ag, like fish and like how we use that and what resources we can take from the ocean. Designation of use Unacceptable Component III. Experiential learning opportunities Statement(s) Um, unexpected would be kids that bring stuff in from home. I hadnt thought about that, kids taking it home and, um, talking to their families about it and, and extending their learning that way. That was unexpected. Designation of use Unacceptable Component IV. Instructional approach Statement(s) It was kind of a unit we incorporated through all of our, um, subjects throughout the day. The parents formed the classroom into an ocean. A lot of visuals up on the wall so they could see what they were learning. We didnt use much hands on, like with a going to the tide pools, or doing something like that, we planned on it, but didnt follow through with it. I didnt know, so I told them I said well, thats something you know. I encouraged them to go on their own and go find that out, bring it back and share it with us, you know, so you can teach us something. And so encouraging them to take control of their own learning cause they dont always learn in a classroom. Designation of use Acceptable Component V. Student assessment Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use Component VI. Lesson presentation and purpose Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use

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185 ID 247 Component I. Use of CCGALA & recommended curricular resources Statement(s) Im not really familiar. I probably couldnt tell you any one of them right now. I havent really done much with agriculture in my classroom right now. The reading program and its so structure. We spend two and a half hours a day on this reading program thats, you know, word for word structured out. Designation of use Unacceptable Component II. Cross-disciplinary state educational standards are addressed using an agricultural context Statement(s) I can definitely see agriculture helping in math. I used, um, products, different food products as examples in math and the kids really, they connect to that. We did some vegetables about shapes and just showing them things like that they really can connect that, so I guess that, I mean I would say thats using agriculture really in a way. Designation of use Unacceptable Component III. Experiential learning opportunities Statement(s) They wrote about it and stuff like that, but Im not sure if it was, yeah, it was kind of more of a fun activity that, I mean math and reading were tied into it, but it was more because it was St. Patricks Day and fun for the kids. Designation of use Unacceptable Component IV. Instructional approach Statement(s) The math lesson that we did with all the different food objects, they loved that. I mean they were really involved. They knew they were going to get to eat it afterwards, so its some of the things afterwards, they love that. They just, it seems like they really become more involved. Theyre more excited about it. The plant that they were taking measurements on it, something that they can really connect to, and rather than learning, you know, a math equation on the board, theyre in there with their hands on it and its exciting for them. You have your good students that will do all the work that you tell them to do, but then theres those that dont and so for those kids, you know, they really get involved. Designation of use Ideal Component V. Student assessment Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use Component VI. Lesson presentation and purpose Statement(s) No evidence emerged Designation of use

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195 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Kimberly Ann Pauley was born May 11, 1969, in a Charleston, South Carolina, naval hospital. Upon her fathers departur e from the United States Navy, the Pauley family moved to Lakeside, California. Upon graduation from high school in 1987, she moved to San Luis Obispo where she attended California Polytechnic State University. Her Bachelor of Science degree was earned in agricultural science from the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. She earned he r Master of Science degree in agriculture from California Poly technic State University in 1995. After teaching high school agricultural education at Morro Bay High School for three years, she married Don Alex Bellah in 1996 and returned to the Agricultural Education and Communication De partment at California Polytechnic State University. For seven years, Bellah served as a teacher ed ucator, as well as the agricultural education professional development coordinator for th e California Department of Education. During that time, Bellah and her husband had two children, Shelby Ann and Jacob Roy Alex. In 2003, Bellah accepted a graduate assi stantship and was awarded the Newbern Fellowship from the Agricultural Educa tion and Communication Department at the University of Florida. While pursuing her doctoral degree, Bellah wrote curriculum for the Space Agriculture in the Classroom project jointly sponsored through the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Additionally, Bellah designed and delivered Space Agriculture in the

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196 Classroom professional development workshops for elementary, middle, and high school teachers across the United States. Further, Be llah served as a gradua te assistant in the teaching methods courses, as well as s upervised student teachers during their undergraduate field experiences. During her tenure at the University of Flor ida, Bellah was initiated into Alpha Tau Alpha and Gamma Sigma Delta professional honor fraternities. She was also honored in 2005 with the Outstanding Gra duate Student Teaching Award from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture association. In 2005, Bellah was offered and accepted an assistant professorship with the Agricultural Services and De velopment Department at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. She serves as a teacher educator and currently resides with her husband and children in Hico, Texas.


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ELEMENTARY TEACHERS' EXPERIENCES IN
ADOPTING AN AGRICULTURAL LITERACY CURRICULUM















By

KIMBERLY A. BELLAH


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2006

































Copyright 2006

by

Kimberly A. Bellah
































This labor of love is dedicated to my best friend and husband, Don, and our children,
Shelby and Jacob, whose selfless sacrifices for my goals are eternally appreciated.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Anything worth doing is worth doing well. I want to first thank my parents for

modeling honesty, integrity, and hard work in everything they endeavor. Without their

example, I might never have believed enough in myself to attempt this hurdle.

To Dr. James Dyer, my major professor, I am grateful for the future he saw in me.

His guidance, encouragement, patience, friendship, and support propelled me through

even the most difficult situations. I thank him for modeling professionalism and

collegiality at all times. He and his family warmly welcomed me into their circle without

question or second thought.

I thank Dr. Glen Casey for his shared vision of agricultural education at every

level. Without his ability to see a teacher educator in me, my professional life path may

have taken a different avenue. I am grateful for the opportunities he has provided to me

for so many years and for his fervor for agricultural literacy. The persistence and

determination he possesses made this dissertation topic, and my life's passion, possible.

I thank Dr. Edward Osborne for the amazing opportunities he provided to me

during my tenure at the University of Florida. My appreciation goes out to him for

entrusting me with such a precious and unique project as the Space Agriculture in the

Classroom curriculum. I am grateful for the exercises in creativity, persistence, patience,

and enthusiasm.

Further, my deepest appreciation is extended to Dr. Dyer, Dr. Osborne, and the rest

of my committee members, Dr. Shannon Washburn and Dr. Ricky Telg, in the









Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, and Dr. Linda Cronin Jones

in the College of Education, for the tremendous guidance they provided throughout my

degree process. I grew professionally and personally as a student in their classes, and as

an observer of their actions. Each exhibits a passion for teaching that I pray radiates from

me to my students.

I thank my extended family members in the Pauley, Trees, Bellah, and Alexander

families. I am grateful for the phone calls, cards, visits, e-mail, well wishes, and good

humor they have all provided.

I thank my new "Tarleton State University family" for welcoming me into their

professional and personal lives and for believing that I would be an asset to the

agricultural education profession in Texas. I appreciate their patience in waiting for me

and for their constant encouragement throughout the remainder of this part of my

journey.

I thank my dear friends, Addie and Cara, who consistently add to my life in

priceless ways. I thank them for the laughter and tears, the love and support, the late

night phone calls, and the continuous friendship they have shared with me for more than

a decade. They are my best friends and, given a choice, the two women I would call

"sister."

Finally, I am most grateful to my husband and children, whose strength, patience,

spirituality, and flexibility are my inspiration. I am indebted to them for allowing me the

time to be a student, a teacher, a wife, and a mommy all at once. Never once did they

make me feel like I was neglecting anything, especially through the times I knew

everything was off balance.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS



A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................. x

LIST OF FIGURES ......... ......................... ...... ........ ............ xi

A B S T R A C T .......................................... .................................................. x iii

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION ............................................... .. ......................... ..

Constructivist Epistemology ............. .. ......... ..................... ...............
The Case for Agricultural Literacy Curriculum ........................................ ................5
California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness
(C C G A L A ) ......... ......... ... ................................................................... .. 8
E educational E valuation ................................................................. ....................... 9
Innovation A doption.. .................................................................... ............... 10
State ent of the P problem .......................... .. ......... ... .. ................. ........... ..........
P u rp o se ...............................................................................12
O objectives ...................................................................................................... 12
D definition of Term s ..... ...................... ....................... .... .... .. ............ 13
L im itatio n s .................................................................................................... 14
A ssu m p tio n s ............................................................................................................... 14
C chapter Sum m ary ............................................ .. .. .... ........ .... ...... 15

2 LITERATURE REVIEW .......... ........ ................. ............... 16

The Role of Context in Education .................. .......................................... 16
E xperiential L earning ............................ ............... .................... ............... 18
Teacher K now ledge and A attitudes ........................................... .....................19
Agricultural Literacy as an Educational Innovation...................... ............... 22
Summary of Agricultural Literacy Research...................................................23
Student Attitudes and Knowledge .............. ........... ........ .................24
Teacher Preparation and Professional Development............... ................30
Barriers to Curriculum Implementation .......................................................36
T heoretical P erspective.......... ............................................................. ...... .... ... 40
Change Facilitators ............................................... .... .............. ... 41









Resource System s ......... .. .... ........ ....... ............... .... ........43
Stages of Concern........ ... ..... .... .............. .........................43
Levels of Use ......................................................................... .... ......... ................ 45
Innovation C onfigurations.......................................................................... 45
Concerns Based Adoption Model Empirical Research ....................................46
C chapter Sum m ary .............................................. ... .... ........ ......... 54

3 M E T H O D S ........................................................................................................... 5 7

R research Perspective ........................................ ................. .... ....... 58
R research M ethods............ ................................................................... ....... .. ... 59
P population and Sam ple ....................................................................... ..................59
R researcher Subjectivity .............................................................. ......... ................. 60
Instrumentation ....................................... .. .............. ........ ......... 61
Teacher Attitudes and Perceptions of Agriculture .................... ... .............. 61
Stages of C concern .......... ................................... ..................6 1
Levels of Use ........... .. ......... ................. 62
Innovation C onfigurations........ ......... ............................................................... 63
Innovation Configuration Map Development .............................................. 64
Innovation Configuration Interview s ...................................... ............... 65
Perceived Outcomes Experienced by Teachers ......... ................................... 66
D ata C o lle ctio n ..................................................................................................... 6 6
Data Analysis................................. .......... 67
Stages of C concern A nalysis.......................................... ........................... 67
L evel of U se A naly sis ............. ........ ............ ................... .....................68
Perceived Outcomes and Experiences Analysis.......................................69
C chapter Sum m ary .............................................. ... .... ........ ......... 71

4 RESULTS AND DISCU SSION ........................................... .......................... 74

Accessible Population Demographic and Psychographic Characteristics..................75
Objective One: Describe Elementary Teachers' Attitudes and Perceptions of
Agriculture as a Context for Teaching Elementary Students...............................78
Previous Agricultural Experience............................................... ................... 78
A attitude Tow ard A agriculture ................. .. ................. ................. .... 79
Attitude Toward Agriculture as a Context for Teaching Elementary Students... 81
Purposively Selected Sam ple ......................... .... .... ............... .... 82
Objective Two: Describe Elementary Teachers' Current Stages of Concern with
Respect to Implementing an Agricultural Literacy Curriculum. ..........................85
California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness Non-
User Stages of Concern.................... ............. ... .. .............86
California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness User
Stages of Concern .............. ... ....... ........... ..... .... ...... .. .............87
Objective Three: Describe Elementary Teachers' Current Levels of Use of the
California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness ..............89
Objective Four: Delineate the Essential Components for "Ideal," "Acceptable,"
and "Unacceptable" Implementation of an Agricultural Literacy Curriculum.......96









Objective Five: Describe the Innovation Configurations that Teachers Employed
While Implementing an Agricultural Literacy Curriculum. .............................103
Objective Six: Describe the Perceived Outcomes Experienced by Teachers Who
Adopted the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum ....................................................105
Them e 1: Tim e .................... ................. ............... ................ 106
T hem e 2: R ole P erceptions.......................................................................... ..... 113
Them e 3: Change Facilitators................................ ......................... ........ 118
C chapter Sum m ary .............................................. ... ............. ....... 124

5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS .........................125

O bj ectiv e s ...................................................25..........
M e th o d s .............................................................................................................. 1 2 5
Sum m ary of F finding s ....................................................................... .................. 129
Objective One ................. ......... ........ .........129
Objective Two .......................... ..................130
O objective Three ................................................ ... .......... .. .......... ... 130
Objective Four ................. ......... ................. 131
Objective Five .......................... ..................132
O bjectiv e S ix ...............................................................13 4
C on clu sion s.....................................................134
Discussion and Implications .................. ........ ............. .. .............135
Objective One: Describe Elementary Teachers' Attitudes and Perceptions of
Agriculture as a Context for Teaching Elementary Students.......................135
Objective Two: Describe Elementary Teachers' Current Stages of Concern
with Respect to Implementing an Agricultural Literacy Curriculum. ...........137
Objective Three: Describe Elementary Teachers' Current Levels of Use of
the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness. 144
Objective Four: Delineate the Essential Components for "Ideal,"
"Acceptable," and "Unacceptable" Implementation of an Agricultural
L iteracy C urriculum ................................................................. .................. 146
Objective Five: Describe the Innovation Configurations that Teachers
Employed While Implementing an Agricultural Literacy Curriculum..........149
Objective Six: Describe the Perceived Outcomes Experienced by Teachers
Who Adopted the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum...................................151
Recom m endations for Practitioners....................................................................... 155
Recommendations for Further Research ...................................... ............... 156
R eflectio n ............................. ........................................................... ............... 15 7

APPENDIX

A INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL ...............................160

B PRELIM INARY LETTER ......................................................... .............. 161

C INTERVIEWEE INFORMED CONSENT.......................................................162









D CALIFORNIA CURRICULUM GUIDELINES FOR AGRICULTURAL LITERACY
AWARENESS PARTICIPANT ATTITUDINAL INSTRUMENT ..........................163

E STAGES OF CONCERN QUESTIONNAIRE............................. .....................165

F STAGES OF CONCERN QUESTIONNAIRE QUICK SCORING DEVICE........167

G CALIFORNIA CURRICULUM GUIDELINES FOR AGRICULTURAL LITERACY
AWARENESS INNOVATION CONFIGURATIONS ROUND ONE DELPHI
IN S T R U M E N T ............................................................................... ................ .. 16 8

H INTERVIEW PROTOCOL ......................................................... .............. 169

I STAGES OF CONCERN RAW SCORE PERCENTILE CONVERSION CHART
FOR STAGES OF CONCERN QUESTIONNAIRE..............................................170

J INNOVATION CONFIGURATION COMPONENT VARIATION TABLE........171

K INNOVATION CONFIGURATION PROFILES ............................... ...............176

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ...................................................................... ..................... 186

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................. .......................... .. ...... 195
















LIST OF TABLES


Table p

4-1. Summary of Currently Teaching Participants and their Use of Agriculture and the
California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness (n=36) ....76

4-2. Previous A agricultural Experience.................................... ............................. ....... 79

4-3. Attitude toward Agriculture Construct Summary of Individual Items.......................80

4-4. Attitude toward Using Agriculture as a Context for Teaching Elementary Content
Standards Construct Summary of Individual Items .............................................82

4-5. Summaries of Purposively Selected Sample Participants ....................................84

4-6. Summary Means of Sample and Target Population Demographic Characteristics.... 85

4-7. Frequency of Highest Concerns Stage for Individual Users of CCGALA........... 89

4-8. Participants' Level of Use of the California Curriculum Guidelinesfor
Agricultural Literacy Awareness ............................................................................90

4-9. Summary of Frequency of Participants' Levels of Use of the California
Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness..............................90

4-10. Round 1 Example Expert Panelist Responses .....................................................98

4-11. Summary of Frequency of Responses to Variation by Component .......................100
















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

2-1. The Kolb Experiential Learning M odel ....................................... ............... 18

2-2. Theory of R seasoned A ction........................................................... ............... 20

2-3. The HiC Scale of Relative Size of Innovations....................................................23

2-4. Concerns Based Adoption M odel ........................................ ........................ 42

2-5. Stages of Concern .............. ........................................... .. ........ .... 44

3-1. Form at for the LoU Branching Interview ..................................... .................63

3-2. Item Numbers and Associated Stages of Concern ................................................68

4 -1. T y p e o f S ch o o l ................................................................................................... 7 7

4-2 L location of School ........................... ........ ..................... .. ...... .... ..... ...... 78

4-3. Distribution of Participant Attitudes Toward Agriculture Scores............................80

4-4. Distribution of Participant Attitudes Toward Agriculture as a Context for
Teaching Elem entry Students Scores .......................................... ............... 81

4-5. Distribution of Stages of Concern for CCGALA Non-Users (n=6)..........................86

4-6. Distribution of Stages of Concern for CCGALA Users (n=4) ..................................88

4-7. Summaries of Typical Responses at Levels 0, I, II, and III ............. ...............91

4-8. Summaries of Typical Responses at Levels IV A, IV B, V, and VI.....................92

4-9. California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness
Innovation Configurations M ap (page 1).................................... ............... 101

4-10. California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness
Innovation Configurations Map (page 2) ........................................................102

4-11. Emerging Themes Related to the Perceived Outcomes and Experiences of
Elementary Teachers Using an Agricultural Literacy Curriculum ......................106









5-1. Hypothesized Development of Stages of Concern...............................138

5-2. Distribution of Stages of Concern for CCGALA non-users (n=6) .........................139

5-3. Distribution of Stages of Concern for CCGALA Users (n=4)..................... ........142















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

ELEMENTARY TEACHERS' EXPERIENCES IN
ADOPTING AN AGRICULTURAL LITERACY CURRICULUM

By

Kimberly A. Bellah

May 2006

Chair: James E. Dyer
Major Department: Agricultural Education and Communication

The purpose of this study was to explore the concerns, levels of use, and innovation

configurations of elementary teachers in their use and sustained adoption of the

California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness as a resource for

teaching the California state educational standards. A descriptive study was conducted,

integrating both qualitative and quantitative components. The theoretical perspective was

based on the Concerns Based Adoption Model with qualitative methods used to uncover

the experiences of the elementary teachers. An attitudinal instrument was administered

to the accessible target population (N=42). A purposive sample was selected for follow-

up interviews (n=10). Sample participants completed a Stage of Concern questionnaire

and participated in a Level of Use branching interview, as well as a semi-structured, in-

depth interview regarding their experiences with an agricultural literacy curriculum. An

innovation configurations checklist was developed using a modified Delphi method and









results were cross-referenced to transcript data to determine ideal, acceptable, and

unacceptable use of the curriculum guidelines.

Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the demographic characteristics and

attitudes of the participants, and to assess the stages of concern and frequencies of levels

of use. Analyses indicated participants had generally favorable attitudes toward

agriculture and its use as a context for teaching elementary students. Most elementary

teachers had first or second highest concerns at the awareness or informational stage.

Participants who self-reported no use of agriculture as an integrating context were at the

non-use or orientation level of use.

The components that emerged from the innovation configurations checklist were

use of the curriculum guidelines, cross-disciplinary reference to state standards,

experiential learning opportunities, instructional approach, student assessment, and lesson

purpose. Results of checklist development indicated that participants were generally

acceptable and ideal with respect to instructional approach and experiential learning

opportunities, but generally unacceptable with respect to use of the guidelines and cross-

referencing to state standards.

Members focused on (1) time limitations, (2) role perceptions, and (3) a need for

change facilitators as themes contributing to the decision process involved with choosing

to adopt and sustain use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural

Literacy Awareness.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Beginning teachers are faced with many responsibilities and challenges as they

embark on their chosen profession. Not only do they face the pressures of standards-

based educational accountability, but they also have specific concerns unique to

beginning educational professionals.

The Moir Model (Joerger, 2002) conceptualizes specific stages through which a

teacher progresses during the first year of teaching. From anticipation to survival to

disillusionment, new teachers experience a seemingly downward spiral during the first

few months of teaching. After a period of rejuvenation, teachers then move through a

reflection period until they cycle back in anticipation of the next year. There are many

contributors to this period of uncertainty, all of which affect teacher retention rates.

Alarmingly, average teacher attrition rates during the first three years can range from

thirty to sixty percent (Darling-Hammond, 2002).

Educational accountability demands are also factors contributing to the pressures

placed on teachers at all stages of their careers, but these demands may be particularly

concerning to a new professional seeking job retention and tenure. Student performance

on standardized achievement tests often determines levels of school funding for

subsequent years, as well as whether or not administrators retain their positions for the

following academic year. State performance standards often guide teachers in selecting

curricula that will best prepare students for success on standards-based achievement tests.









To that end, beginning teachers are not only concerned with how to teach, but with

what to teach in order to meet standards. As such, teachers assume positions as

gatekeepers in selecting and delivering subject matter to students (Barab & Luehmann,

2003).

In an age of educational accountability, school systems often struggle to meet

performance expectations, and to find the ever-elusive "one size fits all" curricular

approach to teaching and learning. With No Child Left Behind as the educational norm

dujour, state departments of education are busy ensuring that (1) students are learning

from only highly qualified teachers, (2) math and science education is strengthened, and

(3) student achievement gaps are closed (Educational Research Service, 2001). All of

these demands must be met for schools to successfully compete for reward money, or risk

sanctions if expectations are not met. Even so, many children may be left behind if the

primary measure of school quality is based on the results of an annual standardized exam

(Meier & Wood, 2004).

Constructivist Epistemology

Many of the messages delivered to teachers encourage them to utilize curriculum

resources that allow students to construct knowledge. Constructivists view learning as a

building process. Rather than presenting abstract concepts for students to ponder and

process, constructivism places the learner as the active erector of knowledge and

understanding via interaction, discovery, and exploration (Santrock, 2001; Schunk, 2000;

Woolfolk, 1993). Constructivist pioneer Lev Vygotsky's analysis of practical intelligence

in children and animals lends credence to learning in a context such as agriculture (1978).

Through his observations, Vygotsky proffers an analogy of children stacking

experiences and repeated actions one upon another. This stacking serves to create clearer









commonalities and to distort differences until what remains are models of experience and

understanding. As a child grows, so does the number of models and experiences

obtained. The child's understanding of the world around him or her is acquired through

linkages of those models to one another, creating a "rough blueprint for possible types of

action in the future" (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 22). Thus, if students who have no experiences

in agriculture are to learn of this context, learning about agriscience may need to be tied

to other learning. Similarly, brain-based research embraces the ideology of

interconnected meaning making and affords an opportunity to understand how students

construct knowledge.

Caine and Caine (1991) opined that "Every complex event embeds information in

the brain and links what is being learned to the rest of the learner's current experiences,

past knowledge, and future behavior" (p. 5). Enveloping the student in lessons and

activities, whereby he or she talks, listens, thinks, values, acts, experiences, and perceives

relationships among those activities, provides an immersed environment for the learner to

move past surface knowledge and into meaningful knowledge (1991).

Qualifying surface knowledge as anything that "a robot can 'know'" (p. 7), such as

rote memorization of facts or formulas, Caine and Caine surmise that to truly acquire

meaningful knowledge, a child must perceive relationships between new knowledge and

past experiences. "Meaningful knowledge is anything that makes sense to the learner"

(Caine & Caine, 1991, p. 7) and creates a deeper understanding of the larger patterns

surrounding subject matter presented to the student (Falk & Dierking, 2000; Hardiman,

2003; Johnson, 2002). While brain-based research echoes constructivism at its core, it is









research delineating brain structure and function in making those connections that

differentiates brain-based research from constructivist theory.

At the essence of brain-based learning are the cell communication processes and

the connections made between axons and dendrites within the neurons (Hardiman, 2003).

Axons send signals across synaptic gaps, which dendrites receive; thus, learning occurs.

As more connections transpire between axons and dendrites, signals move faster and

more efficiently; as more pathways are created, more dendrites grow (2003). Learning

occurs during these neurological connections; logic follows, therefore, that the greater the

number of connections, the more learning is facilitated.

Furthermore, when the brain perceives information worth retaining, information

transfers to long-term memory storage and retention (Hardiman, 2003; Johnson, 2002).

Not all brains form and develop identically, so neural connections may not be inspired

the same way for all people (Caine & Caine, 1991).

Reinforcing this disparity of knowledge acquisition, Gardner (1993) theorized the

concept of multiple intelligence; that the brain makes neural connections in more than

just logical and verbal sequences. Rather, Gardner's focus is on seven intelligence,

including musical, spatial, kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal, as well as logical-

mathematical and verbal (1993). In Gardner's view, intelligence is defined as "the ability

to solve problems, or to fashion products, that are valued in one or more cultural or

community settings" (p. 7). To that end, IQ points, as a single dimension, do not measure

a person's intelligence, nor do the cumulative points obtained on the Scholastic

Achievement Test (SAT).









Instead, Gardner's pluralized viewpoint regards the intelligence as a person's

propensity to call on a combination of abilities to "work together to solve problems, to

yield various kinds of cultural end states vocations, avocations, and the like" (1993, p.

9). Bearing that in mind, beckoning a multitude of abilities learned through previous

experiences in the learner's frame of reference, to construct new knowledge, is at the crux

of agricultural education curriculum philosophy, as well as this study's epistemological

foundation.

The Case for Agricultural Literacy Curriculum

Moore (1988) deemed Rufus W. Stimson as the "forgotten leader in agricultural

education" (p. 50). Stimson gained that notoriety because of his visionary development

of the project-based method of teaching that was subsequently credited to William Heard

Kilpatrick. In 1908, Stimson broadcast his vision whereby students at Smith's

Agricultural School would learn agricultural skills and techniques at school, but would

"apply what they had learned on their home farms through the use of home projects" (p.

50). In less than a decade, Stimson's project-based method and philosophy spread from

Massachusetts to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Soon

after, the project method gained widespread use by progressive teaching practitioners in a

variety of educational areas. Stimson's vision became the precursor to works by

Kilpatrick and Dewey, as well as to modem day agricultural education supervised

agricultural experiences (Talbert, Vaughn, & Croom, 2005).

Dewey's work, in particular, dictates a need for experience relevant to the context

of the learner. Agricultural education at the secondary level epitomized the role of

experience in education as Prosser and Allen documented in their theorems of vocational

education (as cited in Talbert, Vaughn, & Croom, 2005). Of notable interest are









theorems that called for experiences capitalizing on students' interests and needs;

providing engagement of both cognitive and psychomotor skills; and affording social,

physical, and intellectual development of students. Since the passage of the Smith-

Hughes Act in 1917, agricultural education values experience as a means for acquiring

food, fiber, and natural resources understanding as the heart of the program (Wonacott,

2003).

Agricultural education students, their parents, agricultural teachers, and industry

leaders possess strong beliefs about secondary level agricultural education courses.

Specifically, they believe agricultural education provides a context rich environment that

"engages students and fosters interest to promote further education" (Dailey, Conroy, &

Shelley-Tolbert, 2001, p. 18). In further support of agricultural education as an

integrating context, Balschweid and Thompson noted, "integration of academic principles

into agricultural and natural resources can provide a context necessary for students in the

21st century to understand the world they live in" (2000, p. 36). As such, agricultural

education leaders and supporters began to explore the potential success of this formula at

the elementary and middle school levels.

Traditional agricultural education programs are viewed as education in agriculture,

whereas an early effort by the National Academy of Sciences to define agricultural

literacy at other educational levels was deemed education about agriculture (as cited in

Talbert, Vaughn, & Croom, 2005). In 1991, Frick, Kahler, and Miller leveraged research

efforts to operationally define agricultural literacy on a national level. The results of their

research yielded the following definition:

Agricultural literacy can be defined as possessing knowledge and understanding of
our food and fiber system. An individual possessing such knowledge would be









able to synthesize, analyze, and communicate basic information about agriculture.
Basic agricultural information includes: the production of plant and animal
products, the economic impact of agriculture, its societal significance, agriculture's
important relationship with natural resources and the environment, the marketing of
agricultural products, the processing of agricultural products, public agricultural
policies, the global significance of agriculture, and the distribution of agricultural
products. (p. 52)

The National Research Council (NRC) issued a report in 1988 calling for student

education in and about agriculture at all levels (Committee on Agricultural Education in

Secondary Schools). Since then, an onslaught of agriculturally based curriculum

materials have been produced and distributed to elementary teachers as they sought to

integrate agricultural concepts and provide contextual experiences for their students.

Agriculture in the Classroom; Project WET; Project WILD; Project Food, Land, and

People; Project Learning Tree; and a multitude of other national, state, and local

curriculum packages, designed to integrate cross-curricular outcomes with agricultural

themes, are currently available to elementary teachers. The challenge for teachers is not a

lack of available resources for using agriculture as a context for teaching standards at all

levels. Rather, the crux of the problem facing teachers is how they navigate standards,

curriculum materials, professional development, administrative mandates, and then

subsequently synthesize all of those components into a deliverable, student-centered

package.

Numerous agricultural education research studies have cited the NRC report

(Committee on Agricultural Education in Secondary Schools, 1988) calling for an

increase in agricultural literacy and awareness throughout all levels of education

(Doerfert, 2003; Frick, 1991 & 1993; Harris & Birkenholz, 1996; Humphrey, Stewart, &

Linhardt, 1994). Moreover, the NRC's report highlighted that, while the need for more

agriculturally literate students is critical, little is being done to educate teachers about









agriculture outside of secondary agricultural education teacher preparation programs

(1988).

More recently, agricultural education has re-sounded a call for comprehensive

agricultural literacy efforts. Hillison (1998) and Peterson (1999) indicated that

partnerships with elementary teacher preparation programs are needed to educate

preservice teachers about agriculture and its uses as a context for teaching. Clearly, there

is a gap between what is needed to achieve the vision for an agriculturally literate society

and providing the services to facilitate achievement of that preferred future. Although

collaborating with preservice elementary teacher education programs may be a first step

in fulfilling the NRC's recommendations, simply delivering a message about a particular

subject matter area (e.g., agriculture) may not be enough.

California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness (CCGALA)

The California Food and Fiber Futures (CF3) program, a project funded by the W.

K. Kellogg Foundation, responded to the call to increase the agricultural literacy levels of

teachers by developing the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy

Awareness (Bitto, Casey, & Casey, 2005), or CCGALA. This comprehensive publication

outlines each of the California state performance standards for students in kindergarten

through grade twelve. Corresponding to each standard is a suggested lesson that teaches

that standard using an agricultural context. Additionally, the resource for that lesson is

listed.

CCGALA reflects the constructivist viewpoint that all knowledge is contingent

upon human interaction and practice with objects, and that meaning is constructed in and

out of such interaction between humans and the world in a social context (Crotty, 2003).

Moreover, the requirement placed on each suggested lesson is that it must meet at least









two standards, and meet those standards in at least two content areas. Many of the

suggested lessons exceed this requirement. Finally, grade-level appropriate literature

sources are listed for each grade level.

Creating the CCGALA was the preliminary step in making agriculture a contextual,

constructivist, and experiential learning reality accessible to elementary teachers.

Preparing teachers to use the guide was a second, yet no less important, priority for CF3.

Three West Coast university campuses embraced the CCGALA and committed to

teaching preservice elementary teachers how to effectively use the guide as they prepared

to teach. Specifically, these efforts were leveled at kindergarten through eighth grade

pre-service teachers.

Educational Evaluation

In this age of accountability, evidence of student achievement is frequently

measured using a standardized exam uniformly administered to all students. In this way,

administrators can quantify student achievement, and track knowledge gains, by

comparing group means from year to year. While this objective-oriented approach is one

way to quantify program outcomes, there are other means by which to evaluate the

effectiveness of an educational program. Strauss, Bowes, Marks, and Plesko (2000)

maintain a constructivist notion whereby student achievement is the result of a

cumulative effect based on what the student learned earlier.

Theory has played an important role in educational evaluation. Tyler, Bloom,

Talmage, and others contributed to these theories through their work in measuring

student outcomes related to educational and curricular programming (Worthen &

Sanders, 1987). Although evaluation of specific programs may prove useful for program

developers, one may argue that the true worth of an educational program is not based on









the intended outcome of the program. Instead, in the wake of educational reform,

"evaluation" emphases may prove more fruitful if focused on the sustained use and

adoption of educational innovations.

