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Determining the Science Concepts Taught to Agricultural Education Students

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0044717/00001

Material Information

Title: Determining the Science Concepts Taught to Agricultural Education Students
Physical Description: 1 online resource (99 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Giorgi, Aaron
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: agriculture -- education -- prepartation -- science -- teacher
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: For nearly 30 years we have known that American students are not proficient in science. Various state and national assessments have confirmed the lack of science proficiency in US students. One solution to our science deficiency was increase science integration in agricultural science classrooms. The purpose of this study was to assess the level of science concepts typical undergraduate students were exposed to during their course of study in the agricultural teacher education program at the University of Florida. The level of exposure was assessed based on syllabus analysis and survey of instructors who taught the courses taken by students. The assessment was based on the national science standards inherent within the national Agricultural, Food, and Natural Resources frameworks. It was found that 170 different courses were taken by the 59 preservice students to satisfy the degree requirements in science. Of that, 73 different courses were taken in core sciences to satisfy the 9 credit hour requirement, and 97 were taken in applied agricultural science to satisfy the 30 credit hours required. The major findings were that preservice students are missing exposure to benchmarks consistent with physical and earth sciences, and are lacking coursework in physics and earth sciences which are assumed to cover the missing benchmarks. From the findings, the recommendation is to redesign the course of study for agricultural education to include deficient courses. It is also recommended to assess the science knowledge preservice students possess upon completion of the degree.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Aaron Giorgi.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local: Adviser: Roberts, Thomas Grady.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID: UFE0044717:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0044717/00001

Material Information

Title: Determining the Science Concepts Taught to Agricultural Education Students
Physical Description: 1 online resource (99 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Giorgi, Aaron
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: agriculture -- education -- prepartation -- science -- teacher
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: For nearly 30 years we have known that American students are not proficient in science. Various state and national assessments have confirmed the lack of science proficiency in US students. One solution to our science deficiency was increase science integration in agricultural science classrooms. The purpose of this study was to assess the level of science concepts typical undergraduate students were exposed to during their course of study in the agricultural teacher education program at the University of Florida. The level of exposure was assessed based on syllabus analysis and survey of instructors who taught the courses taken by students. The assessment was based on the national science standards inherent within the national Agricultural, Food, and Natural Resources frameworks. It was found that 170 different courses were taken by the 59 preservice students to satisfy the degree requirements in science. Of that, 73 different courses were taken in core sciences to satisfy the 9 credit hour requirement, and 97 were taken in applied agricultural science to satisfy the 30 credit hours required. The major findings were that preservice students are missing exposure to benchmarks consistent with physical and earth sciences, and are lacking coursework in physics and earth sciences which are assumed to cover the missing benchmarks. From the findings, the recommendation is to redesign the course of study for agricultural education to include deficient courses. It is also recommended to assess the science knowledge preservice students possess upon completion of the degree.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Aaron Giorgi.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local: Adviser: Roberts, Thomas Grady.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID: UFE0044717:00001


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1 DETERMINING THE SCIENCE CONCEPTS TAUGHT TO AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION STUDENTS By AARON J. GIORGI A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012

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2 2012 Aaron J. Giorgi

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3 To my student s who I left to change the world

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS To begin with, I would like to thank my family. My mother and father have stuck with me through it all on this crazy journey of my education. I thank my father for our daily 5 minute conversations while I walked to and from the office each day. My mother was my go to problem solver and sounding board. I also thank my little sister for being a strong inspiration through this process; she is truly smarter than I am. I would like to thank my girlfriend, who has become part of the family. She has graciously dealt with my insanity through the majority of this document we call a thesis. She understood the lack of date nights and the times when I would just zone out on the world from mental exhaustion. Next, I would like to thank my committee, both the official and unofficial members. Dr. Roberts, the committee chair and my mentor put up with the delays and procrastinations throughout the last two years, and for that I thank him. I would like to thank Dr. Myers for his insight and different view of the project and Dr. Osborne for his support and critiques on grammar and verb tense. Graduate school would not h ave been a goal I could have achieved without the support of my fellow graduate students. I would like to thank them for everything they mean to my life and the help they provided. I would like to thank Avery for her smile, Brittany and Tony for their abil ity to provide escapes, Ryan and Jason for good male bonding, and Quisto for random talks about things that no one else in the office understood. Finally, I would like to thank my old students, those that I call my kids. I thank them for being the reason I kept going even when I did not want to. I thank those who were at UF for their times in the gym and playing Zombies, I thank those still at MHS for their

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5 smiles and random messages checking in on me and I thank those who built strong friendships with me and let me crash on their couch They will never realize the difference they made on my life; f or that I thank them.

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 8 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 9 LIST OF TERMS ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 10 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ........................... 11 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 14 A Nation at Risk ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 14 National Science Scores ................................ ................................ .................. 14 Trends in Teaching Science ................................ ................................ ............. 16 The Role of CTE and Agricultural Education ................................ .................... 17 Statement of Problem ................................ ................................ ............................. 19 Purpose and Objectives ................................ ................................ .......................... 20 Assumptions ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 20 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 21 Chapter Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 21 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ................................ ................................ .................... 22 Theoretical Framework ................................ ................................ ........................... 22 Constr uctivism ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 22 Conceptual Framework ................................ ................................ .................... 24 Science Integration ................................ ................................ ................................ 28 Content Proficiency ................................ ................................ .......................... 28 Perceived Preparation ................................ ................................ ...................... 30 Percei ved Value of Integration ................................ ................................ ......... 31 Increased Achievement ................................ ................................ .................... 32 Science Credit ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 33 Other Barriers to Integration ................................ ................................ ............. 34 Effects on Teacher Preparation ................................ ................................ .............. 34 Chapter Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 35 3 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 38 Research Design ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 38

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7 Populations and Samples ................................ ................................ ................. 39 Data Sources ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 40 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 41 Course Descriptives ................................ ................................ ......................... 41 Quantitative Content Analysis ................................ ................................ .......... 42 Validity ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 42 Reliability ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 44 Chapter Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 44 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 48 Courses for Degree ................................ ................................ ................................ 48 Science Content within Degree ................................ ................................ ............... 49 Benchmarks ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 50 Standard A ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 5 0 Standard B ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 50 Standard C ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 51 Standard D and E ................................ ................................ ............................. 51 Standard F ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 51 Standard G ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 52 Courses Content ................................ ................................ .............................. 52 5 CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS ........................... 62 Summary of Study ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 62 Purpose and Objectives ................................ ................................ ................... 62 Method ology ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 63 Conclusions and Implications ................................ ................................ ................. 63 Degree Requirements ................................ ................................ ...................... 63 Courses Taken for Degree ................................ ................................ ............... 64 Science Competencies ................................ ................................ ..................... 66 The Typical Student ................................ ................................ ......................... 69 Recommendations ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 71 Course of Study ................................ ................................ ................................ 73 APPENDIX A L IST OF SCIENCE COURSES ................................ ................................ ............... 76 B QUALTRICS SURVEY INSTRUMENT ................................ ................................ ... 81 C INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD DOCUMENTATION ................................ ........ 87 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................... 93 BIOGRAPHIC AL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 98

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 List of Science Standards Inherent in the Standards ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 46 3 2 Frequency of Gainesville Students Graduating Per Term (N=59) ...................... 47 4 1 Core Science Courses Taken to Satisfy Degree Requirements of Preservice Teachers (N = 170) ................................ ................................ ............................. 53 4 2 Applied Agricultural Science Courses Taken to Satisfy Degree Requirements of Preservice Teachers (N = 170) ................................ ................................ ....... 54 4 3 Addressed Science as Inquiry Standards in Relation to Courses (N = 170) ....... 55 4 4 Addressed Physical Science Standards in Relation to Courses (N = 170) ......... 56 4 5 Addressed Life Science Standards in Relation to Courses (N = 170) ................ 57 4 6 Addressed Earth and Space and Technology Standards in Relation to Courses (N = 170) ................................ ................................ .............................. 58 4 7 Addressed Personal and Social Perspectives Standards in Relation to Courses (N = 170) ................................ ................................ .............................. 59 4 8 Addressed History and Nature of Science Standards in Relation to Courses (N = 170) ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 60 4 9 Total Addressed Standards in Relation to Courses (N = 170) ............................ 61 A 1 Core Science Courses Taken to Satisfy Degree Requirements of Preservice Teachers (N=59) ................................ ................................ ................................ 76 A 2 Applied Agricultural Science Courses Taken to Satisfy Degree Requirements of Preservice Teachers (N=59) ................................ ................................ ........... 78

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9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 A Framework for Unde rstanding Teaching and Learning ................................ .. 25

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10 LIST OF T ERMS C ONTENT B ENCHMARK A measureable point for curriculum development in education C ONTENT I NTEGRATION Application and practical use of core content in an area outside of the core content classroom. C ONTENT S TANDARD A descrip tor of content used in curriculum development. C ORE C ONTENT Content which has been identified as essential for all students to know (National Academy of Science, 1995). P RESERVICE T EACHER Students enrolled in a teacher preparation program who have yet to participate in a formalized guided teaching experience.