Innovation Adoption

An innovation, as defined by Rogers (2003), is an "idea, practice, or object that is

perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption" (p. 12). Rogers expands on

the definition by indicating that an innovation could be perceived as new simply by the

lapse in time since it was originally introduced. Such time spans fail to exclude an idea,

practice, or object from being categorized as an innovation. Instead, an individual's

perceived nascence of an object is enough to merit the title of innovation (2003).

From Rogers' viewpoint, an innovation is adopted through the innovation-decision

process. As such, a potential user passes from first knowledge or awareness of an

innovation to the final confirmation and reinforcement of the decision to adopt or reject

the innovation through this process (2003). Key players in Rogers' model are the opinion

leaders those who assess the merits of innovations early and then have influence over

others in their area of expertise.

Unfortunately, in the educational genre, the presence of opinion leaders in adopting

or rejecting educational innovations lacks the same level of effect as it does in other

areas. While teachers may respect administrators or teacher educators, or may be sparked

by a presentation at a professional development seminar, the reality remains that the

teacher primarily makes decisions about adopting or rejecting an educational innovation

within the walls of his or her own classroom. With that in mind, alternative measures for

assessing the potential worth and continued use of educational innovations should be

sought.









While agricultural education researchers and stakeholders have recognized and

articulated a need for increased agricultural literacy efforts at all levels of the educational

process, little research has been conducted beyond assessment of student and teacher

knowledge and attitudes toward respective agricultural concepts (Trexler & Meischen,

2002). Moreover, research efforts have concentrated on individual curriculum packages

or units, rather than evaluating systematic programs that infuse agriculture as a thematic

context across the content areas at the elementary level. This study differed from

previous agricultural literacy evaluation efforts in that its focus was on existing

agricultural curriculum resources, cross-referenced to state standards, from kindergarten

through grade eight. Likewise, traditional evaluation procedures assess the merit or

worth of an educational innovation only through student achievement based on formal,

paper and pencil assessments, or through simple assessment of teacher use or non-use.

This study moved beyond fact-based evaluation of agricultural knowledge and attitudes

and probed the attitudes, concerns, usage levels, and innovative adaptations teachers

encountered after exposure to this curriculum innovation. Rather than focusing strictly

on outcomes of curriculum use, this study sought to examine adoption of the curriculum

innovation using the Concerns Based Adoption Model (Hall & Hord, 2001).

Statement of the Problem

Educational innovation developers frequently place significant emphasis and

resources on the development of an educational innovation (Hall & Hord, 2001).

Conversely, resources for introduction, implementation, and sustained adoption of such

innovations are disproportionately out of balance. As such, teachers frequently find

themselves struggling on their own to understand and use newly introduced educational

innovations. Evaluative measures, when performed, serve simply to assess ifa teacher is









using an innovation. If data demonstrate non-use, the innovation is deemed a failure. If

data indicate teacher use, the innovation is deemed a success. The problem with

traditional educational evaluative measures is that teacher concerns, levels of innovation

use, and innovation configurations employed by the teacher are rarely considered in

agricultural education curricular evaluation assessments. This leaves a gap in the body of

knowledge as to the depth and breadth of true, sustained use of educational programming.

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to explore the concerns, levels of use, and innovation

configurations of elementary teachers in their use and sustained adoption of the

California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness as a resource for

teaching the California state educational standards in grades kindergarten through eight.

Objectives

Using the Concerns Based Adoption Model (Hall & Hord, 2001) to describe

elementary teachers' experiences with agriculture as the integrating context for teaching

math, science, language arts, and social science standards, several objectives guided this

project. The objectives were to:

1. Describe elementary teachers' attitudes and perceptions of agriculture as a context
for teaching elementary students.

2. Describe elementary teachers' current stages of concern with respect to
implementing an agricultural literacy curriculum.

3. Describe elementary teachers' current levels of use of the California Curriculum
Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness.

4. Delineate the essential components for "ideal," "acceptable," and "unacceptable"
implementation of an agricultural literacy curriculum.

5. Describe the innovation configurations that teachers employed while implementing
an agricultural literacy curriculum.









6. Describe the perceived outcomes experienced by teachers who adopted the
agricultural literacy curriculum.

Definition of Terms

Several important terms were utilized throughout this study. To ensure

understanding of those relevant terms, the following definitions were established:

1. Agricultural literacy education about agriculture, including the food, fiber, and
natural resource systems (Talbert, Vaughn, & Croom, 2005).

2. Change facilitator one who assists innovation users through the various stages
and processes of adoption. According to Hall and Hord (1987), change facilitators
may be administrators, teachers, district personnel, or innovation developers and
trainers who serve to assist individuals in developing a level of confidence and
competence needed to sustain use and adoption of an innovation.

3. Concerns Based Adoption Model a mode of assessing educational innovation use
based on teachers' concerns and comfort with the innovation, rather than on simple
evaluation measures that ascertain use or non-use of an innovation (Hall & Hord,
2001).

4. Educational innovation pertaining to a product or process as introduced into the
educational genre. An innovation may be characterized as "a new textbook or
curriculum materials, or ... different approaches to discipline, counseling
techniques, or instructional procedure" (Hall & Hord, 1987, p. 9). By this
definition, this study investigated adoption of a product innovation known as the
California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness.

5. Innovation configurations recognition that during the innovation adoption process
users may have a "tendency to adapt, modify, and/or mutate aspects of
innovations" (Hall & Hord, 2001, p. 39). Articulation of ideal, acceptable, and
unacceptable uses of an innovation, from the perspective of the developer,
recognizes that natural process of mutation and provides useful guidelines to
follow.

6. Levels of use the sequence of levels through which an educator may pass as he or
she gains confidence and skill in the use of an educational innovation (Newhouse,
2001). The eight levels, as defined by Hall and Hord (2001), are Nonuse,
Orientation, Preparation, Mechanical Use, Routine, Refinement, Integration, and
Renewal.

7. Stages of concern an educator's perception of an educational innovation (Willis,
1992). Specifically, the seven stages of concern defined by Hall and Hord (2001)
are Awareness, Informational, Personal, Management, Consequence,
Collaboration, and Refocusing.









Limitations

Although the use of agriculture as a teaching context for integrating science, math,

social science, and language arts may be similar to other curriculum programs, the results

of this study should not be generalized beyond the target population. Likewise, all of the

data were self-reported by the participants via questionnaire and in-depth interviews.

Researcher subjectivity and relationship with study participants warrant notation as

a study limitation. Because participants were former students of the researcher, interview

responses may have been biased in a favorable manner toward agriculture. In an effort to

minimize such a limitation, initial data were collected from the population to develop a

composite picture of the population before the sample was selected for follow up

interviews.

Another limitation of this study related to gender demographics. The target

population was predominately female (94%); however, this is representative of the

elementary teaching profession as a whole (Bleicher, 2004).

Finally, this study focused only on beginning teachers as the target population.

Beginning teachers, due to their limited experiences within the teaching profession, may

be more or less adaptable when considering educational innovations for adoption;

therefore, this study should not be considered as representative of all teachers.

Assumptions

The California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness is a

curriculum that promotes agricultural literacy across the content areas in grades

kindergarten through eight.

Respondents were honest in their responses regarding their attitudes toward

agriculture, as well as in assessments about their use of the CCGALA during their









teaching experiences. Likewise, the study assumed that respondents were open and

forthright in responding to the stages of concern questionnaire, as well as throughout the

interview process.

Summary

While administrators strive to satisfy governmental edicts on pupil performance,

teachers also struggle in their efforts to meet curricular standards and teach students to

perform capably on standardized achievement exams. Students often struggle to learn

subject matter foreign to their limited experiences from adults who have more

experiences and a broader frame of reference of such subject matter (Dewey, 1997).

Such a divergence of experience makes the use of teaching methods that are based in

constructivist epistemology a sound and reasonable bridge between the learner and the

learned. Agriculture as a context may be able to serve as that bridge.

If the agricultural education profession seeks to infuse agriculture across grade

level and content area boundaries, traditional methods of evaluation may not suffice

when the goal is to create conversationally literate citizens in the food, fiber, and natural

resources system (National Council for Agricultural Education, 2000). Sustained and

acceptable use of agricultural literacy curricula seems to be the most logical path in

reaching that goal. Therefore, exploration of teacher concerns and levels of use in an

agricultural literacy curriculum may serve to provide a richer understanding of why

teachers elect to adopt, or reject, an agricultural literacy curriculum to teach elementary

students.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Chapter 1 outlined the basis for conducting this study. A portrait of how current

educational accountability practices shape beginning teacher concerns was painted, and

recognized that teachers, as curriculum gatekeepers, are concerned with far more than

simply what to teach to their students.

The purpose of the research study and appropriate research objectives were stated.

Research methods were overviewed, relevant key terms defined, assumptions delineated,

and study limitations stated.

The Role of Context in Education

A key point of Dewey's philosophy of the role of experience in learning is that

students' inexperience, especially at the primary grade level, limits their ability to

develop their own learning experiences (Dewey, 1997). Likewise, it is because of this

disparity between the student's experience level, as compared to that of their teacher, that

"traditional" schools evolved as places where the learned teach, and the inexperienced

learn. This idea that knowledge is static and unchanging is where schools bogged down

in the educational process (1997).

Admittedly, there are some components of knowledge that are unchanging:

mathematical equations, the shape and rotation of the Earth, the order of the alphabet, as

well as others. However, early educators decided that certain levels of information are

appropriate only to certain levels of learners. Through this limitation of curriculum

delivery, teachers became accustomed to teaching specific concepts at specific grade









level intervals, without thought as to what students could do, given subject matter

delivered in another context. In addition to prescribed curriculum delivery, Dewey

proffered two other barriers relevant to allowing students to more fully participate in the

experiential development process: difficulty accepting change and teacher proficiency

levels.

Dewey recognized that change is difficult and that it is much less time consuming

for teachers to continue teaching what they already know, than it is for them to diverge

from that routine. In investigating principles of change in the educational genre, Hall and

Hord (2001) acknowledged that teachers need time to accept and plan for change because

there is grief over what is familiar and now lost to the educator. Without continued

support in the change process, teachers may quickly revert to what they previously taught

in an effort to demonstrate proficiency in front of students, parents, and administrators.

Secondly, Dewey contended that delivering organized bodies of knowledge to

students is a mode of inflicting education from an external standpoint; however, teachers

continue to do just that while interspersing activities under the guise of experientially

demonstrating the concepts being taught. Teachers who include laboratory or

experiential activities to simply demonstrate a concept, or to "fill time," exhibit contempt

(albeit unwittingly), for what Dewey maintains is inherently necessary in experiential

education (1997). The teacher must facilitate student experiences so that a connection to

desired educational outcomes and future inferences in similar, yet not identical, situations

can be achieved. By providing those facilitated experiences, teachers can achieve the

balance needed to allow students to participate in their own development. By virtue of

the teacher's maturity and experience, she or he can frame the information to be









delivered, but the students can more fully develop transitional and transferable

organizational skills that can be recalled in the future.

Experiential Learning

Dewey proclaimed that properly facilitated learning experiences, based in real life

contexts, serve as triggering events for future decisions in similar circumstances. Kolb

(1984) drew from Dewey, Lewin, and Piaget, as well as his own learning style research,

to conceptualize the experiential learning model (see Figure 2-1).

Concrete
Experience



Active Reflective
Experimentation Ob servaion



Abstract
Conceptualization

Figure 2-1. The Kolb Experiential Learning Model (1984)

Experiential learning theory is grounded on the assumption that learning is based in

both content and process (Kolb & Kolb, 2005). The experiential learning model is a

cyclical and continuous process. The model begins with a concrete experience that

engages the student in a manner that he or she finds relevant and meaningful.

The second step involves reflective observation facilitated by the teacher that draws

on the immediate experience of the student. This is the dimension where experiential

theorists, like Dewey, indicate theprocess is sacrificed in favor of the content. Instead of

piling one experience on top of another, students must have time to stop and engage in

guided reflection (Proudman, 1992). As students reflect on each subsequent experience,









they gain valuable insight and readiness for the next step in the process. Proudman

noted, "The need to mix experience with associated content and guided reflection is

critical. The dissonance created in this mixing allows the learner opportunities to bring

the theory to life" (p. 22).

The third step provides opportunity for the student to abstractly engage in

conceptualization of new implications for action. Much like Vygotsky's (1978) analysis

of the construction of learning experiences, this step allows students to search for and

create patterns based in experience and reflection that will serve as foundational

knowledge for new experiences (University Associates, Inc., 1990).

Finally, those new implications must be tested in new situations via active

experimentation. Each of the new active experimentation situations serves as the basis

for future concrete experiences from which the cycle begins again (Kolb, 1984).

Although there are slight differences in terminology and visual concept, the Dewey,

Lewinian, and Piaget models of experiential learning all reflect this same cyclical

movement (1984).

Experiential learning theories emphasize the needs of the learner so as to stimulate

interest and motivation within the learning environment (Zilbert & Leske, 1989).

Specifically, "active engagement in activities which satisfy needs, involve physical or

mental challenge, confrontation, or high levels of responsibility are important for

stimulating interest, analysis, and growth" (p. 2).

Teacher Knowledge and Attitudes

Teacher attitudes and subject matter knowledge can play critical roles in the

successful and continued use of any curriculum innovation. Much of what we know










about a person's propensity to behave in a particular way can be illustrated via Fishbein

and Ajzen's (1975) Theory of Reasoned Action (see Figure 2-2).

S--------------------------- -------------
Bdiefs about
consequences of Attitude toward
behavior X behavior X
Intention to perform
behavior X Behaior
Nomative beliefs Subjective norm
about behavior X corning behavior X



Figure 2-2. Theory of reasoned action (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975)

Knobloch and Martin (2000) used the Theory of Reasoned Action as a theoretical

framework to study elementary teachers' perceptions of agriculture and their integration

of agricultural awareness activities into the curriculum. Based on a survey of 281

elementary teachers, the researchers sought to assess elementary school teachers'

perceptions about agriculture, the need for agricultural awareness at the elementary level,

and integration of agriculture into the curriculum. More than 80% of the respondents

indicated agricultural activities were integrated into their curriculum. Interestingly, 50%

of the respondents reported teaching in an urban or metropolitan area. Further, 97%

agreed that agriculture could serve to enhance elementary curriculum, and 84% agreed

that agriculture could serve as a context to link learning across all subject matter areas.

Using cluster sampling techniques from Missouri secondary schools, Harris and

Birkenholz (1996) sought to determine the differences, if any, in knowledge of

agriculture and attitude toward the agricultural industry. This study analyzed

comparisons among administrators, agricultural teachers, language arts teachers,

mathematics teachers, science teachers, and social science teachers. Not surprisingly,









agricultural teachers demonstrated the most knowledge and most positive attitude toward

agriculture. Although mathematics and language arts teachers were least knowledgeable

and had the least positive attitude toward agriculture, practical significance in this study

indicates that all of the educator groups scored more than 80% on the knowledge

instrument. Harris and Birkenholz concluded that attitude and knowledge were not

perceived as major barriers to infusing agricultural concepts into curriculum; therefore,

they recommended that teachers in all subject matter areas be encouraged to incorporate

agriculture as a context for teaching at the secondary level (1996).

Humphrey, Stewart, and Linhardt (1994) surveyed 82 preservice elementary

teachers to provide information regarding their existing knowledge about and perception

toward agriculture. Statistical correlations demonstrated significant relationships

between knowledge about agriculture and perceptions toward agriculture. Elementary

education student teachers with higher knowledge scores tended to have a more positive

perception toward agriculture. Likewise, elementary education student teachers with

previous agricultural experience exhibited more confidence in their ability to teach

agricultural concepts in the elementary classroom. Researcher recommendations pointed

to a need for networking with teacher educators who prepare elementary teachers as a

priority for agricultural education. Agricultural education cannot expect elementary

educators to utilize agriculture as a context for teaching existing curriculum without

providing a structure to teach those individuals about agriculture (1994).