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11 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S AAAS American Association for the Advancement of Science AFNR Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources CDE California Departmen t of Education CST California Standardized Tests CTE Career and Technical Education FCAT Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test FLDOE Florida Department of Education NAEP National Assessment of Educational Progress NCAE National Council for Agricultural Education NCEE National Commission of Excellence in Education NCES National Center for Education Statistics NRC National Research Council

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12 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillme nt of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science DETERMINING THE SCIENCE CONCEPTS TAUGHT TO AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION STUDENTS By Aaron J. Giorgi August 2012 Chair: T. Grady Roberts Major: Agricultural Education and Communication For nearly 30 years we have known that American students are not proficient in science. Various state and national assessments have confirmed the lack of science proficiency in US students. One solution to our science deficiency was inc rease science integration in agricultural science classrooms. The purpose of this study was to assess the level of science concepts typical undergraduate students were exposed to during their course of study in the agricultural teacher education program at the University of Florida. The level of exposure was assessed based on syllabus analysis and survey of instructors who taught the courses taken by students. The assessment was based on the national science standards inherent within the national Agricultur al, Food, and Natural Resources frameworks. It was found that 170 different courses were taken by the 59 preservice students to satisfy the degree requirements in science. Of that, 73 different courses were taken in core sciences to satisfy the 9 credit ho ur requirement, and 97 were taken in applied agricultural science to satisfy the 30 credit hours required. The major findings were that preservice students are missing exposure to benchmarks consistent with physical and earth sciences, and are lacking cour sework in physics and earth sciences which are assumed to cover the missing benchmarks. From the findings,

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13 the recommendation is to redesign the course of study for agricultural education to include deficient courses. It is also recommended to assess the s cience knowledge preservice students possess upon completion of the degree.

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14 CHAPTER 1 INTRO DUC TION The time is long past when American's destiny was assured simply by an abundance of natural resources and i National Commission of Excellence in Education [NCEE] A Nation at Risk 1 A Nation at Risk For nearly 30 years we have known that American students are not p roficient in science. The A Nation at Risk report stated that American students are performing low on basic science skills (NCEE, 1983). The report based this conclusion on 24 years of decreasing science achievement scores on various national assessments ( NCEE, 1983). Unsurprisingly, the same report found that less than 20% of students are taking advanced courses in math, science, and languages (NCEE, 1983). Additionally, 25% of the credits earned in high school were in a form of physical or health educatio n, or remedial English and mathematics (NCEE, 1983). The question stands: has the trend in science performance changed in the 30 years since the publication of this report? National Science Scores The National Center for Educational Statistics [NCES] (2009 ) administered the National Assessment of Educational Progress [NAEP] Science assessment that has four levels of achievement: below basic, basic, proficient, and advanced. Nationally, only 1% of fourth grade students scored Advanced achievement, and no s ignificant numbers of students from large cities scored Advanced (NCES, 2009). The same lack of higher proficiency was mirrored in eighth grade students in the same population (NCES, 2009). The NCES (2009) reported that 38% of eighth grade students across the national scored Below Basic proficiency on the National Assessment of Education 1 The epigraph to this chapter was drawn from A Nation at Risk ( NCEE 1983; pg. II ).

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15 Progress 2009 in Science. There was a higher lack of proficiency in large cities (population over 250,000) with 56% percent of eighth grade students scoring Below Basic pro ficiency (NCES, 2009). Of the 17 large cities within the assessment, 14 cities at grade 4, and 16 cities at grade 8 scored lower than the national average (NCES 2009). Within the State of Florida, students are scoring just as poorly. In 2011, 51% of fifth grade students, 46% of the eighth grade students, and 40% of eleventh grade students scored a passing grade of '3' or better on a 1 5 level scale score (Florida Department of Education [FLDOE], 2011a, 2011b, 2011c). For grades 5 and 8, only one county wit h an urban population had over 50% passing while, no urban county had over 50% passing for their eleventh grade population (FLDOE, 2011a, 2011b, 2011c). Looking at the Florida scores longitudinally, 2010 was the first year since Florida Comprehensive Asses sment Test (FCAT) science was first administered in 2006 that at least half of the student population in grade five passed with a '3' or better, but the population of students in eighth or eleventh grade has never exceeded a 46% passing rate (FLDOE, 2011d ). The average passing rate is 40% for grade eight, and 38% for grade eleven across that span (FLDOE, 2011d). Statewide in 2011, only 5% of the fifth grade students scored a '5' on the FCAT Science (FLDOE, 2011a). The percentage of students scoring high de creased over the higher grade levels with only 3% of eighth grade students and only 1% of eleventh grade students scoring a '5' for 2011 (FLDOE, 2011b, 2011c). California has seen similar results of underachievement in general science assessment on their C alifornia Standardized Tests (CST) (California Department of

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16 Education [CDE], 2011). The achievement scores for the four levels of the CST in general science, termed Integrated Science 1 4, showed range between 32% and 56% of students in grades nine throug h eleven scoring Below Basic in science achievement (CDE, 2011). The strongest deficiency occurred in the eleventh grade population assessed on the highest level of content, Integrated Science 4 (CDE, 2011). For the specific content area of Earth Science, the end of course examination showed 31% of the students assessed were Below Basic level, while only 9% were Advanced achievement in this area (CDE, 2011). The End of Course assessments for the Integrated Sci ence courses 1 4 had a Below Basic percentage of 41%, 41%, 45%, and 52%, respectively (CDE, 2011). Trends in Teaching Science The initial response to the national problem was to increase science requirements and standards as recommended by the A Nation at Risk report from the NCEE in 1983. Raising requirements became counter intuitive for lower achieving students, because raising standards has not been effective for students who have performed poorly in academic settings (Jennings, 1991). Adding to the prob lem, Wirth (1992) discussed that the delivery of science education has been a depressing picture, resulting in the continuation of a large number of American students avoiding science in both secondary and higher education. A myriad of research showed a r eason for the depressing picture. Davis and Falba (2002) stated that one inhibiting factor to incorporating science processes has been a general "lack of knowledge" possessed by teachers (p. 309). Teachers' ability to teach subjects, and content and proces ses within those subjects, has depended on their view and understanding of the subject (Wilson, 1994). Hawkins (1990) described a "loop in

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17 history," which has yielded poorly taught science by teachers has been due to their poor experiences with science the mselves (p. 97). This poor science understanding and teaching is due, in part, to the vast misunderstanding of the nature of science and the "inner scientific background" (Hawkins, 1990, p. 99). Teacher preparation has been a key component of enabling the trends to occur. Continuing to cite the initial instigator of science educational reform, the NCEE (1983) team recommended that teacher preparation should meet high educational standards and teachers should demonstrate an aptitude for teaching and compete nce in an academic discipline. Colleges and universities offering teacher preparation programs should be judged by how well their graduates meet these criteria (NCEE, 1983). Preservice teachers' feelings of preparedness have been correlated to having at le ast one methods class that modeled the instruction during their teacher education program (Willis & Mehlinger, 1996). Davis and Falba (2002) showed the importance of preservice programs that model the experiences for their students. These facts predicate t he question: are preservice teachers exposed to quality science education to overcome the lack of knowledge and loop in history? The Role of CTE and Agricultural Education Beginning with the 1988 National Research Council (NRC) report, agricultural educati on has steadily increased emphasis on science instruction integrated into the agriscience classrooms working to combat the science issues presented. With this emphasis for integration of core content into the agriscience courses, teachers are being require d to teach science concepts more explicitly. This emphasis has been so wide spread that state legislation, as well as the national Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (2006), have demanded more rigorous content taught in

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18 Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses (Public K 12 Educational Instruction, 2010). This emphasis continued via national calls for increasing science learning opportunities for students through reformed methods of teaching science in classrooms (American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS], 1989, 1993; NRC, 1996). The axiomatic convention has been that agriscience education courses use and apply traditionally taught science concepts and provide a vector for increasing science competency. Are teacher educati on programs preparing pre service teachers to meet these expectations? Phipps, Osborne, Dyer, and Ball (2008) described the agriscience classroom as a means to connect agricultural practices explicitly to the science concepts and principles that underlie t hose practices. Eight years earlier Balschweid and Thompson (2000) stated, "It is difficult to discuss living organisms, plants, and animals, devoid of any conversation involving science. The integration of academic principles into agriculture and natural resources can provide the context necessary for students in the 21st century to understand the world they live in" (p. 36). Continuing on the thought of meeting needs, Thompson (1998) made a similar point, "The pursuit to integrate science into agriculture programs could improve the image and quality of programs while meeting the needs of a rampantly changing industry" (p. 77). Ten years later that sentiment still holds true; agricultural education programs have been strengthening themselves by a ligning agriscience standards and courses to state and national science learning standards (Phipps et al., 2008). Additionally, effective agricultural science programs benefit by using science contexts to allow students to think critically, explore phenome na, and solve everyday problems