Utilizing a case study method to interpret intended versus implemented behaviors

of a middle school environmental science curriculum, Cronin (1986) indicated that

teacher beliefs and teacher knowledge were among the most influential, and most









difficult to change, factors influencing a teacher's use of curricula. Cronin's study

yielded a model akin to the Theory of Reasoned Action, yet the Curriculum

Implementation Model focused specifically on the educational environment.

Use of Fishbein and Ajzen's work has more than adequately demonstrated that

elementary teachers' attitudes and perceptions about agriculture as a context for teaching

are generally positive, thus indicating an intention to use agriculture as a means for

teaching. However, the research base lacks empirical evidence as to why elementary

teachers are not following through with the intent to use agricultural literacy curricula as

a more comprehensive means of teaching. The research base, especially in the

agricultural education genre, does little to explore teachers' experiences with agricultural

literacy curricula, and to explain sustained use and adoption of such curricula.

Agricultural Literacy as an Educational Innovation

Hall and Hord characterize educational innovations as products or processes

(2001). Products may include, among others, incorporation of technology or a text;

whereas processes may include school wide character education implementation efforts

or cooperative learning techniques. Inasmuch as the California Curriculum Guidelines

for Agricultural Literacy (CCGALA) is a resource guide designed for elementary teachers

to use agriculture as the context for teaching across the content standards, CCGALA

meets Hall and Hord's criteria as an educational innovation.

Furthermore, Hall and Hord indicated that educational innovations are

characterized by size, whether they are small and simple, large scale, or require

systematic reform (2001). To provide guidance related to relative size, innovations can

be assessed according to the Hall Innovation Category (HiC) Scale, with parallels drawn

from the Richter scale measuring the intensity of earthquakes (Hall & Hord, 2001).









Using the HiC Scale, CCGALA may be characterized as a seven on the ten point scale

with a descriptor of transforming as it relates to the amount of effort required to obtain a

level of successful implementation of the innovation (see Figure 2-3).

Level Name Examples
0 Cruise Control 1950s
Teacher in same classroom for many years
1 Whisper Pronouncements by officials
Commission reports
2 Tell New rules and more regulations of old practices
3 Yell Prescriptive policy mandates
4 Shake New text
Revised curriculum
5 Rattle Change principal
Team teaching
6 Roll Change teacher's classroom
Change grade configurations
7 Redesign Evening kindergarten
Integrated curriculum
8 Restructure Site-based decision making
Differentiated staffing
9 Mutation Teachers and principals belong to the same union
Changing the role of school boards
10 Reconstitution Local constitutional convention
Glasnost


Figure 2-3. The HiC scale of relative size of innovations (Hall & Hord, 2001).

Summary of Agricultural Literacy Research

Much of what exists in the way of agricultural literacy empirical research, as it

relates to the pre-secondary level, can be categorized into three major areas: student

knowledge and attitudes, teacher preparation and professional development, and barriers

to implementing agricultural literacy curriculum. In summarizing accessible agricultural

literacy research, there is little continuity between researchers with respect to

implementing a guiding theoretical perspective.









Student Attitudes and Knowledge

An early agricultural literacy study sought to determine differences in student

achievement scores based on instruction, or lack thereof, in agriscience and natural

resources courses (Connors & Elliot, 1995). This pre-experimental study used a static-

group comparison design with the independent variable being the number of science

credits students had completed, including agriscience and natural resources. The

dependent variable was the science achievement score earned by students on a

standardized exam developed by American Testronics.

Four Michigan high schools were randomly selected and 156 high school seniors

were used as the study population. Multiple regression analysis was used to control for

the extraneous independent variables of gender, race, grade point average, socioeconomic

status, and school characteristics. The researchers found a considerable positive

correlation between students' grade point average and their science test score, as well as a

moderate correlation between the number of science credits completed and science test

score.

The researchers concluded that high school seniors who had taken a course or

courses in agriscience and natural resources fared as well as their non-agriscience

counterparts on a standardized science achievement test. While this result is promising

for agricultural literacy proponents, there is much that remains unclear in the study. To

what extent did the agricultural teachers use the agriscience curriculum? Was the

curriculum used as the developers intended? The most notable correlations were related

to number of science credits taken and overall grade point average. Is the science

knowledge obtained cumulative based on greater exposure to science in general? Are

students with higher grade point averages more disposed to achieving higher test scores?









How much of the result can truly be attributed to the presence or absence of an

agricultural context? Many studies seeking to attribute achievement scores to curricular

components, like this one, often raise more questions than are answered. As such,

agricultural literacy studies turned to assessing student attitudes and gains in knowledge.

Igo, Leising, and Frick (1999) investigated food and fiber knowledge of 800

kindergarten through eighth grade students, in three states, using a case study

methodology. Analysis of pre- and posttest knowledge scores indicated significant

knowledge gains in each of the five agricultural theme areas outlined by the Food and

Fiber Systems Literacy Framework (Leising, Igo, Hubert, Heald, & Yamamoto, 1998)

from which the teachers at the study sites infused agricultural concepts.

Interestingly, the posttest scores for students in grades six through eight at all three

schools were lower than the pretest scores. While this study's primary purpose was to

"assess food and fiber knowledge of selected students before and after receiving

instruction" (Igo, Leising, and Frick, 1999, p. 50) based upon an agricultural literacy

curriculum's benchmarks and standards, the researchers reported data related to

classroom observations and teacher interviews.

Data alluded to a range of experiences in implementing the intended curriculum.

Specifically, some of the teachers "have difficulty making both formal and informal

connections to Food and Fiber Systems" (p. 53). Other teachers at the same site,

however, utilized not only the materials from the framework, but performed well above

expectation in "connecting much of their textbook activity to the standards and

benchmarks" (p. 53). The data, as reported, further indicated that some teachers

incorporated material far more than others did via classroom decorations, dramatizations,









and construction of raised bed gardens. The study expectation, however, was that each

teacher report a minimum of two lessons or connections to the food and fiber systems per

month.

The researchers recommended a need for teacher in-service training to assist in

making relevant connections between the subject matter areas and the food and fiber

systems; however, a further need would be to investigate why there is such a wide

disparity between the intended and the implemented use of the agricultural literacy

curriculum.

In a subsequent study investigating the effects of the Food and Fiber Systems

Literacy Framework (Leising et al., 1998) on student knowledge, Leising, Pense, and Igo

(2001) sought to compare differences and determine relationships based upon the

framework and its five thematic areas, as well as the number of teacher-reported

instructional connections made to the framework. This study used a quasi-experimental

nonequivalent control group design with 21 kindergarten through eighth grade classes as

the treatment group, and seven kindergarten through eighth grade classes as the control

group.

The researchers administered a researcher-developed pretest in an effort to control

for preexisting food and fiber systems' knowledge. The grade grouped instruments,

correlated to the benchmarks in the Food and Fiber Systems Literacy Framework, had

reliability coefficients ranging from 0.78 to 0.95.

The treatment was a two phase professional development program designed to,

first, introduce and orient teachers to the project, framework, standards, benchmarks, and

lesson plans, as well as to provide hands on experience with the lesson plans. Secondly,









the teachers were introduced to the project website and were provided assistance in

planning instructional time to address the food and fiber systems concepts.

The agricultural literacy standards and benchmarks were infused throughout the

1998-1999 academic year, and a post-test was administered to the treatment and control

groups in May 1999. Additionally, teachers in the treatment group reported specific

connections to the framework regarding standards, benchmarks, and themes infused in

the curriculum.

The control group initially had higher pre-test agricultural knowledge mean scores

in all grade groupings than the treatment group. However, the treatment group showed

significant increases in mean scores following the post-test, whereas the control group

failed to demonstrate similar gains. The researchers further indicated no existing

relationship between the number of connections the teachers made and any increases in

student knowledge.

The researchers highlighted the need for further exploration into the reasons why

the number of connections and student knowledge failed to correlate with one another.

Specifically, they recommended exploring how teacher behavior impacts agricultural

knowledge acquisition; however, behavior may better be defined. By exploring teacher

fidelity of use, as well as addressing teacher comfort level and efficacy using the

framework, future studies may be enhanced.

Another pre- and post-test attitudinal and knowledge study was conducted by

Brown and Stewart with 264 seventh and eighth grade students from 20 schools (1993).

Using a single group, quasi-experimental design with length of instruction and type of

test as the independent variables, Brown and Stuart sought to determine to what extent









students' post-test agricultural knowledge and attitudes differed from pre-test scores.

Additionally, they wanted to assess to what extent students' knowledge scores differed in

relation to varying lengths of agricultural instruction throughout the experiment.

Dependent variables were the achievement and attitude scores derived from the

Agricultural Knowledge Assessment Instrument and the Agricultural Attitude Survey,

respectively. Intact classes were randomly assigned to either 6, 9, or 18 weeks of

agricultural instruction, with the test instruments administered before the first day of

instruction and following the final day of instruction.

Following a multivariate analysis of variance using achievement scores and attitude

scores as the dependent variables, the researchers ascertained that there was a significant

difference between the pre-test and post-test knowledge scores. The mean knowledge

scores improved from 26.3 to 28.6, with a possible total score of 40. Secondly, the

researchers concluded that there was a significant difference in student attitude toward

agriculture as the mean attitude scores increased from 103.5 to 108.3. Finally,

multivariate analysis of variance was conducted to test for significance in knowledge and

attitude based on length of agricultural instruction. Neither of those objectives was

rejected as the length of instruction had no apparent effect on mean attitude and

knowledge scores.

Overall, the mean knowledge scores were not high, even though students' attitudes

were generally favorable toward agriculture. The researchers opined that both

achievement and attitude can be significantly altered through the use of an agricultural

literacy curriculum.









Meischen and Trexler (2003) conducted a qualitative study to move away from

simply assessing students' knowledge of agricultural facts. Instead, their study was

performed in an effort to discover students' understanding of the processes meat

undergoes from farm to table.

Using a McDonald'sTM hamburger to instigate conversation with seven

purposefully selected fifth grade students, Meischen and Trexler conducted clinical

interviews with the students and asked them to draw concept maps explaining the process

they believed meat underwent from the farm to its ready-to-eat McDonald'sTM form. The

researchers based their interview questions on the benchmarks outlined in the Food and

Fiber Systems Literacy Framework (Leising et al., 1998), as well as on science literacy

benchmarks.

Based on interview and concept map analyses, the researchers concluded that,

although the students grew up in a rural area, all of the students lacked understanding and

conversational comprehension of the practices involved in producing and processing

meat for consumption. Generally, the students understood that meat comes from animals,

but could not articulate the appropriate processes involved, including transportation,

processing, distribution, and consumption. Summarily, the researchers pointed to

agricultural literacy efforts that continued to focus on educating students in urban and

suburban areas about the origins of food. The authors articulated a need for education

about the more complex uses and contributions of agricultural products, and their impacts

on daily life, as a means to change student schemas as they pertain to agriculture

(Meischen & Trexler, 2003).









Teacher Preparation and Professional Development

In an ex post facto study using static group comparison, Wilhelm, Terry, and

Weeks (1999) sought to determine if participation in an in-service program influenced

teachers' use of an agricultural literacy curriculum. The population consisted of 826

teachers on the Oklahoma Agriculture in the Classroom newsletter mailing list, and

compared sample groups of 52 teachers who previously attended a summer institute with

93 who had not attended. The mailed questionnaire requested demographic data, as well

as information pertaining to teacher use of topics related to agriculture, number of

agricultural lessons used to teach core academic areas, and teacher development

experiences. Examination of demographic data was in agreement with more recent

studies conducted in other states related to Agriculture in the Classroom programs

(Bacon, Anderson, & Watkins, 2005; Bellah & Dyer, 2005). Specifically, more than

90% of the participants in both groups were female and the group possessed an average

of fifteen years of teaching experience.

This descriptive study determined that teachers who participated in the summer

institute in-service program taught more topics related to agriculture, from a greater

number of resources, than did their non-institute counterparts. While Agriculture in the

Classroom resource materials were used by both groups of teachers, the researchers

concluded that attending the summer institute was more "beneficial in helping teachers

use concepts related to agriculture in their teaching" (Wilhelm, Terry, & Weeks, 1999, p.

73). Furthermore, the institute teachers reported statistically significant greater emphasis

on teaching the core areas of language arts and information skills.

Although this study sought to compare means between the groups, the data reported

included mean numbers of agricultural lessons taught in each of the core areas. Teachers









in both groups reported teaching more than 70 math and more than 63 science lessons

using agriculture as the context. The researchers recommended longitudinal studies to

determine how institute teachers were integrating agriculture into their teaching. Where

this study, and others like it, fell short was that the researchers neglected to recommend

investigation into why so many teachers, regardless of attendance at the summer institute,

were choosing to use agriculture as a context for teaching.

In another 1999 study, Elliot posed a similar question regarding teacher agricultural

literacy knowledge and opinions attributed to participation in professional development

activities. This descriptive survey study used mailed questionnaires to describe

differences in agricultural knowledge base, as well as opinions toward agricultural issues,

among 139 Arizona educators who had registered for an agricultural literacy conference.

Further, the researcher sought to ascertain the existence of relationships as determined by

knowledge base, opinions toward agriculture, and demographics of the respondents. The

two comparison groups were comprised of those who attended the conference and those

who registered, but did not attend the conference.

Elliot's study revealed that conference attendees were statistically higher in their

correct answers on the knowledge base portion of the study than were their non-attending

counterparts. Moreover, those who attended were also statistically more favorable in

their opinions toward agriculture than those who failed to attend the conference. Finally,

results indicated that previous agricultural experience and background had bearing on

neither knowledge, nor opinion scores; however, those educators who reported an affinity

for raising plants recorded significantly higher knowledge scores than those without such

experience. This study reinforced the need for quality professional development









programs if educators are expected to carry out the agricultural literacy for everyone

edict, and to deliver accurate agricultural information to students while doing so.

In an investigation into agricultural educators' mathematical problem solving

ability, Miller and Gliem (1994) utilized an ex post facto study involving 34 Ohio

agricultural educators. Through static group comparison of teachers who chose to

participate in one of four sprayer calibration workshops to non-participants, the

researchers held three extraneous variables constant: gender, use of calculators, and one

hour for completion of the researcher-designed questionnaire. The questionnaire

assessed teacher mathematical problem solving ability through use of 15 open-ended

mathematical word problems, which the researchers determined to have a Cronbach's

alpha reliability score of .85. Respondent attitude was determined by a 15-item Likert-

type instrument with a Cronbach's alpha of .87.

Miller and Gliem established that the relationship of ACT math score and score on

the problem solving portion of the questionnaire was positive and significant. However,

the relationship of problem solving scores to number of college level math courses

completed was negative and not significant. The researchers opined that student success,

with respect to mathematics, is more contingent upon how a student is taught, irrespective

of how much a student is taught. Specifically, the researchers recommended that,

"mathematical problem-solving be incorporated into technical agricultural courses taken

by undergraduates" (p. 28) who are studying to be agricultural teachers. As such, the

context in which preservice agricultural teachers learn about mathematical problem

solving will assist them in designing appropriate contextual experiences for their

students.









As recently as 2003, Portillo and Leising used agricultural literacy professional

development training as a comparison determinant of 90 elementary teachers' agricultural

knowledge. Specifically, Portillo and Leising assessed the knowledge of 44 Agriculture

in the Classroom (AITC) trained teachers and 46 non-AITC trained teachers. Again

using Leising and others' Food and Fiber Systems Literacy Framework (1998) as the

basis for assessing teacher knowledge, the researchers developed a criterion-referenced

test. This test was composed of 50 multiple-choice items distributed across the five

thematic areas of the framework.

This study yielded interesting results related to demographic characteristics of the

participants. Most notably, the teachers had no previous agricultural experience or

background, had little collegiate level agricultural coursework, and almost no

agriculturally-related work experience. These results held true irrespective of whether or

not a teacher had participated in an AITC professional development activity. As shown

in other agricultural literacy studies, teachers are using agriculture as a teaching context

without previous background or experience.