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19 (Phipps et al., 2008). Decades ago, Budke (1991) purported that agricultural education provides an excellent means to teach biological sciences such as genetics, photosynthesis, nutrition, water quality, reproduction, and fo od processing. The viability of agriscience as a vector for science teaching has been shown to help students perform equally or better than those taught using traditional methods (Connors & Elliot, 1995; Enderling & Osborne, 1992; Roegge & Russell, 1990; W hent & Leising 1988). This is attributed to the rich context that agriscience provided when content is imbedded in context students find it difficult to separate (Thompson, 1998). Based on the various findings, the integration of science within agricultur al education is going to "occur slowly" until science knowledge and teaching abilities increase (Thoron & Myers, 2010, p.71). To provide a gauge for our profession the barriers and competencies for science integration need to be identified (Thoron & Myers, 2010). Statement of Problem With such a strong push for science competency seen from historical needs and current legislation across all levels, agriscience courses are the expected venu e for a solution (NCEE, 1983). The problem with such an expectation i s that preservice teachers may have been ill prepared in core science content, and thus, have been poor teachers of science (Davis & Falba, 2002). From the literature, the progression of ill prepared students and teachers is self perpetuating and will only continue to produce poor performances in content areas, manly science (Hawkins, 1990; Wilkins, 1994). Axiomatically, students are choosing to take lower levels, or easier courses for science requirements. Thus, teacher education programs need to continuou sly assess themselves by asking the following questions:

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20 1. Is teacher education requiring the correct courses for students to learn science "best?" 2. Are teacher education students choosing to take adequate courses as electives to meet their future science ne eds? 3. Is teacher education adequately preparing our preservice teachers for today's expectations? 4. What steps should be taken to overcome deficiencies in science? Purpose and Objectives This study sought to define the science concepts that preservice teacher s in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida have an opportunity to learn in their college course work. The objectives of the study were as follows: 1. List the courses taken by preservice teachers in the Depart ment of Agricultural Education and Communication at University of Florida to satisfy the science requirements of their degree; and 2. Categorize and quantify the science content competencies preservice teachers in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at University of Florida are exposed to in courses taken to satisfy degree requirements for their program. Assumptions It is assumed that students in the sample should have at least a basic proficiency in all required science concepts due to their admittance and continued success in collegiate level courses. This assumption is based on the degree requirements of the general education science credits, required technical agricultural courses, and elective agricultural courses. Students entering their second term as seniors will have completed the majority of these requirements, and in most cases, all required courses. Also, to graduate from high school and be admitted into the University of Florida a student must

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21 pass a litany of science courses that should have aided the development of science content competency. Limitations The study is not generalizable to a broader population, and results are only applicable to the graduates from May 2007 till August 2011. Science content competencies will al so be limited based on the experiences of each student. Thus, the chosen courses taken throughout college will limit the assessment of available science concepts students have encountered through formal education. Also, the study only defines what students had an opportunity to learn. The variability of multiple teachers and institutions providing the courses will limit the results. Chapter Summary Overall, it is known that students in the United States do not have a grasp on science concepts. This has bee n demonstrated repeatedly over the last 30 years. The interest in science has not increased over that same time span. To combat this situation, national educational trends have shifted to increase the emphasis on academic subject matter, and all discipline s in the K 12 system are expected to contribute. As a profession, a gricultural education believes that agriculture is inherently loaded with science concepts, thus a viable subject to help meet the needs of science education. But, to teach agriculture as a science, teachers must be knowledgeable of science concepts or a perpetuation of the problem will occur. The process of educating of these teachers should be evaluated to define the amount and types of science concepts the teachers are exposed to while ea rning a degree. This will help determine the value of the variety of courses preservice teachers take to earn credit in core and applied agricultural science courses.

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22 CHAPTER 2 R EVIEW OF L ITERATURE The purpose of the study was to determine the scien ce knowledge that preservice teachers had the opportunity to construct through their college coursework Based on work by Darling Hammond and Bransford (2005), studying effective teaching and learning should focus on several components, knowledge of content should be one of those areas. Based on the national calls for CTE areas to help with enhancement of science, agricultural science programs and agricu lture teacher education programs have been assessed in relation to various aspects of science integration (NRC, 1988). A review of the literature related to agricultural science and agricultural education programs is presented. Theoretical Framework Constructivism Constructivism served as the grand level theoretical frame for this study. The goal of the study was to identify the science knowledge that preservice teachers have the opportunity to construct. Constructivism founds itself as a theory of kn owledge acquisition. Constructivism began as an educational theory between the periods of the 1980s and the 1990s (Welsch & Jenlink, 1998). Von Glasersfeld (1989) posit ed that the theory of constructivism is comprised of two principles. First, knowledge is actively built by the cognizing of a subject, not the passive reception of information; second, the function of cognition serves to adaptively organize the experiences in the real world (von Glasersfeld, 1989). Von Glasersfeld (1989) discussed that the ph ilosophical Vico (1710, as

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23 cited in von Glasersfeld, 1989) explained that knowing something is based on the understanding of the components and how each part fits together. The educ ational application of constructivism was built upon by Piaget in the early 1900s where he argued that the construction of knowledge is organized based on the establish the relations with previous information and create their own meaning for new knowledge which the individual constructs information is presented, the individual restructures the information to build into their current me ntal scheme or & Kalender, 2007). The value of constructed knowledge comes from the ability for knowledge to function satisfactorily for the individual in the context which the knowledge arises (Bodner, 1986). The concept of knowledge construction within individual realities was discussed by Simmel (1895, as cited in von Glasersfeld, 1989) who suggested that the function of the cognitive capability was adaptive (i.e. it was not to produce a true picture of the real world, but rather to enhance the organism Constructed k s reality; constructed knowledge thinking (von Glasersfeld, 1989; p.163). The educational dilemma in which this theory lays out is that the intended meanings of messages are not transferred through communications. The meanings

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24 must be selected and combined to interpret the message based on the conceptualization and influence of the experiential reality in which the individual has constructed and organized previously (von Glasersfeld, 1989). The application of this theory for educating future teachers is that teachers cannot teach what they themselves have not been exposed to which was the domain of this s tudy Additionally, if the exposure to information is not adequate or misconstrued by lack of active engagement, the viability of the constructed information will be diminished and the future teachers will purport misaligned information to the students the y teach. If the future teachers do not have a solid mastery of the content, they will compound their inadequacies within their future students. Constructivism has posited that individuals actively construct new knowledge from (Bodner, 1986; von Glasersfeld, 1989). The theory related the need for opportunities to learn to the actual construction of new knowledge. Teaching has three components of practice which teacher preparation programs focus developing within preservice agric ultural education teachers: subject matter knowledge, knowledge of learners and learning styles, and teaching skills and practices (Darling Hammond & Bransford, 2005). The conjecture has been that to become an effective or excellent teacher, individuals ne ed to be presented with opportunities to construct knowledge in the three components of practice. This study focused on the opportunities to construct science subject matter knowledge which preservice agricultural education students were exposed to during their undergraduate course works. Conceptual Framework Darling Hammond and Bransford (2005) proposed Figure 2 1 which serves as a conceptual framework for studying effective teaching and learning. The three areas of

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25 the framework are important skills, knowledge, and dispositions that any teacher should acquire (Bransford, Darling Hammond, & LePage, 2005). Bransford et al. (2005) suggested the framework as a model for teachers to organize their knowledge to help accelerate their learning throughout their careers which should enable teachers to adequately serve their students in this current system with c ontinuously increasing demands. Figure 2 1 A Framework for Understanding Teaching and Learning [Adapted from Darling Hammond, L., & Bransford, J. (Ed s.). (2005). Preparing teachers for a changing world: What teachers should learn and be able to do (page 11, Figure 1.1) San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons. ) The framework lays out three components for the profession of teaching in the United d emocratic system which builds into teaching practice. First, teachers must possess a knowledge of learners and how those learners develop a within varying social contexts (Bransford et al., 2005). For the second component, teachers must

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26 possess an understa nding of content, subject matter, and skills, as well as curriculum goals all framed by the context of the social purposes of education (Bransford et al., 2005). Finally, teachers should develop an understanding of quality teaching practices based on the d iversity of learners, on the content and subject matter, informed by appropriate assessment, and supported by classroom environments (Bransford et al., 2005). The three components have been summarized in the field of agricultural education as content know ledge, pedagogical knowledge, and pedagog ical content knowledge (Roberts & Kitchel, 2010). The terms content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and pedagogical content knowledge were proposed by Bransford, Brown, and Cocking (2002). As proposed, content kno wledge refers to an understanding of subject matter and curriculum goals, pedagogical knowledge refers to standards of teaching, learning, and how learners develop, and pedagogical content knowledge blends the teaching skills and subject matter into the ab ilities to teach specific content matter (Bransford et al., 2002; Bransford et al., 2005; Roberts & Kitchel, 2010). Bransford et al. (2005) discussed the three components as the interactions of learners, teachers, and content. The interactions and compone nts are framed by two conditions which influence practice. These are (a) teaching as a profession that delimits teachers should understand that serving in a profession means their development is based on a body of scholarly knowledge and practice which serves a social calling to help others learn by moving past their own personal knowledge and experience as a teache r (Bransford et al.,