Further results from this study indicated that AITC prepared teachers scored higher

across all five of the theme areas than their non-AITC trained contemporaries; however,

scores overall were significantly low in all but one of the theme areas (History,

Geography, and Culture). Portillo and Leising's final recommendation underscored the

necessity for overtly establishing the connections between how teachers learn about

agriculture and the context regarding the way individuals use agriculture on a daily basis.

Much of the existing body of research related to teacher preparation and

professional development, with respect to agricultural literacy curricula, focused on









teacher knowledge and attitudes as determined by their participation, or lack thereof, in a

particular agricultural literacy professional development program. Terry, Herring, and

Larke (1992) took a different approach in assessing fourth grade teachers' understanding

and use of agricultural concepts. In particular, the researchers wanted to not only

determine teachers' knowledge about and perceptions of agriculture, but they sought to

identify the type and degree of assistance most desirable for supplementing teachers'

agricultural literacy teaching skills.

To obtain an accessible set of respondents, the researchers used cluster sampling to

collect data, via mailed questionnaire, from 510 fourth grade teachers. The questionnaire

consisted of 97 items distributed throughout five parts which included teacher personal

and professional demographics, attitudinal psychographics (perceptions), and agricultural

knowledge. Further areas investigated were identification of agricultural concepts

currently taught by the respondents and level of interest in assistance programs for

teacher professional development.

Following analyses of the data, the researchers highlighted the low knowledge

scores of the respondents. More than 73% of the teachers earned scores that resulted in

categorization into the unacceptably low knowledge category. Parallel to a mean

knowledge score of 48.4% across the respondents, more than 90% of the teachers

perceived that agriculture isfarming and ranching only.

Despite low knowledge scores and misperceptions revolving around the

agricultural industry, respondents reported teaching agricultural concepts to their

students, on average, more than 16 hours per year. Not surprisingly, of the respondents

who reported teaching agricultural concepts, more than 70% ranked textbook chapters









about agriculture as their number one most commonly used resource for agricultural

information.

Where this study departed from other similar studies was in its investigation into

the types of assistance teachers desired to assist them in using agriculture as a context for

teaching. Respondents, by and large, were very interested in lists of materials currently

available, lists of references for personal reading and research, and opportunities to

consult local agricultural professionals. Researcher recommendations supported not

only a need for lists of available resources, but increased availability of such resources to

teachers. Further, recommendations were strongly underscored regarding a need for

providing short in-service workshops and graduate coursework for in-service and

preservice teachers.

With brain based research as a theoretical underpinning, Thompson and

Balschweid conducted an investigation to determine how agricultural teachers perceived

the impact of integrating science in agricultural education programs (2000). Most

markedly, the researchers wanted to discover teachers' perceptions concerning the role of

teacher preparation as integration of science principles becomes more prevalent in middle

and secondary agricultural education courses.

The researchers mailed the Integrating Science Survey Instrument to the target

population of 111 Oregon Agricultural Science and Technology teachers. Following the

initial mailing and a follow-up telephone call, the researchers yielded responses from 106

of the teachers. Results of the questionnaire indicated that 84% of the teachers had

participated in one or more professional development activities with a focus on how to

integrate science into an agricultural course. Respondent perceptions indicated that they









strongly agreed with the statements that science concepts are easier to understandfor

students if science is integrated into the agricultural education program and that students

are more aware of the connection between scientific principles and agriculture when

science concepts are an integral part of their instruction.

The respondents in this study were vociferous in their agreement that teacher

preparation programs must "provide instruction on how to integrate science into the

curriculum as a part of the undergraduate curriculum and as in-service for practicing

teachers" (p. 78). The researchers further stated, in concurrence with Miller and Gliem

(1994), that there is no apparent need for increasing the number of science courses

required for undergraduates. Rather, teacher preparation should more strongly emphasize

instructional methods courses that teach preservice teachers how to integrate science and

other curricular disciplines into agricultural courses.

Barriers to Curriculum Implementation

Despite positive teacher and student attitudes toward agriculture, as well as

continued research demonstrating the benefits of professional development activities that

assist teachers in utilizing agricultural literacy curricula, there are still many barriers

preventing teachers from following through with this contextual teaching tool.

Conversely, investigations into what they are, and why those barriers exist seems to be

the least investigated research area in the agricultural education genre.

Moving beyond cursory investigation of teacher attitudes toward agriculture,

Conroy (1999) sought to identify specific barriers to implementing an aquaculture

curriculum in secondary agricultural education programs. Using a random sample of 406

secondary agricultural educators, Conroy used a Likert-type survey, and conducted 28

follow-up individual interviews and focus group discussions with 19 teachers, as a means









to identify and compare perceived barriers between current or interested aquaculture

curriculum users, and non-users.

Analyses indicated that users and non-users identified the same three barriers,

although t-tests revealed non-users viewed each as more significant barriers to adoption

and implementation than the curriculum users. The three perceived barriers were the

considerable costs related to remodeling existing facilities for aquaculture, as well as the

cost of equipment for teaching the curriculum; and limited physical facilities available to

house the program.

Qualitative analyses of the interviews and focus groups, conducted with educators

currently involved with aquaculture, exposed three major underlying themes related to

perceived barriers. Although survey data indicated a concern for quality materials as a

barrier to implementation, most interviewees point to increased availability of high

quality instructional materials for aquaculture enthusiasts. Further, actively engaged

aquaculture instructors believe that cost should not be a consideration when weighing

adoption of an aquaculture curriculum. Teachers encouraged use of a variety of

resources and grant funding programs as means to obtain equipment for an aquaculture

program. Finally, qualitative analyses indicated that the third greatest challenge to

aquaculture instructors was the time investment required for successful implementation.

Inflexible feeding schedules, proximity to tanks for emergencies, and regular classroom

interruptions by other agricultural instructors inquiring about the program were all

examples of the time restrictions placed on agricultural teachers using an aquaculture

curriculum.









Conroy's studied revealed that there are deeper issues to discover than survey

material may reveal. Few teachers have opportunity to learn about this curriculum

innovation beyond the awareness stage, and have developed much higher negative

perceptions regarding the barriers surrounding successful implementation than current

adopters of the innovation. As such, Conroy indicated, "since it is not possible to

anticipate where these discrepancies will surface prior to the administration of the survey,

more attention should be given to the value of mixed methods design" (p. 8). Conroy

inadvertently indicated a need for a stronger theoretical base, such as the Concerns Based

Adoption Model. Though this study indicated that teachers might choose to adopt a

curriculum innovation, in spite of seemingly insurmountable barriers, the research fell

short in investigating why and to what extent the curriculum innovation is used.

Examining perceived barriers of delivering an integrated science and agricultural

curriculum, Balschweid and Thompson (2000) conducted a pre-experimental, static

group comparison study using quantitative and qualitative analyses. The control group

consisted of fifteen teachers who completed the program and obtained teaching positions

during the previous five academic years. The six preservice teachers in the treatment

group were involved in a three-phase process during the 1996-1997 academic year. To

reinforce the concept of integration, the first phase utilized a microteaching course in

which the preservice teachers viewed sample agricultural lessons and were taught science

integration methods. The second phase occurred during the student teaching experience

where the student teachers were required to deliver a science-based lesson to a class. The

caveat was that the student teachers had to collaborate with an onsite science teacher for

equipment and supplies, as well as to observe the science teacher in a classroom setting.









The third phase involved student teacher participation in a one-week job shadow and

team teaching experience, with science teachers, at an urban middle school.

Subsequent to the completion of each phase, qualitative interviews were conducted

with each of the treatment group participants. The purpose of the interviews was to

ascertain changes in perception related to amount of science curriculum to be integrated,

receptivity of science teacher collaboration, and agricultural teacher efficacy in

integrating science principles. Additionally, results of the treatment group interviews

were used to frame questions for development of the quantitative survey administered to

both the treatment and control groups at the conclusion of the study. The data from this

survey were used for comparison between the treatment and control groups.

Results of Balschweid and Thompson's study concluded that treatment group

student teachers initially indicated that 74% of their agricultural curriculum should

include integrated science principles (2000). Three months later, after completing

student teaching, the estimate dropped to 54% with amount of time to incorporate the

principles being the most frequently cited reason for the decrease. Although the student

teachers indicated that integration of science and agricultural principles was important, a

desire to teach scientific principles accurately and the reality of the preparation and

collaboration time required were perceived as major barriers to curriculum integration.

Further, the treatment group participants all "expressed concern that it would take at least

one year, and most likely three years" (p. 43) to successfully integrate science principles

on a regular basis into the agricultural curriculum. These results are in line with Hall and

Hord's view of change as a process that may take several years to establish, rather than as

a single event (2000).









Interestingly, the recommendations from Balschweid and Thompson's work call

for 1) a focus on interdisciplinary teaching methods courses for preservice teachers; 2)

joint in-service workshops for agricultural and science teachers; and 3) follow-up

longitudinal studies, with the same treatment group, to ascertain continued integration of

science into agricultural curriculum.

Balschweid and Thompson expanded their agricultural literacy research to capture

the attitudes and perceived barriers of in-service agricultural science and business

teachers toward integrating science in agricultural education courses (2002).

Specifically, survey results from 170 teachers indicated that more than 70% of the

respondents had attended a workshop on integrating science, and 39% indicated

possession of a science endorsement. While mean scores indicated teachers generally

agreed that using agriculture as the integrating context for teaching science principles

created greater student awareness between agriculture and science (M=4.18), one of the

greatest barriers to implementation was a lack of in-service training available to teachers.

This study neither addressed a specific recommended curriculum for science

integration, nor provided any parameters for determining fidelity of curriculum use.

Although teachers were favorable toward integrating science principles into agricultural

curriculum, a weakness of this study clearly lies in the subjective manner with which

participants can define "integration" within their personal framework.

Theoretical Perspective

Hall and Hord's (2001) Concerns Based Adoption Model (CBAM), was originally

developed in 1973 and was the theoretical framework selected for this study (see Figure

2-4). The model is primarily concerned with describing, measuring, and explaining the









process of change experienced by teachers attempting to implement new curriculum

materials and instructional practices (Anderson, 1997).

Moreover, CBAM allows change facilitators, those who provide assistance in the

adoption process, to probe the innovation users and non-users using three key diagnostic

tools. Those tools relate to user Stages of Concern (SoC), Levels of Use (LoU), and

Innovation Configurations (IC) as measures to match resources with the needs of the

users (Hall & Hord, 2001). Although studies may be carried out using all of the

diagnostic tools together, they may also be used individually or in various combinations

(Anderson, 1997).

Change Facilitators

Hall and Hord characterized principals, teachers, and other district personnel in an

educational system, as change facilitators serving as key factors in the success or failure

of an educational innovation (1987). Specifically, these individuals are those who, "for

brief or extended periods, assist various individuals and groups in developing the

competence and confidence needed to use a particular innovation" (p. 11). Bearing this

definition in mind, a change facilitator might also be a developer or trainer involved in

introducing a particular educational innovation. In the CBAM model, however, the

change facilitator is most effective when he or she utilizes the three dimensions of the

CBAM model to probe individuals and groups in an effort to understand and guide their

experiences during the adoption process.









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Figure 2-4. Concerns Based Adoption Model (Hall & Hord, 2001)


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Resource Systems

In explaining the evolution of CBAM, Hall and Hord (2001) overtly point to the

inequality of investment in people, time, and resources as they pertain to development

and implementation of educational innovations. Inasmuch as policy makers and

curriculum developers are eager to get an innovation into the hands of teachers, most

resources are heavily allocated to development (Marsh, 1987). Conversely,

disproportionately fewer resources and care are provided to monitoring the

implementation of the innovation, often relegating the innovation to failure status when

evaluations are performed and teachers report non-use of the innovation. While other

adoption models treat change as an event, the developers and subsequent users of CBAM

view change as a process (Hall & Hord, 2001). According to Loucks-Horsley (1996),

CBAM suggests "the importance of paying attention to implementation for several years"

( 2) as it may take as long as three years for early stage concerns to be resolved and later

stage concerns to emerge. Without ongoing resource and facilitator support, sustained

use of the innovation is difficult to achieve.

Stages of Concern

The Stages of Concern (SoC) component of CBAM relates directly to how teachers

perceive the educational innovation they are asked to implement (Willis, 1992). Through

Hall and Hord's research (2001), the Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ) was

developed to identify the stage of concern of a teacher with respect to the educational

innovation under consideration. CBAM's seven stages of concern include awareness (0),

informational (1), personal (2), management (3), consequence (4), collaboration (5), and

refocusing (6). These stages span the areas of little concern, knowledge, or involvement

about an innovation, to a teacher's focus on further exploration of more universal benefits









or alternative forms of the innovation (Hall & Hord, 2001). Contrary to other, more

linear views of change concerns, CBAM recognizes that while a person's focus of

concern may shift from one stage to another, that in no way indicates that the previous

stage of concern is alleviated (Willis, 1992).

The SoCQ assists change facilitators and educational evaluators in determining into

which category of Fuller's patterns of concerns (as cited in Hall & Hord, 2001) teachers

fall: unrelated, self, task, or impact (see Figure 2-5).

Stages of Concern Expressions of Concern
S6 Refocusing How and what else can I do with this?
Iniat 5 Collaboration How does this fit with what my peers are teaching?

4 Consequence How is this impacting my students?

Task 3 Management Do I spend enough/too much time implementing
this?

S2 Personal Do I know enough to use this effectively in my class?
Self
1 Informational Can you tell me more about this?

Unrelated 0 Awareness I don't know. I don't care. What are you talking
about?



Figure 2-5. Stages of concern (Hall & Hord, 2001)

A majority of research studies using the Concerns Based Adoption Model utilized

the Stages of Concern Questionnaire as the primary evaluation instrument. Some studies

focused solely on this component, while others incorporated one or more of the other

components into the study.









Levels of Use

Levels of Use correspond to teachers' behavior in relation to the educational

innovation in question (Willis, 1992). Hall and Hord (2001) demarcate eight levels into

which a person can be classified in terms of the extent the innovation is used: nonuse (0),

orientation (I), preparation (II), mechanical use (III), routine (IV A), refinement (IV B),

integration (V), and renewal (VI). Essentially, these levels are the sequence through

which a user passes during the change process as he or she gains confidence and skill in

using the educational innovation (Newhouse, 2001). Equally, a person may remain

invariant during the change process (2001). McKinnon and Nolan (1989) suggested that

75% or more of the individuals involved in an educational innovation adoption must

operate at Level IVA or higher to sustain innovation adoption and use.

Innovation Configurations

When an educational innovation is introduced to teachers, there are two factors

with which those teachers must cope: the psychological effect of the change itself and the

practice of learning to use the innovation (Hope, 1997). As such, assessing widespread

adoption of the innovation is not something that occurs instantaneously. Rather, an

individual's progression through change may take 2 to 4 years to confidently and

skillfully use the innovation as intended (Mitchell, 1988).

Additionally, teachers face the expectation of having to implement innovations

with limited usage instruction, and without clear understanding of the innovation's

purpose or their role in what they are asked to do (Hall & Hord, 2001). As a result,

teachers motivated to move from an awareness stage of concern and orientation level of

use may return to the classroom and implement the innovation in a manner not in line

with what the developers of the change originally envisioned (2001).









Concerns Based Adoption Model Empirical Research

In a study assessing a peer-mentoring program for preservice teachers in the

development and implementation of Internet-based resources and web design, second and

third year students served as mentors to first year elementary education students (Ward,

West, & Isaak, 2002). Initially, 45 mentors developed Web Quests appropriate for use by

kindergarten through sixth grade students as a means for the mentors to acquire Internet

and technology integration skills. Subsequently, the mentors worked with 65 first year

students to develop web pages focusing on Internet resources available for teachers.

Through this experience, the mentors learned the technology skills and then taught those

skills through a peer teaching and mentoring system.

The researchers used the SoCQ to assess pre and post experience concerns related

to the peer-mentoring experience. Using multivariate repeated measures analysis to

compare within subject changes, results indicated that both mentors and proteges

demonstrated decreased concerns at the awareness and management stages, as well as

increased concerns related to impact on students and collaboration with others.