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27 2005). The intent of the context of democracy should be an education which enables learners to develop the understanding needed to fully participate in political, civic, and economic life within our society (Bransford et al., 2005). Th is is understood as intent to help learners achieve equitable access to the offerings of our society (Bransford et al., 2005). This study focused on the Knowledge of Subject Matter and G oals circle (Figure 2 1 ) of the proposed Darling Hammond and Bransford model (2005). Such knowledge has been described as an understanding of the subject matter and skills to be taught which influences the curriculum and sequence ( Darling Hammond & Bransford, 2005). A solid basis for teaching excellence begins with a solid f oundation in the subject matter, or in this case the content of the discipline (Torres et al., 2010). Accomplished teachers possess an extensive und erstanding of content knowledge they teach and understand how knowledge in their subject is created, organiz ed, connected to other disciplines, and applied to real world settlings ( Torres et al., 2010). Teachers should be able to understand the foundational content knowledge which future cont ent understanding is built upon (Torres et. al., 2010). Accomplished te achers possess an extensive understanding of the subject matter they teach and understand how knowledge in their content is created, organized, connected to other disciplines, and can applied to real world settings (Torres et al., 2010). A positive correla tion exists between content proficiency of the teacher and learner achievement, teachers need a solid foundation in the subject matter that they intend to teach and the requisite disciplinary tools to continue learning within the subject matter throughout their career (Darling Hammond & Bransford, 2005). Preservice s tudents wishing to become

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28 agri cultural science teachers need to have a strong foundation in the sciences that builds upon in later content area courses (Torres et al., 2010) Science Integration Agricultural courses are laden with science. The validity of this statement is hard to refute when a consideration of the content is made in relation to the difficulty of discussions focusing on living organisms, plants, and animals, being devoid of scien ce concepts (Balschweid & Thompson, 2000). Based on that, agriculture is a viable content area to serve as an integration course (NRC, 1988; Phipps, et al., 2008; Thompson, 1998). Besides the benefits to education goals, as an industry people who are pursu ing an agricultural career need to have a higher level of proficiency in science that ten years ago (Thompson, 1998). Content Proficiency Teachers from Arkansas were surveyed for undergraduate courses taken in science to sat isfy their degree requirement. R espondents took the most courses in biology, followed by chemistry, while physics was taken the least (Johnson, 1996). Earth science courses had the highest level or teacher success in undergraduate courses, while chemistry courses that saw the lowest leve l of achievement during The understanding of concepts of science by current agricultural science teachers and preservice teachers has been documented as a deterrent to the integration of science. Preservice teachers in agricultural education have felt insufficient in background knowledge in science content (Thoron & Myers, 2010). That same study showed that only 58% felt prepared to teach integrated science concepts, and less than 45 % felt prepared to teach physical science concepts (Thoron & Myers, 2010). Warnick

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29 and Thompson (2007) demonstrated both science teachers and agriculture teachers felt that agriculture teachers had a lack of science competence and those statements were found to be a statistically significant barrier to integrating science for the study. Secondary agriculture teacher s in Missouri agreed to statements that they felt capable of teaching all but one science standards from the state standards (Scales, Terry, & Torres, 2009). When the sa me population was assessed for their science content proficiency, agriculture teachers in the study were not proficient in the science competences related to the state standards (Scales et al., 2009). Less than 10% of the level for science competence examination based on state standards (Scales et al., 2009). Thus, agricultural science teachers demonstrated a lack of mastery of content. A survey of National FFA Agriscience Teacher of the Year winners discussed the percepti on by high achieving teachers towards science integration (Thompson, 1998). Teachers from this study felt prepared to teach integrated biological sciences, but not as prepared to teach physical science content (Thompson, 1998). Teachers felt neutral toward s the perceived barrier that lack of science competence among teachers was a barrier to integrating science (Thompson, 1998). In this sample biological science concepts are taught more frequently than physical science concepts (Thompson, 1998). One third of Florida teachers felt that insufficient background in science content has been a barrier, it cannot be concluded that this is indicative of new graduates from an agricultural education teacher preparation program though; the typical respondent for this other than agricultural education (Myers & Washburn, 2008). One study made note that

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30 a lack of willing science teacher s who are willing to help is also a barrier to in integra tion (Thompson, 1998). Perceived Preparation A major barrier to science integration present throughout the literature was lack of experience. Thoron and Myers (2010) found that about three fourths of their preservice teachers felt that lack of experience in science integration was a barrier toward science integration. Florida teachers felt lack of experience in science integration was a barrier to sci ence integration (Myers & Washburn, 2008). The opinion of lacking experience is shared by teachers of science in relation to a barrier for science integration (Warnick & Thompson, 2007). Warnick and Thompson (2007) also demonstrated the significance of sci as a deterrent to science integration in agriculture. During a study on preservice teachers, Balschweid and Thompson (2000) showed preservice teachers had a high level of intention to integrate science concepts into the student teaching experience. The level of actual integration decreased during student teaching, but after the student teaching experience the preservice teachers still felt confident in abilities to integ rate, time requirements are listed as largest barrier (Balschweid & Thompson, 2000). Also, comfort level with agricultural content area was a deterrent to integration, preservice sample desired proficiency in their subject matter to integrate was a perceived barrier in several other studies ( Myers & Washburn, 2008 ; Thompson, 1998; Thoron & Myers, 2010; Warnick & Thompson, 2007 ). A qualitative case study documented a sing curriculum related to science skills of inquiry and nature of science. The instructor was

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31 noted as not having sufficient experiences related to inquiry and an understanding the nature of science contexts (Grady, Dola n, & Glasson, 2010). Another note was that classroom management was a barrier to effectively teaching or engaging students in adequate inquiry into the nature of science (Grady, et al., 2010). From this study, teachers demonstrated an inability to provide sufficient experiences for their learners to construct knowledge Perceived Value of Integration s cience achievement; these indicated perceptions are founded on level 3 of the conceptual model. Most recently, Thoron and Myers (2010) described the perceptions towards science integration of preservice teachers in agricultural education programs. The study demonstrated a positive perception is held by preservice teacher that students would be better prepared in science after completing a course in agriculture education that integrated science (Thoron & Myers, 2010). Additionally, the study showed the p ositive belief that an impact in enrollment would occur when science was integrated, more higher achieving students would enroll, and that science concepts should be easier for students to understand when integrated into agricultural education (Thoron & My ers, 2010). Their overall conclusion was that preservice teachers perceived that integration will help students with better science knowledge in other science classes (Thoron & Myers, 2010). This positive perception was consistent with older studies noting that enrollment and science competency were the major benefits from integrated science courses (Myers & Washburn, 2008; Roegge & Russell, 1990 ; Thompson 199 8 ). In Florida,

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32 teachers agreed that science concepts are easier for student to understand when sci ence is integrated into agricultural education programs (Myers & Washburn, 2008). Another study showed teachers from across the country felt that students are better prepared in science after completing and integrated agriculture science course (Thompson, 1998). Thompson also demonstrated that teachers perceived higher overall enrollment and most notably higher level of high achieving student would enroll in an integrated agriculture program. Students, as well as preservice and current teachers also demonst rated a higher level of positive attitude in an integrated course over those in a traditional agriculture course (Roegge & Russell, 1990). Dyer and Osborne (1999) surveyed counselors at schools for their perceived value of agriculture courses. Counselors indicated agriculture courses as a quality option for students. Counselors at surveyed schools above the age of 40 felt that agriculture is a scientific area of study, and that agriculture instructors present high quality instruction (Dyer & Osborne, 1999) The level of agreement for the study was a higher level of agreement in programs that had an integrated agriculture and science curriculum, over those that did not have an integrated curriculum (Dyer & Osborne, 1999). Increased Achievement Research rela ted to actual achievement in science has demonstrated potential for students to obtain a higher level of achievement in science when participating in an integrated course One such study measured overall student achievement, achievement in applied biology, and attitudes of students from agriculture programs in Illinois (Roegge & Russell, 1990). Students who were enrolled in an agriculture course which integrated biological science principles had a higher level of overall achievement and achievement