Qualitative analysis of a final open-ended questionnaire indicated that continued

emotional and professional support of the proteges by the mentors provided a more

comfortable environment for the proteges to ask questions, and to develop greater

confidence in their own abilities. In this manner, the mentors are comparable to change

facilitators working continuously with the proteges on an individual basis to facilitate the

sustained use and comfort with the innovation (Horsley & Loucks-Horsley, 1998).

In an earlier study, researchers in Australia employed the Concerns Based

Adoption Model in structuring professional development activities for twelve teachers

applying newly acquired computer hardware and software skills as an integral part of









their teaching practice (McKinnon & Nolan, 1989). From February, 1988, until

November 1989, researchers administered the Stages of Concern Questionnaire four

times and analyzed results using the protocol designed by CBAM developers. During

that time, participant concerns shifted from Stage 2 (personal) concerns to Stage 1

(information) concerns. The researchers attributed intense early focus on personal and

refocusing (Stage 6) concerns to problems with technology during the first term of the

study. Program designers used the first SoCQ as a diagnostic tool to redesign technology

configurations. Secondly, all subsequent SoCQ results were used to conduct professional

development activities to meet the concerns of the teachers, rather than on the schedule of

activities the program designers initially planned.

McKinnon and Nolan introduced another dimension to their study by conducting

the Levels of Use branching interview three times from May, 1989, until November

1989. Following first term technology difficulties, and parallel to the participant stages

of concern, 58% of the participants remained at levels below routine use. In response,

program designers focused subsequent professional development activities and

interventions on assisting teachers to reach, at least, a routine level of use. By the end of

the study, seven of the teachers (58%) reported levels of use at or greater than routine.

McKinnon and Nolan's study raised concern in that they failed to address the high

levels of Stage 0 (awareness) reported throughout the study. Stage 0 indicates that a

participant is aware that a change is being introduced, but there is little interest in, or

knowledge about, the change (Hall & Hord, 2001). According to this study, the relative

intensity of Stage 0 group concerns increased from just over 50% at the first SoCQ

administration to nearly 80% at the third administration.









Dass (1997) collected qualitative data from 24 elementary school teachers

implementing the Collier Chautauqua Program (CCP) of instructional approaches for

science teachers. The CCP promoted a constructivist approach to teaching science using

real-life experiences as the context for teaching. After conducting formal interviews and

observations, as well as utilizing informal communication and written responses over a 2

year period, Dass used the stages of concern as category codes to analyze the data

collected. To establish reliability of the data, Dass cross-checked different forms of data

furnished by the same individual, and thereby ensured consistency by the respondents.

The stages of concern provided useful insight into what the teachers were

experiencing while implementing the CCP at the classroom level, and specific

recommendations for continued successful support and use of the CCP. Despite

participating in summer workshops and continuing professional development activities

throughout the school year, data demonstrated that teachers land at different stages of

concern during the implementation process. Concerns ranged from initiation to the terms

"constructivist" and "module" (awareness and informational stages) to concerns about

the reward structure matching the level of work required (personal) to deviating from the

standard sequence of the grade level team approach (management). Further, some

teachers moved into the consequence and collaboration stages, specifically noting the

tense feelings of CCP's affects on student SAT scores, and of being at odds with team

teachers not using the program.

Dass provided critical research analyses by reinforcing the notion that

"fundamental reform at the classroom level is intimately connected to reform of

professional development at broader levels" (1997, p. 19). Furthermore, to avoid









program attrition, teachers must be supported in their efforts by change facilitators,

continued professional development follow-up, and that educational innovations are

useful only when part of an overall vision of change that is shared by all stakeholders.

Recognizing that teachers are the gatekeepers to their classrooms as it relates to

curricular and pedagogical decisions, Luehmann (2002) conducted a qualitative study to

develop a clearer picture of how teachers come to adopt a curricular innovation.

Specifically, the researcher assumed a dual role as researcher and change facilitator

working with a convenience sample of 30 secondary science teachers to ascertain their

perceptions while they considered adoption of a technology-rich, project-based

curriculum. The researcher used qualitative methods to garner a richer perspective of

"the thinking processes of pre-service and in-service teachers" (p. 13). Using a

technology-rich water quality unit, teachers were asked to consider the unit for classroom

adoption. Data collected included teacher "think aloud" comments during interaction

with and appraisal of the water quality unit. Additionally, the researcher used field notes

to record concerns expressed and to which curricular features the teachers attended.

As the change facilitator, the researcher spent extensive time introducing the

curriculum and observing the teachers as they proceeded through the appraisal process.

Through observation and analyses, the researcher concluded that, if widespread use is to

occur, curriculum designers must have essential understanding of criteria teachers use in

constructing and supporting judgments regarding the potential adoption of a curricular

innovation. Notably, teachers use the criteria of trust, identity, process goals, and

situational constraints in considering whether to adopt an innovation and change

facilitators serve valuable roles in strengthening the validity and credibility of those









criterion. Additionally, study implications indicated that curriculum designers should

allow for adaptation, rather than providing inflexible, scripted innovations. This

implication supported the need for developers and change facilitators to construct and use

innovation configuration checklists as a means to establish ideal, acceptable, and

unacceptable uses of a curriculum innovation to accommodate individuality within the

change process.

Utilizing the Concerns Based Adoption Model to develop distance education

courses with instructional designer and subject matter writing expert teams, Kember and

Mezger (1990) described strategies for assisting lecturers as they moved through each of

the seven stages of concern. The purpose for the course development teams was for the

instructional designers to assist the subject matter experts (writers) with incorporation of

more student-centered teaching approaches, and to move away from a traditional lecture-

based format. Thirty-eight higher education lecturers were charged with the task of

writing distance education courses within their subject matter expertise area. Because of

the close, harmonious relationship within the designer/writer teams, a formal

questionnaire assessing writer stages of concern was deemed inappropriate. Rather, the

designers, considered experts in teaching methodology, used informal conversational

assessment to categorically assign each writer to a stage of concern.

The researchers used Kendall's tau coefficient to establish reliability and

consistency of the stages of concern assessments and found a high level of agreement.

Further, consensus was reached on 31 of the 38 writers. Kember and Mezger noted that

consensus was reached in only three of the cases as writers often indicated primary

characterizations of one stage, while exhibiting tendencies from another stage. This is









consistent with the stages of concern profiles and scoring indicators, whereby participants

are often on the cusp of moving into, or out of, a secondary stage (Hall & Hord, 2001).

Additionally, studies using the Stages of Concern Questionnaire regularly report the two

highest percentile scores as indicators.

Interestingly, this study referred to the instructional designer as a change agent. As

defined by Rogers, a change agent serves as a support mechanism in hopes that a person

will subsequently adopt a given innovation (2003). In this study, data indicated that the

instructional designers played a significant and ever-changing role as each writer moved

through his or her stages of concern. Kember and Mezger specifically indicated that the

success of the program was contingent on the team aspect of curriculum development: "If

successful development is to occur, academics need on-going support so that they can

pass through the successive stages of concern" (1990, p. 61).

Finally, the researchers used the stages of concern to develop strategies for the

instructional designers to assist writers at specific stages of concern. Recognizing that

participants at the awareness and informational stages required a workshop that

introduced the basics of distance learning, materials development, and appropriate types

of study materials, the researchers also remarked that significant time in this workshop

must be allotted for writers to raise concerns. Throughout these stages and into the

personal stage, a high level of instructional designer investment through individual

attention was critical to assist experienced teachers in moving away from their traditional

teaching methods that were inadequate or inappropriate for a distance learning medium.

In this study, writers exhibited the highest levels of concern at management and

consequence. At the management stage, the writers were ready to move through the









process in the most efficient manner possible, thus realizing and using the instructional

designer as a valued resource and respected colleague. At this point, the instructional

designer assumed more of an advisory and collaborative role. Shifting into consequence

stage, the writers were willing to solicit and respond to feedback from students via

informal and formal evaluation measures and became open to ideas that were more

creative. At the collaboration stage, the interaction between designers and writers moved

to a free exchange discussion. The writers suggested their own solutions, rather than

voicing concerns and waiting for the designers to provide solutions.

This study provided strategies for instructional designers to utilize as new writers

subsequently participate in the program. However, the researchers missed a valuable

opportunity to highlight and explore the roles of the instructional designers as change

facilitator.

McCarthy (1982) combined the stages of concern in CBAM with her own 4Mat

System in an effort to improve staff development within teacher in-service opportunities.

Distinctively, McCarthy synthesized the work of Kolb's Experiential Learning Model

and other learning style researchers to create four major learning style composite

descriptions. Based on the assumption that change is personal and occurs over time,

McCarthy superimposed the stages of concern onto her 4Mat model to assist staff

developers in internalizing the notion that techniques applicable to each of the four

learning styles should be employed approximately 25% of the time during a professional

development workshop. More importantly, McCarthy noted that knowledge of

participants' individual learning styles was not a necessary component of the workshops.

Rather, the researcher used her understanding of the stages of concern to present and









facilitate learning style research to teacher practitioners in an experiential learning

manner.

After raising awareness about learning style and brain-based research among the

participants, McCarthy then facilitated activities that allowed them to develop plans for

applying the research in their own classrooms and to serve as consultants to one another.

In effect, she structured the staff development agenda to present her research in a manner

that addressed the concerns of the teachers and effectively engaged the Self, provided a

tangible opportunity for Task, and empowered the teachers to focus on the Impact of the

innovation when returning to their students and classrooms (1982).

Change is personal, and innovations should allow for adaptation by innovation

users. These premises are spotlighted continuously in CBAM studies. As such, the

model itself may allow for adaptability. In a 1992 study by Bailey and Palsha, the

researchers used the Stages of Concern Questionnaire with 142 early childhood

professionals participating in staff development workshops geared toward working with

families. Before participation in the workshop, participants were administered the Stages

of Concern Questionnaire. Following the instructions to score the device, the participants

were grouped into an appropriate stage (0-6).

To test the psychometric properties of the Stages of Concern Questionnaire, the

researchers conducted three analyses of the groupings: factor analysis to determine if the

items loaded into the original seven factors, Cronbach's alpha to determine internal

consistency and reliability of the subscales, and Pearson's Product Moment to assess the

relationships among the stages of concern. The results of this study indicated that a five-

factor solution was the best grouping of items for this particular sample. The researchers









proposed revised stages that included awareness, personal, management, impact, and

collaboration.

Only two studies could be found within the field of Agricultural Education that

used the Concerns Based Adoption Model as its theoretical framework neither of which

were published in peer-reviewed journals. In each of those studies the researchers sought

to determine the expressed stages of concern of teachers who had used innovative

Physical Science Applications in Agriculture and Biological Science Applications in

Agriculture curricula in junior and senior agriscience courses in Illinois. Petrea (1994)

reported that teachers expressed intense concerns about the relevance of the innovation

and how the innovation would affect student outcomes (impact concerns). Teachers'

second highest levels of intensity dealt with the demands of the innovation and the

instructor's role in integrating the respective curriculum into existing subject matter

(personal concerns). Ohene-Adjei (1995) reported similar concerns from the same

population using the new curricula, indicating that those concerns may have long-term

implications for teacher professional development.

Summary

Responding to nearly twenty years of consistent calls for an increase in agricultural

literacy levels throughout the formal education process (National Council for Agricultural

Education, 2000; Committee on Agricultural Education in Secondary School, 1988), a

plethora of agricultural literacy curriculum innovations have been developed and

implemented. These innovations have taken a variety of forms from unit plans to

comprehensive, systematic resource guides. Further, these innovations have been used to

infuse and integrate agricultural concepts from kindergarten through grade twelve.









There is overwhelming empirical research indicating that positive attitudes toward

a particular subject matter precludes action taken to implement a specific curriculum.

Similarly, the agricultural education research genre has reinforced theoretical

underpinnings linking attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs to agriculture. The research

expanse exists when seeking evidence describing the experiences beginning teachers

encounter when deciding if, when, and how to implement such curricula. In particular,

the research base in agricultural education is significantly lacking information related to

elementary teachers' sustained use and success with agricultural literacy curricula.

This chapter sought to review existing literature related to agricultural literacy

curriculum innovations, especially as they pertain to agriculture and its usefulness as a

context for teaching across the subject matter areas in an elementary classroom. Further,

the purpose of this literature review was to explain the Concerns Based Adoption Model

as it relates to teachers' stages of concern, levels of use, and innovation configurations

when engaged in adoption, or rejection, of an educational innovation.

Although this model has been in existence for more than three decades, agricultural

education research is sparse in its use. Rather, many innovation adoption studies in

agricultural education publications relied on Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations theory

(2003). Moreover, these studies were geared toward production agriculture (Gamon &

Scofield, 1998; King & Rollins, 1995; Rollins, 1993).

While there are published studies focusing on curriculum innovations in the

agricultural education research genre (Conroy, 1999; Flowers, 1990; Wilson, Kirby, &

Flowers, 2002), none employed CBAM as a theoretical basis for uncovering the

experiences teachers undergo in the change process. Notably, two unpublished studies









were uncovered that related to agricultural education curriculum innovations (Ohene-

Adjei, 1995; Petrea, 1994.

Although several studies in this chapter focused solely on one dimension of the

model, the research consistently revealed a complex intertwining of the components that

serve as an effective composite tool for understanding teacher concerns throughout the

adoption process. In a 1991 article calling for agricultural education research programs

with high impact, Williams outlined specific guidelines to help the profession reach that

goal. Most notable, Williams highlighted that agricultural education research is often

limited to other agricultural education research. With such narrow constraints, it

becomes increasingly difficult for agricultural education to develop an in-depth

theoretical framework respected by others outside of the profession. Instead, Williams

posited, "Our research should be carefully tied to the applied sciences of agriculture and

education and be rooted in the theories of biology, physics, psychology, and/or

sociology" (p. 11). The Concerns Based Adoption Model can fit that need as it pertains

to any agricultural education innovation, as well as providing a means to recognize the

"importance and power of individual differences" (Burns & Reid, 1998, p. 21).














CHAPTER 3
METHODS

In an assessment of agricultural literacy research conducted since the NRC's edict

for agricultural literacy instruction at all grade levels, Doerfert (2003) uncovered a

significant chasm in agricultural education research with respect to investigating changes

in teacher behavior, as a result of increased agricultural literacy efforts. Could such a

break in the research body of knowledge be attributed to the type of research models and

methodologies used in assessing adoption and use of curriculum innovations in

agricultural education? This study sought to investigate and provide more balance to the

implementation side of an agricultural literacy curriculum innovation.

Chapter 1 outlined the basis for conducting this study. A portrait of how current

educational accountability practices shape beginning teacher concerns was painted, and

recognized that teachers, as curriculum gatekeepers, are concerned with far more than

simply what to teach to their students.

The purpose of this research study and appropriate research objectives were stated.

Research methods were overviewed, relevant key terms defined, assumptions delineated,

and study limitations stated.

Chapter 2 provided a review of relevant literature related to agricultural literacy

curriculum innovations. This literature review revealed a clear incongruence of research

methods and approaches to agricultural literacy curriculum developments. While

research generally focuses on student and teacher attitudes, barriers to curriculum

implementation, and professional development opportunities provided in tandem with









agricultural literacy curriculum introduction, there were few studies that utilized similar

or consistent theoretical perspectives as a basis for conducting the research. As such, the

Concerns Based Adoption Model arose as a viable theoretical perspective for this study.

There is an exiguous amount of research conducted in the agricultural education research

genre using this model; therefore, most of the Concerns Based Adoption Model empirical

research presented in chapter 2 was focused on educational studies outside of this arena.

This chapter outlines the research methodology employed in this study. To that

end, it presents the research perspective and methodology, the population and sample,

researcher subjectivity, instrumentation, and data collection and analyses.

The purpose of this study was to explore the concerns, levels of use, and innovation

configurations of elementary teachers in their use and sustained adoption of the

California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness as a resource for

teaching the California state educational standards in grades kindergarten through eight.