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33 in appli ed biological science content compared to student in a traditional agriculture course (Roegge & Russell, 1990). Louisiana programs also demonstrated the same results of higher achievement on state level graduation exams for science (Chiasson & Burnnett, 2 001). Agriscience students achieved significantly better on the Louisiana graduate exit exam for overall science competency compared to a similar population of non agriscience students (Chiasson & Burnnett, 2001). For the specific areas of the exam, agrisc ience students scored significantly better in the domains of scientific method, biology, and earth and space science (Chiasson & Burnnett, 2001). Conversely scoring significantly poorer in the domain of chemistry, but no difference was seen between the gro ups for the domain of physics (Chiasson & Burnnett, 2001). The overall passing rate for the exam was also higher for agriscience students in comparison (Chiasson & Burnnett, 2001). In 2002, Balschweid demonstrated the integration achievements through a bi ology course integrated with agriculture. Based on the findings it was concluded that students developed a better understanding for the need to be scientifically proficient and the relationship of science and agriculture after completing course in biology which was integrated with agriculture (Balschweid, 2002). Science Credit agriculture courses to be offered as science credit. Various states have been transitioning to offer science credit, and even honors level credit, for agriculture science courses (Public K 12 Educational Instruction, 2010). To ensure the validity of the credit, teachers in the study suggested curriculums should be enhanced with science content before credit woul d be offered (Johnson, 1996). Teachers felt that an endorsement for

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34 agriculture teachers would also validate the science integrated into the curriculum (Johnson, 1996). The teachers surveyed discussed the content had been teaching based on state standards of science. The highest frequency of standards which had been taught by teachers in the study related to connections and applications of science; the lowest frequency related to standards for physical sciences, namely physics and chemistry (Johnson, 1996). Other Barriers to Integration Several unique, but noteworthy barriers were identified within the literature. Research completed by Balschweid and Thompson (2000) found that after completing the student teacher assignments, preservice Master of Arts in Te aching students perceived that a competition for enrollment could occur between science courses and agriculture courses which integrated science. In relation to science skill development, the qualitative study completed by Grady et al. (2010) discussed th and a stronger desire to follow procedural science than expand or engage in complex reasoning or discourses related to true inquiry. This lack of skill development in science processes and techn ology mirrors results found by Davis and Falba (2002) in preservice elementary educators. Effects on Teacher Preparation From the research, the recommendations for teacher preparation programs are most germane to this study. Teacher education should provid e stronger science background for preservice teachers (Thoron & Myers, 2010). Preservice teachers indicated the need for more science courses in their teacher preparation program (Thoron & Myers, 2010). Recommendations were made to evaluate the amount of

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35 s cience coursework in preservice agricultural education programs (Scales et al., 2009). Additionally, faculty advisors can help students select a course of study that will Myer s, 2010). Besides research recommendations, National FFA Agriscience Teacher of the Year winners which are representative stakeholders felt that the teacher preparation needs to take a stronger role in preparing future teachers to integrate science, from c ontent proficiency to training for integration techniques and placement assignments for student teaching (Thompson, 1998). The various studies demonstrated that teacher preparation programs should provide in service for teachers and instruction for undergr aduates to demonstrate how to integrate science (Balschweid & Thompson, 2000; Grady et al., 2010; Thompson, 1998; Warnick & Thompson, 2007). Warnick and Thompson indicated these recommended workshops should also be collaborative workshops to increase the l evel of connection between science and agriculture teacher for increasing science integration. Chapter Summary The goal of education is an increase in knowledge and skill within the students. Based on the constructivist theory, knowledge and skill is gain active participation in integrating presented information into their scheme ( von Glasersfeld, 1989). The role of a teacher is to utilize the professional knowledge and skill in pedagogy, pedagogical content knowledge related to t heir content knowledge expertise to help students achieve their educational goals (Darling Hammond & Bransford, 2005). The frame for teachers to develop the professional knowledge and skill is the teacher education program. While a preservice teacher is in such a program,

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36 the teacher is the learner and the context of the constructivist theory applies to how the future teacher gains knowledge. Therefore, the final outcome of education has a dependency on the initial experiences of teachers in their teacher p reparation programs. This study seeks to describe the possible levels of science content that would make up the initial experience for future teachers who graduate from the Agricultural Education program at the University of Florida. Agricultural Education has long since been deemed a subject that can aid in increasing science content knowledge of students (NRC, 1988; Phipps et al., 2008; Thompson, 1998). To help reach the educational goals, agriculture courses need to integrate the science concepts inheren t in the courses. The perceived value of these courses has been clearly defined (Dyer, & Osborne, 1999; Myers & Washburn, 2008; Roegge & Russell, 1990 ; Thompson 1998 ; Thoron & Myers, 2010 ). This perception has also been validated by demonstrated increases i n student achievement in science (Balschweid, 2002; Chiasson & Burnnett, 2001; Roegge & Russell, 1990). Even with the positive perception and document achievement increase, barriers exist. Lack of experience and time are two perceived barriers to integrati on of science content outlined by the collective body of research (Balschweid & Thompson, 2000; Grady, et al., 2010; Myers & Washburn, 2008; Thompson, 1998; Thoron & Myers, 2010; Warnick & Thompson, 2007). Other studies have described that an insufficient knowledge in science content as a barrier to quality science integration (Johnson, 1996; Scales et al., 2009; Thoron & Myers, 2010).

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37 Based on the research, this study sought to describe the amount of science coursework in preservice agricultural educ ation programs which is congruent with the recommendations made by Scales et al. (2009).

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38 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY The student population of the United States has been continually scoring poorly on the assessments for science proficiency and competency. Research has shown that agriscience courses taught in high school have the potential to increase science competency. The best preparation teachers can have to teach science effectively occurs while they are in their preservice programs. This study sought t o describe the science competencies preservice agricultural education majors at the University of Florida are exposed based on the expectations of the National Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) career cluster content standards (National Counci l for Agricultural Education [NCAE], 2009). The science standards presented the standards from the National Science Education Standards aligned to the AFNR Career Cluster Content Standards by the National Council for Agricultural Education (National Academ y of Sciences, 1995; NCAE, 2009). Table 3 1 lists the standards and descriptions from the AFNR standards. This chapter describes the methodology used to assess the competencies embedded in courses students took to satisfy their degree requirements. Researc h Design A descriptive quantitative design was used to determine the science concepts that agricultural education majors have been exposed to throughout their degree programs at the University of Florida. A descriptive quantitative study presents a summary using numbers to characterize the different groups or individuals in an existing phenomenon (MacMillan & Schumacher, 2010). Courses taken to complete degree requirements for the agricultural education major were analyzed for the science content. This was

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39 compared to the competencies in the AFNR career cluster content standards ( NCAE 2009). The courses were analyzed in two forms. The researcher conducted a Additionally, th e course instructors were surveyed to assess their courses in relation to the AFNR standards. For each assessment, standards were evaluated as being present within the course, as standards needed to be covered prior to taking the course, or as an unrelated standard to the course. Populations and Samples The population of the study for each objective was different and predicated by the other objectives. For objective one the population and sample was a census of all agricultural education majors who were aw teaching specialization from the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the Gainesville Campus of the University of Florida from May, 2007 through August, 2011 ( N = 59). The Plant City Campus g raduates were not included in the study The plant city students were not included due to the variation in degree requirements for graduation A breakdown of graduates per term is displayed in Table 3 2 From that census, courses taken by these students to satisfy degree requirements in science, and applied agricultural sciences were the population for objective two ( N = 170). See Appendi x A for a complete list of courses taken by students to satisfy degree requirements. The sample for objective two were co urses taken by a minimum of 10% of the students in the objective one population ( n = 33). Researchers choose the baseline of 10% to yield the typical courses taken by students in the program. The population for objective three was the instructors who taugh t the courses identified by the previous two objectives ( N = 33). The sample population was defined as one

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40 professor who taught each course ( n = 24). For courses with multiple professors the research contacted the first professor listed on the syllabus. Co ntact to other professors was only made if the original professor did not reply. Data Sources Student records were the original source used to generate the list of courses to be analyzed for science content for objective one. Approval was gained from the I nstitutional Review Board (IRB02) to have a third party administrator strip identifying information from the student records. A copy of the Institutional Review Board documents can be found in Appendix C. After the records were stripped, a list of courses was compiled for names and frequency of courses taken by the preservice teachers. The researcher classified the list of courses into science and non science courses. The classification was completed using a coding book which was reviewed by a panel of expe rts and the University of Florida course catalog. One hundred and seventy one courses were classified as science courses taken by preservice teachers during the given time span. As mentioned previously, courses taken by at least 10% of the preservice teach ers were included for subsequent analysis. The state of Florida has a state college transfer system established to allow students to take courses locally before moving to complete a four year degree in the university setting. To ensure that courses taken are the same and credits transfer effectively the state of employs a common coding system for courses taught at public state institutions, whether they are state colleges or universities. The agricultural education major has a high frequency of students wh o transfer after completing some cours es in the state college system. The Florida state college system was formerly the Florida community college system.

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41 For the sample of courses that were classified as science courses, syllabuses were secured from public ally accessible websites. Five syllabuses were not obtainable via websites, thus faculty were contacted via e mail, and phone correspondence by the researcher. The contact was made on November 25, 2011 explaining the reason for contact, the purpose of the study, and asking for the course syllabus. Based on the returned syllabuses, thirty t hree courses were analyzed for science content based on the AFNR standards by the researcher. To identify the point of contact, faculty for the third objective were identified by the syllabuses, by contacting department correspondents, or by recommendation by other faculty. Faculty were contacted via email with an electronic survey based on the AFN R standards in accordance with the Tailored Design Method from Dillman, Smyth, and Christian (2009). Initial contact was made on February 6, 2012; follow up emails were sent on February 9, 2012, and February 15, 2012. Additional follow ups were made via ph one contact for non response during the month of May to further solicit responses. response from the required faculty member. Data Analysis Course Descriptives A descriptive sta tistic seeks to transform observations into a characterization of data (MacMillan & Schumacher, 2010). The courses students took were described based on the following two characte rizations: frequency and type. The frequency of which students took courses t o satisfy degree requirements in science and technical agriscience was tabulated. The courses were further characterized by type, either as a general education science course, or an applie d agricultural science course. The

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42 University of Florida Course Cata log describes the types for characterization (University of Florida, 2012). The descriptions of the courses taken were nominal forms of descriptive statistics. A nominal statistic is only a categorical form of description (MacMillan & Schumacher, 2010). Qu antitative Content Analysis technique for the systematic, objective, and quantitative description of the manifest In this study, the manifest content which was as sessed in the syllabuses of courses taken was the science content according to the AFNR Standards. The assessment of such content requires inferential quantitative content analysis. Inferential content analysis seeks to provide interpretation of content su pported by theoretical rationales and empirical evidence (Messick, 1989; Rourke & Anderson, 2004). According to the AFNR standards there are thirty three science standards which agricultural educators should be responsible for learning are the theoretical rationale for content assessment. The course syllabuses were chosen as the document for content analysis. Validity The validity of quantitative content analyses methods are defined by the judgments made related to the theoretical rationales are supported 1989, p. 13). To ensure a valid interpretation is made, standardization must be made for two aspects of the content analysis, testing and measurement (Messi ck, 1989). The standardization of the test is based on the standard procedure for collecting data from the given sample (Crocker & Algina, 1986). The standard procedure for this study was

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43 defined as the coding protocol, which are the domains sought within the analysis sample (Rourke & Anderson, 2004). The other validation point for inferentially applied qualitative content analysis is the measurement process. The measurement process is the assigning of numbers to the events, based on the rules of the study, in a way that reflects the differences in the variable present in the object of analysis (Rourke & Anderson, 2004). For this study, the domains of the coding protocol were the thirty three science standards from the AFNR standards. These standards were fr equency counted based on the coding protocol with the courses as the defining variable for analysis. The same AFNR standards were items of the survey distributed to the identified instructors. A copy of the electronic version of the survey distri buted can be found in Appendix B The survey items asked instructors to judge whether the content of the science standards was present, a prerequisite for, or not a part of the course they taught. The survey instrument was designed by the researchers, and therefore the validity of the instrumentation need ed to be established. Test validity relates to the appropriateness, meaningfulness, and usefulness of the numeric sores which are used to make the inferences for conclusions (MacMillian & Schumacher, 2010). To ensure that the inferences from the data collected was valid, the content of the items within the survey were based on domains of the science content as defined by a panel of experts (M acMillian & Schumacher, 2010). The science standards used for the survey item s were defined by experts as part of the national academic standards for science. The science standards were define through four years of work by twenty two scientific and science education societies and over 18,000 individual contributors (National Academ y of Sciences, 1995). These standards were aligned to the AFNR standards by a panel of

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44 experts which consisted of both core academic and agricultural teachers (National Council for Agricultural Education, 2009). Reliability To ensure the data is reliably assessed objectivity of coding is the main premise context of content analysis, objective refers to the extent to which categorization of sections of transcripts is su clearly defined coding protocol increases the objectivity of the coding procedure and in turn the reliability (Rourke et al., 2001). The protocol was defined as the science standards from the AFNR standards. These standards have been defined by a panel of experts in the education fields of agriscience and core sciences (National Council for Agricultural Education, 2009). Answers for questions that are considered factual are considered accurate and therefore reliable (Dillman et al., 2009). The survey was distributed to faculty with the assumption that the information sought was factual to the faculty. The faculty were the professors of the courses and thus considered the experts on the content inhe rent within the courses they teach. Chapter Summary A descriptive quantitative design was used to determine the science concepts that agriscience education majors have been exposed to throughout their degree programs at the University of Florida. To make such an assessment, courses that students took to complete the science and technical agriscience requirements were evaluated for science content. The foundation for the evaluation was the AFNR standards. Based on the AFNR standards the courses identified w ere evaluated by syllabuses content

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45 analysis, and the faculty who tau ght the courses were surveyed. The science content was assessed as being present within the course, as standards needed to be covered prior to taking the course, or as an unrelated standa rd to the course.

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46 Table 3 1 Standards Standard Description A. Content Standard: Science as Inquiry A1 Identify questions and concepts that guide scientific investigation. A2 Design and conduct scientific investigations. A3 Use technology and mathematics to improve investigations and communications. A4 Formulate and revise scientific explanations and models using logic and evidence. A5 Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and models. A6 Communicate and defend a scientific argument. B. Content Standard: Physical Science B1 Structure of atoms. B2 Structure and properties of matter. B3 Chemical reactions. B4 Motions and forces. B5 Conservation of energy and increase in disorder. B6 Interactions of energy and matter. C. Content Standard: Life Science C1 The cell. C2 Molecular basis of heredity. C3 Biological evolution. C4 Interdependence of organisms. C5 Matter, energy, and organization in living systems. C6 Behavior of organisms. D. Content Standard: Earth and Space Science D1 Energy in the earth system. D2 Geochemical cycles. D3 Origin and evolution of the earth system. D4 Origin and evolution of the universe. E. Content Standard: Science and Technology E1 Abilities of technological design. E2 Understanding about science and technology. F. Content Standard: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives F1 Personal and community health. F2 Population growth. F3 Natural resources. F4 Environmental quality. F5 Natural and human induced hazards. F6 Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges.

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47 Table 3 1. Continued Standard Description G. Content Standard: History and Nature of Science G1 Science as human endeavor. G2 Nature of scientific knowledge. G3 Historical perspectives. Note: List ta ken from AFNR standards (NCAE, 2009). Table 3 2. Frequency of Gainesville Students Graduating Per Term (N=59) Term Term Term Summer 2011 1 May 2009 13 Fall 2007 1 Spring 2011 17 Summer 2008 4 Summer 2007 1 Summer 2010 3 Spring 2008 8 Spring 2007 6 May 2010 5

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48 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This study sought to determine the science content which preservice teacher were exposed to within the courses chosen to satisfy degree requirements. An assessment of completed. From that list, courses were evaluated for the science content inherent in the courses via quantitative content analysis and instructor survey s Presented herein are those courses identified for degree requirements and the science content identified within those courses. Courses for Degree It was found that students took 170 differe nt courses to satisfy the degree requirements for science and applied agricultural science. A full list of courses and course titles can be found in Appendix A L ist of Science Courses The courses were segregated into core science and applied agricultural science. Students took a total of 73 different courses to satisfy their degree requirements in core science. Students took a total of 97 different courses to satisfy their degree requirements in applied agricultural science. Of the 73 core science courses, 14 courses were taken by a minimum of 10% of the population. Of 97 applied agricultural sciences courses, 19 courses were taken by a minimum of 10% of the population. Tables 4 1 and 4 2 respectively list the courses in science and applied agricultural sci ence which a minimum of ten percent of the student population took to satisfy their degree requirements. Within the applied agricultural science courses, four courses were taken by over half of the student population. AOM 3220 ( 58) Within core

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49 science courses, three courses were taken by over half of the student population. These Sc ience Content within Degree Standards from the AFNR science standards inherent within the courses were assessed via quantitative content analysis of the syllabuses and by surveying the instr uctors who taught the courses. The quantitative content analysis of the syllabuses yielded no definitive findings. The variety of design of syllabuses did not lend itself to describing the inherent science content. Two courses, CHM1083, and CHM2046L, had no assessable syllabus. The course assessments for all courses pro vided by the instructors was found to be more valid an assessment. The instructor assessment was used to draw results for the duration of the study. A response rate of 91.7 % ( n = 2 2 ) was seen for the survey of instructors. This yielded an assessment of 87 .9 % ( n = 2 9 ) of the all courses students took. Core sciences courses had a 100% response rate from instructors. Nonresponse occurred for applied agricultural science course instructors who were responsible for the courses AGG 3501, PKG 3001, PLS 3004C, and SWS 3022L. The same instructor for responsible for SWS 2007, SWS 3022, and SWS 3022L, but did not complete the instrument for SWS 3022L. Tables 4 3 through 4 8 show a matrix list of courses and the standards which are present or a prere quisite, and which are absent. Table 4 9 shows the amount of content each courses has present or as a prerequisite to the course which demonstrates the total amount of science standards a course exposes students to.