Research Perspective

Summative evaluation research practices are typically conducted at the end of an

educational program in an effort to provide potential consumers, funding agencies, and

supervisors with a judgment regarding the worth or merit of the program (Worthen,

Sanders, & Fitzpatrick, 1997). In a review of literature, Cronin (1986) ascertained that

curriculum evaluations are frequently mislabeled as curriculum implementation studies.

Popular evaluation models concentrate primarily on comparing student achievement

outcomes across whole class means, while curriculum implementation studies seek to

examine teacher fidelity to the intended use of the curriculum as written.

This descriptive study focused on elementary teachers' attitudes toward, and

experiences with, the use of agriculture as a context for teaching across the elementary









content areas. Further, teachers' Stages of Concern (SoC) in using and implementing

curriculum guidelines for using agriculture as a context for teaching across the content

areas were explored. Additional assessment of teacher Levels of Use (LoU) and the

Innovation Configurations (IC) teachers employed, when applicable, in adapting an

agricultural literacy curriculum to fit individual needs were conducted.

Research Methods

To address the guiding research objectives, a qualitative study was conducted,

using some quantitative components to frame the study. As noted earlier, the Concerns

Based Adoption Model was used to guide this project. Willis (1992) noted that the

benefit of CBAM to educational change processes is that the model contains no standard

set or sequence of strategies. This characteristic facilitated the use of the CBAM model

in addressing the objectives that guided this study.

Population and Sample

The target population for this study was elementary teachers who participated in a

five-week preservice course introducing instructional activities for integrating agriculture

into elementary curriculum at a West Coast university (N=48). Enrollment in the course

was voluntary, and could be taken in lieu of the biology requirement for preservice

elementary teachers. Preservice teachers who enrolled earned three credit hours toward

their degree program.

The course, entitled AGC X424: Organizing and Teaching K-6 Standards and

Awareness in Agricultural Literacy, was offered during the summer quarter of 2002 and

2003. Twenty-five students enrolled in the summer of 2002, and 23 students enrolled in

the summer of 2003. The students were contacted during the spring of 2005 and asked to

complete a mailed questionnaire. Based on the self-reported number of days using









agriculture as the teaching context, a purposive sample of participants (n=10) was

selected for in-depth personal interviews. The sample consisted of four participants who

reported using the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness

(CCGALA) the greatest number of days, and six who did not use the CCGALA at all.

Researcher Subjectivity

The researcher's subjective relationship to the research topic was one of longevity

and complexity. As a student of agriculture from an early age, the researcher participated

in production agricultural activities with both plants and livestock. Further, the

researcher participated in agricultural youth organizations such as 4-H and FFA.

The researcher's family came from a long tradition of Midwestern farmers, and has

experienced the benefit of learning in an agricultural context. With such an upbringing,

the researcher wanted to share that knowledge and those experiences with others. After

graduating from a West Coast college of agriculture, the researcher taught agricultural

science to high school students for three and one-half years. At the conclusion of this

high school teaching experience, the researcher accepted a position as a lecturer in an

agricultural education and communication program where she worked with preservice

and in-service agricultural teachers.

During the researcher's last two summers before leaving for graduate school, the

researcher's subjective relationship became more closely aligned to this study. During

the summers of 2002 and 2003, the researcher served as the instructor for the participants

who learned about the CCGALA. As such, this study was not designed to assess the

participants' experiences during initial exposure to the curriculum guidelines. Rather, the

study's design provided an opportunity for participants to pursue any direction related to

his or her experiences through exposure to, and use of, the curriculum. Further, the









researcher's relationship to participants was one whereby rapport was already

established, so participants were anticipated to have a high degree of comfort during the

interview process.

Instrumentation

To assess teacher stages of concern, levels of use, and innovation configurations,

three protocols were used, as recommended by Hall and Hord (2001). Following is a

breakdown of each recommended instrument.

Teacher Attitudes and Perceptions of Agriculture

All members of the population were mailed a researcher-designed questionnaire to

solicit attitudes toward, and perceptions of, agriculture as a context for teaching

elementary students (Appendix D). Descriptive statistics were used to analyze this

preliminary survey data.

The researcher used a similar questionnaire with 130 elementary teachers, from an

East Coast state, to assess attitudes toward agriculture as a context for teaching. Minor

changes were made pertaining to the appropriate curriculum innovation name references;

otherwise, the instrument was administered intact. Scale reliability analyses yielded

Cronbach's alpha levels of .70 and .87 for the Attitudes Toward Agriculture and the

Attitudes Toward Agriculture as a Teaching Context constructs, respectively.

Stages of Concern

The Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ) was comprised of 35 questions

related to teachers' perceptions about an educational innovation. This study modified the

questions to fit elementary teachers' use of agriculture as a context for teaching, with

specific reference to the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy

Awareness (Appendix E). The theoretical test/retest reliability ratings for the Stages of









Concern Questionnaire ranged from .65 to .86 and internal consistency alpha-coefficients

ranged from .64 to .83 (Hall & Hord, 2001).

Secondly, Hall and Hord's SoCQ Quick Scoring Device (2001) was used to assess

the participants' current stage of concern relative to the CCGALA (Appendix F). Similar

to Hope (1997), this study used non-parametric, descriptive statistics (percentages and

frequencies), with respect to teachers' first and second highest stage scores, as the

simplest means to interpret overall teacher stage of concern.

Levels of Use

Hall and Hord's (2001) "Branching Interview" protocol was followed to assess

participants' level of use (see Figure 3-1). This was an appropriate protocol for this study

since Hall and Hord (1987) reported results of a specially designed validity study for the

LoU interview procedure. Essentially, branching interviews were conducted with 45

teachers who were then assigned an LoU classification. To validate those ratings, 17 of

those teachers were selected for independent researcher observations. Hall and Hord

reported a correlation of .98 between the field observer's ratings and the interviewer's

Level of Use ratings.

As questions relative to participant experiences emerged during the course of the

interviews, those pathways were probed to describe the experiences of the participants in

using the curriculum guidelines. Any barriers to implementing agriculture as the

teaching context, where applicable, were explored and described.
















Are you currently 0 [
looking for
information about
the CCGALA?



Have you decidedto Yes
use it and set a date --- Yes Fi
to begin use?






SWhat kinds of
changes are you Nothing
mailing in your use IV A
-f- ~V r~T AT AT T ifll ------


Are you
coordinating your
use of the
CCGALA with
other users,
including another
not in your
original group of
users?


Are you


exploring
making major
modifications or
replacing the
CCGALA?


Figure 3-1. Format for the LoU branching interview (as adapted from Hall & Hord, 2001)











Innovation Configurations

The third dimension and diagnostic tool in the Concerns-Based Adoption Model is

Innovation Configuration (IC). Understanding of IC in the adoption and evaluation of an

educational change is critical for program developers. Educational programs must be

designed with an ideal use in mind, but developers must also recognize that there will be

variations based upon individual use of the program. To that end, developers can design

a concept of ideal, acceptable, and unacceptable adaptations of the educational program

(Hall & Hord, 2001).

Innovation Configuration Map Development

To identify essential components for "ideal," "acceptable," and "unacceptable"

uses of the curriculum innovation, a Delphi approach was used. The CBAM developers

recommend using a team of 2 to 7 experts familiar with the development and the intended

use to create an innovation configuration map. To accomplish this goal with respect to

CCGALA and this study, an iteration of the Delphi technique was employed. In a

synthesis of research related to Delphi use, Martin and Frick (1998) indicated one of the

most recent uses of the technique was for curriculum planning.

Twenty CCGALA developers, veteran teachers currently using the CCGALA, and

teacher educators were contacted via electronic mail and asked to participate as

appropriate experts. According to Dalkey (1969), 13 responses are necessary to produce

a minimum reliability score where r = .80. In accordance with accepted Delphi

descriptors (Martin & Frick, 1998), all experts who agreed to participate were asked to

respond to the following three open-ended questions:

1. What would one observe in classrooms where CCGALA is used well?









2. What would one observe in classrooms where CCGALA is not being used well?

3. What will teachers and students do when CCGALA is in use?

From those responses, a holistic organizing scheme of possible components was

developed, as outlined in Hall and Hord (2001). Those components are representative of

what the innovation should entail when it is in use. That list, and a corresponding draft of

word pictures describing the variations (2001), was sent out as the second round of the

Delphi for consideration and revision by the panel of experts.

The final round sought opinion convergence on the components and variations, as

well as drawing boundaries determining ideal, acceptable, and unacceptable uses. All

correspondence with the experts during development of the innovation configurations

map was facilitated through the use of electronic mail communication. The resulting

innovation configurations map was cross-referenced with in-depth interview transcript

data to depict the adaptations CCGALA users made, if any, in their implementation of

agriculture as a context for teaching.

Innovation Configuration Interviews

Concurrent with the innovation configuration map development, in-depth

interviews were conducted with the selected sample. In accordance with

recommendations by Heck, Stiegelbauer, Hall, and Loucks (1981), CCGALA respondents

were asked to describe their use of CCGALA. Furthermore, questions and probes related

to responses provided by the participants were captured and analyzed to distinguish use

of the components identified in the general innovation configuration map. Each

respondent's self-reported use of CCGALA was then categorized as "ideal," "acceptable,"

or "unacceptable."









Perceived Outcomes Experienced by Teachers

Qualitative methodology often seeks to describe the perceived experiences from the

point of view of the subject (Glesne, 1999). As such, teacher perceptions related to

student outcomes were core to understanding the successful implementation and adoption

of CCGALA. The final method used to collect data from respondents was via in-depth

interviewing. Marshall and Rossman (1999) described Seidman's three types of

interviews. The first type of in-depth interview focuses on the respondent's past

experiences with the phenomenon of interest. The second type is that which is conducted

to focus on the present experience. The third type "joins these two narratives to describe

the individual's essential experience" (p. 112). In this study, the phenomenon of interest

was the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness, and the

third interview type was used to create a narrative enjoining the participants' past and

present experiences with the CCGALA and to describe the collective "essence" of

participants' experiences using agriculture as a context for teaching at the elementary

level.

Data Collection

Initial data were collected via electronic mail to conduct the Delphi study for

innovation configurations map development. A mailed questionnaire was sent to

population members to assess their attitudes and perceptions toward using agriculture as a

context for teaching. From returned questionnaires, a purposive sample was selected for

follow-up on site interviews. There were no perceived risks or benefits to survey

respondents.

Each interview took approximately 75 minutes to complete with respect to Stages

of Concern, Levels of Use, Innovation Configuration, and perceived outcomes and









experiences. While a guiding semi-structured interview protocol was utilized (Appendix

H), the researcher probed respondents for further information when appropriate. All

interviews were audio taped and transcribed, and member checks were conducted.

Whenever possible, the participants were allowed to select the setting in which the

interviews were conducted. Three interviews were conducted in participants' homes, five

in university or public libraries, and two interviews were conducted in participant

classrooms.

There were no perceived risks to respondents. Participants selected for the follow

up, on site interviews were compensated with a $100 honorarium. Participant home

school districts were reimbursed for substitute teachers costs incurred as a result of the

interview procedure. Compensation was provided through a W. K. Kellogg Foundation

grant via the California Food and Fiber Futures (CF3) project.

Data Analysis

Demographic data, means, and frequencies related to participant attitudes toward

agriculture and its contextual use at the elementary level were analyzed using the

Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 13.0.

Stages of Concern Analysis

The Stages of Concern data were analyzed in accordance with Hall, George, and

Rutherford's (1998a) recommendations for scoring the Stages of Concern questionnaire.

Specifically, the researchers recommended that hand scoring be conducted in instances

where only a small number of questionnaires are used. The 35 statements on the

questionnaire correspond with seven fundamental areas of concern (Figure 3-2). Each

stage of concern was represented by five statements on the questionnaire. The five









statements attributed to a particular stage of concern area were summed to determine the

raw score for that concern area.

Item SoC Item SoC Item SoC Item SoC
Number Number Number Number
1 4 10 5 19 4 28 2
2 6 11 4 20 6 29 5
3 0 12 0 21 0 30 0
4 3 13 2 22 6 31 6
5 5 14 1 23 0 32 4
6 1 15 1 24 4 33 2
7 2 16 3 25 3 34 3
8 3 17 2 26 1 35 1
9 6 18 5 27 5


Figure 3-2. Item numbers and associated stages of concern (Hall, George, & Rutherford,
1998a)

Subsequent to the summation of the seven raw scores for each participant, the raw

scores were converted to a percentile with first and second high score stages used to

establish a profile for innovation users and non-users.

Level of Use Analysis

The Levels of Use relative to the CCGALA were determined through parallel

methods. Based on individual responses to the series of questions contained within the

Levels of Use Branching Interview protocol, a preliminary level of use classification was

assigned. Triangulation of this classification, as well as deeper reflection on the

classification, was established through investigation and interpretation of transcript data

from the semi-structured interviews. Overt and indirect statements pertaining to use, or

lack thereof, of the CCGALA were lifted from the text and compared with the typical

responses outlined in the "Guidelines for Rating Overall Level of Use" (Loucks,

Newlove, & Hall, 1998).









Perceived Outcomes and Experiences Analysis

In line with qualitative inquiry, interview data were coded and analyzed from raw

text to relevant text to repeating ideas until common themes were identified (Auerbach &

Silverstein, 2003) regarding elementary teachers' experiences using agriculture as a

context for teaching math, science, language arts, and social science competencies.

Specifically, Marshall and Rossman (1999) recommended three phases in the analysis of

data. The first phase requires the researcher to write a full description of his or her own

experience with the phenomenon, in an effort to set aside and bracket any preconceived

notions about the topic. This phase was completed through the researcher's subjectivity

statement.

The second phase is referred to as reduction and consisted of the researcher

grouping the data around themes that emerged from the interview data. Similar to Partis

(2003), the researcher initially read each transcript carefully with the focus being on the

whole to "identify the implicit or essential basis of the participants' experience" (p. 12)

with agriculture as a context for teaching at the elementary level. Partis recommended

holding each identified theme against the overall context of the story while determining if

the theme's interpretation fits not only the context of the respective section, but of the

text as a whole. In following the recommendation, the researcher sought to reflect

critically on the choices made in selecting essential themes. Further, distracting and

extraneous speech was deleted from the text. Similarly, repeating words that did not

contribute to the overall statement were deleted.

As further noted by Marshall and Rossman (1999), the culminating stage of the

inquiry methodology was via the collective description of the essence of the phenomenon

of interest. Also referred to as structural synthesis, this stage involves exploration of all









possible meanings and perspectives based on the collected data. This final stage in the

in-depth interview analysis concludes with a "description of the essence of the

phenomenon and its deep structure" (p. 113).

In terms of meeting tests of rigor in qualitative inquiry, Guba and Lincoln (1983)

outlined four terms and processes to parallel the scientific concerns of internal and

external validity, reliability, and objectivity. Specifically, they challenge researchers to

establish credibility, fittingness, and the ability to audit and confirm findings (1983).

To cushion against what Guba and Lincoln (1983) termed distortions "resulting

from the researcher's presence" (p. 105) and "from the fieldworker's involvement" (p.

105) with the subjects, and to guard against bias on the part of the researcher, credibility

was established through the initial attitude instrument mailed to the target population.

Contact with the population members by the researcher had been absent for two to three

years, dependent upon when the participants completed the course, before the study. The

focus of the semi-structured interview was placed on the participants' experiences using

the educational innovation after initial exposure to it. Direct questions pertaining to the

course or methods used to introduce the innovation were purposefully omitted from the

interview guide; thereby limiting a respondent's perceived need to respond in a favorable

manner to interview inquiries.

Another threat to credibility is related to the manner in which data is collected.

Guba and Lincoln (1983) indicated several methods for addressing data collection

credibility, and two methods were employed in this study. Utilizing multiple data

collection approaches to obtain and validate data served as a means to structurally

corroborate and establish links between the methods (1983). Secondly, member checks









were conducted with the data as transcribed to ensure that respondents' experiences with

the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness were

accurately captured.