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50 Benchmarks Based on the assessed courses all standards are present in at least one course except for benchmark D4: Origins and evolution of the universe Benchmarks A1: Identify questions and concepts that guide scientific investigation ( n = 2 2 ), E2: Understanding about science and technology ( n = 2 1 ) F6: Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges ( n = 21), and G2: Nature of scientific knowledge ( n = 21) are the four most frequently present benchmarks in the courses taken to satisfy science requirements. The least most pre sent benchmarks are B4: Motions and forces ( n = 4), and B1: Structure of atoms ( n = 6). Standard A All benchmarks for standard A: Science as Inquiry were found present in the following cou rses: BSC 2010L and BSC 2011L. No applied agriculture science cours e had present or prerequired exposure to all of standard A benchmarks. Courses BSC 2011 and ORH 1030 have no benchmarks from standard A represented. For a full assessment of standards and list of courses for standard B see Table 4 3 Standard B The standar d B: Physical Science is covered predominantly in the core science course. The courses CHM 1025 CHM 2045 and SWS 2007 have all of the benchmarks for standard B present in the course. Benchmark B3: Chemical reactions is present or a prerequisite in all core science courses. Three applied agricultural science courses, FOS 2011, VEC 2100, and VEC 3221C, have at least one benchmark present from standard B. The applied agricultural science course s ANS 3006C and SWS 3022 requ ire prior knowledge of all benchmarks in standard B. For a full assessment of standards and list of courses for standard B see Table 4 4

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51 Standard C Standard C: Life Sciences is covered in some fashion by all BSC biology core science courses, and not cover ed by an y CHM chemistry core science courses. Additionally, the courses BSC 2005L, BSC 2007, and BSC 2010 cover all benchmarks of standard C. The applied agricultural courses ANS 2002, AOM 3220, ANS 3006C, ENY 3005, and ENY 3007C requires prior knowledge o r teaches all benchmarks for standard C. For a full assessment of standards and list of courses see Table 4 5 Standard D and E Benchmark D4: Origins and evolution of the universe was no t found present in any course. The courses BSC 2011 and AOM 3220 prere quire knowledge of the benchmark for the course. All applied agricultural science courses excluding ANS 2002 and SWS 3022 have benchmark E2: Understanding about science and technology present. For a full assessment of standards and list of courses see Tabl e 4 6 Standard F For the standard F: Personal and Social Perspectives the following courses cover all of the be nchmarks: BSC 2009L, BSC 2011L, ANS 2002, ANS 3006C, AOM 3220, IPM 3022 and SWS 2007 All applied agricultural science courses cover in some way the benchmarks F3: Natural resources and F6: Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges except one. The lacking courses are FOS 2001, for benchmark F3 and HOS 3020 for benchmark F6 The core science courses CHM 1025, CHM 2045, and CHM 2045L cover no benchmarks from standard F: Personal and Social Perspectives For a full assessment of standards and list of courses see Table 4 7

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52 Standard G The course C HM 2045 is the only course which does not cover any benchmarks from standard G: History and Nature of Science Of the 33 courses, 10 cover all three benchmarks: BSC 2005L, BSC 2011L, CHM 1083, CHM 2046, ANS 2002, ENY 3005, FOS 2001, SWS 3022, VEC 2100, and VEC 3221C. For a full assessment of standards and list of courses see Table 4 8 Courses Content The courses BSC 2011L and SWS 2007 had the most present benchmarks of all courses with 25 of 33 ( 75.8%) present in the courses. The courses BSC 2011, and AOM 3220 had the most prerequired benchmarks with 20 (60.6%) and 21 (63.6%) prereuired, respectively. Overall, the applied agricultural science course AOM 3220 Agricultural Construction and Maintenance covered the most benchmarks with 93.9% covered ( n = 31). F or the core science courses, seven courses have over 50% of the benchmarks present in their courses. Those courses are BSC 2011L, BSC2010, BSC 2009L, BSC 2007, BSC 2005L, CHM 1083, and BSC 2010L. The course BSC 2011 covers five benchmarks ( n = 15.1%), whic h is the lowest number of benchmarks present in all courses assessed, core and applied agricultural sciences alike. The applied agricultural science course VEC 3221C had present within the course 69.7% ( n = 23) of the benchmarks. The course ORH 1030 conta ins 30.3% ( n = 10) benchmarks, all benchmarks are present in the course. The course HOS 3020 contains 27.3% ( n = 9) total standards, of that seven are present in the course while two benchmark s are require prior knowledge. For a full description of content contained or pr erequired in courses see Table 4 9

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53 Table 4 1. Core Science Courses Taken to Satisfy Degree Requirements of Preservice Teachers (N = 170) Courses Frequency BSC 2010 Integrated Principles of Biology 1 37 BSC 2007 Cells, Organisms and Genetics 35 BSC 2010L Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 1 35 CHM 1025 Introduction to Chemistry 24 BSC 2005L 1 General Education Biology Laboratory 23 BSC 2011 Integrated Principles of Biology 2 22 CHM 2045 General Chemistry 1 22 CHM 2045L General Chemistry 1 Laboratory 21 CHM 1025L 1 Introductory Chemistry Lab 19 BSC 2011L Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 2 18 BSC 2009L Laboratory in Biological Sciences 10 CHM 1083 2 Chemistry for Consumers 10 CHM 2046 General Chemistry 2 10 CHM 2046L General Chemistry 2 Laboratory 9 1 Courses not offered at University of Florida. Students completed at state colleges. For the purposes of this study faculty at Miami Dade College were contacted. 2 Course not offered at University of Florida. Stu dents completed at state colleges. For the purposes of this study faculty at Santa Fe College were contacted.

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54 Table 4 2. Applied Agricultural Science Courses Taken to Satisfy Degree Requirements of Preservice Teachers (N = 170) Courses Frequency ANS 3006C Introduction to Animal Science 58 AOM 3220 Agricultural Construction and Maintenance 58 SWS 3022 P Introduction to Soils in the Environment 58 SWS 3022L P Introduction to Soils in the Environment Lab 58 FOS 2001 B Man's Food 39 ENY 3005 B Principles of Entomology 26 ENY 3005L B Principles of Entomology Lab 25 PLS 3004C B Principles of Plant Science 24 ENY 3007C Life Science 24 WIS 2040 B Wildlife Issues in a Changing World 18 ANS 2002 The Meat We Eat 12 PKG 3001 Principles of Packaging 11 VEC 2100 B World Herbs and Vegetables 10 IPM 3022 Fundamentals of Pest Management 9 ORH 1030 Plants, Gardening and You 7 SWS 2007 P World of Water 7 AGG 3501 B Environment, Food and Society 6 HOS 3020 Principles of Horticulture Crop Production 6 VEC 3221C Vegetable Production 6 Note: B Courses count as biological science credit for core science requirements; P Courses count as physical science credit for core science requirements.

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55 Table 4 3 Addressed 1 Science as Inquiry Standards in Relation to Courses (N = 1 7 0) Science as Inquiry 2 Courses 3 A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 BSC 2005L X X X X X BSC 2007 X X X BSC 2009L X X X X BSC 2010 X X X X X BSC 2010L X X X X X X BSC 2011 BSC 2011L X X X X X X CHM 1025 X X CHM 1025L X X P X X X CHM 1083 P X P X X X CHM 2045 X P CHM 2045L X X X P P X CHM 2046 X X X X X CHM 2046L X X X X X AOM 3220 P X P P ANS 2002 X P X X X ANS 3006C P X X X ENY 3005 X X X X ENY 3005L X X X X ENY 3007C X X X FOS 2001 X X X HOS 3020 X X P IPM 3022 X X X X ORH 1030 SWS 2007 X P X X SWS 3022 X P X X P VEC 2100 P X X X VEC 3221C X X X X X WIS 2040 X X X Note: X means standard present in course, P mean standard is a prerequisite. 1 Assessment of standards came from instructor responses; 2 For full description of standards and benchmarks see Table 3 1 ; 3 For cour se names see list in Appendix A

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56 Table 4 4. Addressed 1 Physical Science Standards in Relation to Courses (N = 1 7 0) Physical Science 2 Courses 3 B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 BSC 2005L P P P P P P BSC 2007 X X BSC 2009L P P X BSC 2010 X P X X X BSC 2010L P P X P P X BSC 2011 P P P P P P BSC 2011L X X CHM 1025 X X X X X X CHM 1025L X X X X X CHM 1083 X X X X X CHM 2045 X X X X X X CHM 2045L P X X X X X CHM 2046 P X X P X CHM 2046L P P X P P AOM 3220 P P P P P P ANS 2002 P P P ANS 3006C P P P P P P ENY 3005 ENY 3005L ENY 3007C FOS 2001 P X X X HOS 3020 IPM 3022 ORH 1030 SWS 2007 X X X X X X SWS 3022 P P P P P P VEC 2100 X VEC 3221C X WIS 2040 Note: X means standard present in course, P mean standard is a prerequisite. 1 Assessment of standards came from instructor responses; 2 For full description of standards and benchmarks see Table 3 1 ; 3 For course names see list in Appendix A