With respect to fittingness, this study was clearly designed to focus on only the

experiences of the selected sample and should not be generalized beyond the target

population. For the quantitative instruments utilized, reliability and validity measures

were investigated and reported.

Audit trails were established at all points along the data collection continuum.

Specifically, triangulation was achieved by weighing results from the multiple

quantitative instruments against the experiences and outcomes described by the

participants throughout the interview. In all cases where interview data were used,

textual quotations were included in the findings.

One additional manner in which an audit trail was established was via the use of an

independent researcher analyzing the transcripts from an objective viewpoint. Guba and

Lincoln (1983) indicated that "a second judge should be able to verify" (p. 122)

categories identified by the initial judge. A second researcher analyzed two transcripts

for themes. This researcher was connected neither to the study participants, nor to the

institution in which the participants were enrolled in during the course. The independent

auditor's results coincided with the researcher's findings.

Summary

This chapter addressed the research methods and design employed to meet the six

main objectives initially introduced in Chapter 1. Specifically, the research perspective

and qualitative inquiry approach were presented, and researcher subjectivity was









recognized and explained. Moreover, population and sample, instrumentation, data

collection, and data analyses were proffered.

The design of this study was descriptive in nature and the attributes of a qualitative

approach, supported with quantitative methods where appropriate, were discussed. The

population of this study was all elementary teachers who enrolled in and completed a

course at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California (N=48).

The course related to integrating an agricultural literacy curriculum innovation and was

entitled AGC X424: Organizing and Teaching K-6 Standards and Awareness in

Agricultural Literacy. This course was offered during the summer quarter sessions of

2002 and 2003.

The sample of the study was purposively selected based on initial data collected

from the population and a justification for the purposive selection was offered (n=10).

The sample was used to collect in-depth and rich data to investigate the experiences of

the teachers as related to the California Curriculum Guidelinesfor Agricultural Literacy

Awareness.

The instruments utilized in the study were demarcated. The instruments were

common to the Concerns Based Adoption Model and included the Stages of Concern

questionnaire and the Level of Use Branching Interview protocol. Additionally, a

researcher developed attitudinal questionnaire was utilized with the target population.

Further, the researcher served as a qualitative instrument in examining the semi-

structured interview transcripts for emerging themes and essential stories relative to

participant experiences with the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural

Literacy Awareness. Credibility and fittingness of the methodology, along with the






73


ability to confirm and audit the findings of the study were expounded. Data collection

and analysis methods served as the capstone discussion in this chapter.














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Chapter 1 outlined the basis for conducting this study. A portrait of how current

educational accountability practices shape beginning teacher concerns was painted, and

recognized that teachers, as curriculum gatekeepers, are concerned with far more than

simply what to teach to their students.

Also in Chapter 1, the purpose of the study and appropriate research objectives

were stated. Research methods were overviewed, relevant key terms defined,

assumptions delineated, and study limitations stated.

Chapter 2 provided a review of relevant literature related to agricultural literacy

curriculum innovations. This literature review revealed a clear incongruence of research

methods and approaches to agricultural literacy curriculum developments. While

research generally focused on student and teacher attitudes, barriers to curriculum

implementation, and professional development opportunities provided in tandem with

agricultural literacy curriculum introduction, there were few studies that utilized similar

or consistent theoretical perspectives as a basis for conducting the research. As such, the

Concerns Based Adoption Model arose as a viable theoretical perspective for this study.

There is an exiguous amount of research conducted in the agricultural education research

genre using this model; therefore, most of the Concerns Based Adoption Model empirical

research presented in Chapter 2 was focused on educational studies outside of this arena.

Chapter 3 outlined the research methodology and described the design utilized in

this study. To that end, Chapter 3 delineated the research perspective and methodology,









population and sample, instrumentation, and data collection and analyses procedures, as

well as acknowledged researcher subjectivity.

This chapter presents the findings that emerged from this study. The results

address the objectives of the study and explore the concerns, levels of use, and innovation

configurations of elementary teachers in their adoption and sustained use of the

California Curriculum Guidelinesfor Agricultural Literacy Awareness as a resource for

teaching the California state educational standards in grades kindergarten through eight.

The target population for this study was elementary teachers who participated in a

five-week pre-service course introducing instructional activities for integrating

agriculture into elementary curriculum at a West Coast university (N=48). As outlined in

Chapter 3, initial data collection occurred via a mailed, researcher-developed

questionnaire to assess population demographics and attitudes toward agriculture. The

use of agriculture as a context for teaching elementary students across the grade level

content standards was also assessed.

Of the 48 members of the target population, six could not be contacted for

participation in this study. Therefore, the accessible population was reduced to 42

participants. From the accessible population, 36 of the initial instruments were returned

for an 85.7% response rate. Lindner, Murphy, and Briers (2001) concluded that non-

response error control measures are not necessary for studies that yield 85% or greater

response rates.

Accessible Population Demographic and Psychographic Characteristics

One hundred percent of the returned instruments were deemed usable for assessing

the demographic and psychographic characteristics of the target population. Female

respondents comprised 88.9% of returned instruments (n=32). The average age of









respondents was 25 years old. Respondents ranged in age, however, from 22 to 53 years

old. Nearly 70% of respondents reported being either 23 (n=12) or 24 (n=l 1) years old.

Of those respondents who indicated they were currently teaching (n=31), the mean

number of years of teaching experience reported was 1.3 years.

Notably, population characteristics indicated not all of the respondents currently

held teaching positions (see Table 4-1), but that did not preclude their participation in the

initial stage of the study to gather attitudinal data related to teaching elementary students

using agriculture as an integrating context.

Table 4-1. Summary of Currently Teaching Participants and their Use of Agriculture and
the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness
(n=36)
Statement f %
Yes, I am teaching agriculture using CCGALA 8 22.2
No, I do not use CCGALA, but I infuse agriculture in other ways 9 25.0
No, I am not teaching any agriculture in my classroom 14 38.9
I am not currently teaching 5 13.9

While 14 respondents (38.9%) reported not teaching any agricultural concepts in

their elementary classes, 17 (47.2%) indicated they were teaching agricultural concepts.

This teaching was accomplished either through use of the California Curriculum

Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness or was infused via other preparation

means. Figures 4-1 and 4-2 indicate the distribution of teachers according to the type

(public, private, or charter) and location (urban, suburban, or rural) of school in which

they are currently teaching.







77










100-




80-




60-




40-




20-




0
Public Private Charter
Type of school


Figure 4-1. Type of school

Of the 31 respondents who are currently teaching, 90.3% (n=28) reported teaching

in a public school setting. Two of the remaining three respondents (5.6%) reported

teaching in a private school setting, while the remaining participant taught at a charter

school.


















60-



50-



40-



30-



20-



10-



0-
Urban Suburban Rural
School area


Figure 4-2. Location of school

With respect to geographic location in which each respondent was teaching, 51.6%

reported teaching in a suburban area (n=16), and another 35.5% specified teaching in a

rural area (n=l 1). Merely five respondents reported teaching in an urban setting.

Objective One: Describe elementary teachers' attitudes and perceptions of
agriculture as a context for teaching elementary students.

Previous Agricultural Experience

The initial instrument asked population respondents to indicate previous

agricultural experiences. Multiple selections were appropriate as statements related to









production agricultural experiences and collegiate agricultural coursework taken (see

Table 4-2).

Table 4-2. Previous Agricultural Experience
Previous agricultural experience f
None 4
Raised in a rural/agricultural family 9
Participated in production agriculture 3
Participated in youth agricultural/FFA/4-H experience 4
Participated in paid work experience in agriculture 3
Majored in agriculture in college 1
Completed some agricultural coursework in college 29a
aOf those who indicated completing some agricultural coursework in college, 20 indicated the only
agricultural class completed was AGCX424.

Only 27.8% of respondents (n=10) indicated any previous experience related to

production agriculture; involvement in a youth agricultural organization, such as 4-H or

FFA; or a paid agriculturally-related work experience. Although more than 80% of

respondents (n=29) selected completed some agricultural coursework in college, 20

respondents anecdotally noted on the instrument that the only agriculturally related

coursework completed was AGC X424: Organizing and Teaching K-6 Standards and

Awareness in Agricultural Literacy. This is the course from which this study's

population was comprised.

Attitude toward Agriculture

Attitude toward agriculture scores were determined by summing the individual

values for the seven items that encompassed the agricultural attitudes construct of the

initial population instrument (see Figure 4-3). Scores ranged from 18 to 30. The mean

score was 23.92 (SD = 2.53).







80







12-


10-

; 8-


'6-


4


2

0
18.00 20.00 22.00 24.00 26.00 28.00 30.00
Attitude toward agriculture score


Figure 4-3. Distribution of participant attitudes toward agriculture scores

Individual item means ranged from 3.28 to 4.86 on positively worded items (see

Table 4-3). The two negatively worded items resulted in means ranging from 1.61 to

2.28 and were reverse coded to calculate the attitude toward agriculture score.

Table 4-3. Attitude toward Agriculture Construct Summary of Individual Items
Item M SD
Agriculture provides beneficial products for society 4.86 .35
Agriculture provides safe products for society 4.28 .66
There are numerous career opportunities in the field of agriculture 4.11 .82
Most teachers in my school have a positive image of agriculture 3.50 .88
Most students in my school have a positive image of agriculture 3.28 1.06
Most elementary teachers are unaware of the impact of agriculture on their 2.28a .91
daily lives
Most elementary students are unaware of the impact of agriculture on their 1.61a .65
daily lives
Note. Likert-type scale was l=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree.
"Negatively worded items. Coding was reversed when computing attitude score.







81


Attitude toward Agriculture as a Context for Teaching Elementary Students

Participant scores of attitude toward using agriculture as a context for teaching

content grade level standards at the elementary level were calculated by summing the

individual scores across the 21 items comprising the construct (see Figure 4-4). Valid

data were collected from 36 respondents with scores ranging from 62 to 96. The mean

score was 82.67 (SD=7.89).



7

6

5

S4

3-

2-

1

0
60.00 70.00 80.00 90.00 100.00
Attitude toward using agriculture as a context for
teaching elementary students scores


Figure 4-4. Distribution of participant attitudes toward agriculture as a context for
teaching elementary students scores

Individual item means ranged from 2.19 to 4.72 across all items (see Table 4-4).

With respect to attitudes toward multiple disciplinary applications of agriculture as an

integrating context, congruence between science and agricultural integration recorded the

highest mean (4.56, SD=.61) followed by social science (4.39, SD=.69), language arts

(4.25, SD=.65), mathematics (4.25, SD=.69), and fine arts (4.06, SD=.89), respectively.









Table 4-4. Attitude toward Using Agriculture as a Context for Teaching Elementary
Content Standards Construct Summary of Individual Items
Item M SD
All elementary students should be aware of agriculture 4.72 .45
Agriculture should be offered in both urban and rural areas 4.58 .55
Agriculture integrates multiple disciplinary applications in:
Science 4.56 .61
Social science 4.39 .69
Language arts 4.25 .65
Mathematics 4.25 .69
Fine arts 4.06 .89
Elementary education about agriculture can help protect the environment and 4.47 .61
our natural resources
Every elementary student would benefit from some instruction about 4.44 .77
agriculture
Using agriculture as the context for teaching makes cross-disciplinary 4.17 .66
instruction more meaningful
Infusing agriculture into elementary classrooms makes academic principles 4.17 .66
more meaningful to students
Stronger ties should be made between agriculture and elementary curricula 4.14 .64
Infusing agriculture into elementary classes is beneficial for lower achieving 4.11 .71
students
Elementary agriculture curriculum should become more cross-disciplinary 4.06 .63
based
Teaching using agriculture as the context is effective in helping students 4.06 .72
understand the subject matter
Using agriculture as the context motivates students to learn 3.92 .77
Infusing agriculture into elementary classes is beneficial for higher achieving 3.89 .67
students
Learning is easier for students when teachers use agriculture as the context 3.47 .65
Increased emphasis on using agriculture as the teaching context produces 2.58 .55
little change in students' achievement
Agriculture in elementary schools is most beneficial to students in rural areas 2.19 .82
Agriculture in elementary classes should be offered primarily in urban 2.19 .79
communities
Note. Likert-type scale was l=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree.

Purposively Selected Sample

As previously delineated in chapter 3, a sample of the target population was

purposively selected based on initial instrument response to demographic questions

regarding teacher use of the California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy

Awareness (CCGALA) as a mechanism for integrating agriculture across the elementary






83


content area standards. Four respondents who indicated use of the CCGALA, along with

six respondents who reported no use of agriculture as a context for teaching, were

selected for participation in the remainder of the study as it pertained to the remaining

research objectives. The demographic characteristics of the sample can be viewed in

Table 4-5.















Table 4-5. Summaries of Purposively Selected Sample Participants
Grade Days
Years currently Agricultural Use of taught
ID Gender Age teaching teaching background CCGALA agriculture
204 Female 24 2 4th Collegiate & Yes 100
production
211 Female 25 1 7th Collegiate Yes 30
212 Female 24 1 1st 1 college Yes 200
course
236 Female 23 1 1st 1 college Yes 50
course
207 Female 27 2 8th 1 college No 0
course
247 Female 23 1 5th 1 college No 0
course
240 Female 23 1 3rd 1 college No 0
course
215 Male 53 1 K None No 0
209 Female 24 1 5th 1 college No 0
course
219 Female 23 1 7th-8th Collegiate No 0
population 3=23.92. bPopulation g=82.67.


School
type
Public

Public
Public

Private

Public

Public

Public

Public
Public

Public


School
location
Suburban

Urban
Suburban

Suburban

Rural

Rural

Suburban

Rural
Suburban

Suburban


Agriculture Elementary
attitude attitude
scorea scoreb
26 90

24 90
27 80

23 96

24 84

28 80

26 75

28 66
21 79

18 71










Gender, average age, and teaching experience demographics of the purposively

selected sample parallel those of the target population (see Table 4-6).

Table 4-6. Summary Means of Sample and Target Population Demographic
Characteristics
Sample Population
Characteristic X _
Gender 90% female 88.9% female
Age 25 years 25 years
Teaching experience 1.2 years 1.3 years
School type 90% public 90.3% public
School location 60% suburban 51.6% suburban

The population and sample characteristics were nearly identical in terms of gender

(.=88.9% female, X=90% female), age (.=25 years, X=25 years), and teaching

experience (=1.3 years, X=1.2 years).

Objective Two: Describe elementary teachers' current stages of concern with
respect to implementing an agricultural literacy curriculum.

Subsequent to the selection of the purposive sample for interviews and further

analyses of teacher concerns related to the adoption and sustained use of the California

Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness, each interviewee was asked

to complete a Stages of Concern instrument. Instrument developers reported test/retest

reliability ratings for the Stages of Concern Questionnaire ranging from .65 to .86 and

internal consistency alpha-coefficients ranging from .64 to .83 (Hall & Hord, 2001).

Stages of concern data were analyzed utilizing the Stages of Concern Quick

Scoring Device (Hall, George, & Rutherford, 1998a). Raw scores were totaled and

summed relative to each stage, as outlined in Chapter 3. Following summation, raw

scores were converted to relative intensity percentiles according to the Stages of Concern







86


Raw Score-Percentile Conversion Chart for the Stages of Concern Questionnaire (see


Appendix I).


Individual peak stages of concern were identified for each participant in the sample.


Figures 4-5 and 4-6 illustrate the relative intensity of the participants for each respective


stage of concern. According to Hall, George, and Rutherford (1998a), the greater the


score in a stage of concern, the more intense the concerns are at that stage.


California Curriculum Guidelines for Agricultural Literacy Awareness Non-User
Stages of Concern

Figure 4-5 illustrates the distributions of stage of concern relative intensity for


those sample participants who indicated they were not using CCGALA as a context for


teaching across the elementary grade level content standards.


CCGALA Non-User Stages of Concern

120


100


80
4-- 207
--209
6 215
219
40240




20 47


Awareness Informational Personal Management Consequence Collaboration Refocusing
Stage



Figure 4-5. Distribution of stages of concern for CCGALA non-users (n=6)