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57 Table 4 5. Addressed 1 Life Science Standards in Relation to Courses (N = 1 7 0) Life Science 2 Courses 3 C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 BSC 2005L X X X X X X BSC 2007 X X X X X X BSC 2009L X X X X X BSC 2010 X X X X X X BSC 2010L X X X X BSC 2011 P P P P X X BSC 2011L P P X X X CHM 1025 CHM 1025L CHM 1083 CHM 2045 CHM 2045L CHM 2046 CHM 2046L AOM 3220 P P P P P P ANS 2002 P P P P P P ANS 3006C P X P P X X ENY 3005 P P X X P X ENY 3005L P P P X X ENY 3007C P P X X X X FOS 2001 X X X X X HOS 3020 P IPM 3022 P P X X X ORH 1030 X X X SWS 2007 X X X SWS 3022 X X VEC 2100 X X X VEC 3221C X X X X X WIS 2040 X X X X Note: X means standard present in course, P mean standard is a prerequisite. 1 Assessment of standards came from instructor responses; 2 For full description of standards and benchmarks see Table 3 1 ; 3 For course names see list in Appendix A

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58 Table 4 6 Addressed 1 Earth and Space and Technology Standards in Relation to Courses (N = 1 7 0) Earth and Space 2 Technology 2 Courses 3 D1 D2 D3 D4 E1 E2 BSC 2005L X P BSC 2007 X X BSC 2009L X X X X BSC 2010 X X X BSC 2010L X X X BSC 2011 P P X X BSC 2011L X X X X X CHM 1025 CHM 1025L X CHM 1083 X X CHM 2045 P CHM 2045L X CHM 2046 P CHM 2046L AOM 3220 P P P P X X ANS 2002 P P P P ANS 3006C X X ENY 3005 X ENY 3005L X ENY 3007C X X FOS 2001 X HOS 3020 X IPM 3022 X ORH 1030 X X SWS 2007 X X X X X SWS 3022 X X P VEC 2100 X X VEC 3221C X X X X WIS 2040 X X Note: X means standard present in course, P mean standard is a prerequisite. 1 Assessment of standards came from instructor responses; 2 For full description of standards and benchmarks see Table 3 1 ; 3 For course names see list in Appendix A ; *Instructor did not provide answer.

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59 Table 4 7 Addressed 1 Personal and Social Perspectives Standards in Relation to Courses (N = 1 7 0) Personal and Social Perspectives 2 Courses 3 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F6 BSC 2005L X X X X BSC 2007 X X X X X BSC 2009L X X X X X X BSC 2010 X X BSC 2010L X BSC 2011 X P P P P P BSC 2011L X X X X X X CHM 1025 CHM 1025L X CHM 1083 X X X X X CHM 2045 CHM 2045L CHM 2046 X CHM 2046L X AOM 3220 X X X X X X ANS 2002 X X X X X X ANS 3006C X X X X X X ENY 3005 P P X ENY 3005L X X ENY 3007C X X X X FOS 2001 X X X HOS 3020 X X X IPM 3022 X X X X X X ORH 1030 X X X SWS 2007 X X X X X X SWS 3022 P X X X X VEC 2100 X X X X VEC 3221C X X X X X WIS 2040 X X X X X Note: X means standard present in course, P mean standard is a prerequisite. 1 Assessment of standards came from instructor responses; 2 For full description of standards and benchmarks see Table 3 1 ; 3 For course names see list in Appendix A

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60 Table 4 8. Addressed 1 History and Nature of Science Standards in Relation to Courses (N = 1 7 0) History and Nature of Science 2 Courses 3 G1 G2 G3 BSC 2005L X X X BSC 2007 X X BSC 2009L X BSC 2010 X X BSC 2010L X X BSC 2011 P P P BSC 2011L X X X CHM 1025 X X CHM 1025L X CHM 1083 X X X CHM 2045 CHM 2045L P X P CHM 2046 X X X CHM 2046L X X AOM 3220 P P X ANS 2002 X X X ANS 3006C P P X ENY 3005 X X X ENY 3005L X X ENY 3007C P X X FOS 2001 X X X HOS 3020 X IPM 3022 P P X ORH 1030 X X SWS 2007 X X SWS 3022 X X X VEC 2100 X X X VEC 3221C X X X WIS 2040 P X X Note: X means standard present in course, P mean standard is a prerequisite. 1 Assessment of standards came from instructor responses; 2 For full description of standards and benchmarks see Table 3 1 ; 3 For course names see list in Appendix A ; *Instructor did not provide answer.

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61 Table 4 9 Total Addressed 1 Standards in Relation to Courses (N = 170 ) Present Prerequisite Total Covered Courses 2 % % % AOM 3220 10 30.3 21 63.6 31 93.9 BSC 2011L 25 75.8 2 6.1 27 81.8 ANS 3006C 15 45.5 12 36.4 27 81.8 ANS 2002 13 39.4 14 42.4 27 81.8 BSC 2005L 19 57.6 7 21.2 26 78.8 SWS 2007 25 75.8 1 3.0 26 78.8 BSC 2011 5 15.2 20 60.6 25 75.8 VEC 3221C 23 69.7 0 0 23 69.7 BSC 2010 22 66.7 1 3.0 23 69.7 BSC 2009L 21 63.6 2 6.1 23 69.7 SWS 3022 13 39.4 10 30.3 23 69.7 BSC 2010L 18 54.5 4 12.1 22 66.7 CHM 1083 19 57.6 2 6.1 21 63.6 BSC 2007 20 60.6 0 0 20 60.6 IPM 3022 15 45.5 4 12.1 19 57.6 FOS 2001 17 51.5 1 3.0 18 54.5 ENY 3007C 15 45.5 3 9.1 18 54.5 WIS 2040 17 51.5 0 0 17 51.5 ENY 3005 12 36.4 5 15.2 17 51.5 VEC 2100 15 45.5 1 3.0 16 48.5 CHM 2045L 11 33.3 5 15.2 16 48.5 CHM 2046 12 36.4 3 9.1 15 45.5 ENY 3005L 10 30.3 4 12.1 14 42.4 CHM 1025L 13 39.4 1 3.0 14 42.4 CHM 2046L 9 27.3 4 12.1 13 39.4 ORH 1030 10 30.3 0 0 10 30.3 CHM 2045 8 24.2 2 6.1 10 30.3 CHM 1025 10 30.3 0 0 10 30.3 HOS 3020 7 21.2 2 6.1 9 27.3 SWS 3022 L * PLS 3004C * PKG 3001 * AGG 3501 * Note: 1 Assessment of standards came from instructor responses; 2 For c ourse names see list in Appendix A ; Non response from instructors.

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62 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICA TIONS, AND RECOMMEND ATIONS Summary of Study For nearly 30 years we have known that American students are not proficient in science (NCEE, 1983). The trend in low performance has not changed in that time span. Assessment of students begins in the fourth grade; at both the national and state level the 30 year old trend continues (CDE, 2011; FLDOE, 2011a, 2011b, 2011c; NCES, 2009). An or iginal recommendation from the NCEE (1983) team was to evaluate teacher preparation programs. subjects and student achievement within that subject, and content and processes within those subjects, depends (Hawkins, 1990; Wilson, 1994). Based on the historic trends, other content areas have been enlisted to combat the science deficiency. With the nature affinity for the application of biological science and other underlying scientific practices, agricultural education programs nationwide have been tasked with the integration of rigorous science content (Balschweid & Thompson, 2000; Phipps et al., 2008; Public K 12 Educational Instruction, 2010). To follo w the recommendation of the NC E E (1983) team, this study seeks to evaluate teacher preparation program for Agricultural Education at the University of Florida. Purpose and Objectives This purpose of this study was to define the science concepts that preser vice teachers in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida have an opportunity to learn. This was accomplished by a description of courses students took to satisfy their degree requirements. This study

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63 sought t science courses. Additionally, the science content competencies with in the courses were quantified. M ethodology A descriptive quantitative design was used to determine the scie nce concepts that agricultural education majors have been exposed to throughout their degree programs at the University of Florida. Courses taken to complete degree requirements for the agricultural education major were analyzed for the science content. Th is was compared to the competencies in the AFNR career cluster content standards (NCAE, 2009). The courses were analyzed in two forms. The researcher conducted a quantitative content Additiona lly, the course instructors were surveyed to assess their courses in relation to the AFNR standards. For each assessment, standards were evaluated as being present within the course, as standards needed to be covered prior to taking the course, or as an un related standard to the course. Conclusions and Implications Degree Requirements At the University of Florida, students are required to take nine credit hours of physical and biological science coursework to satisfy the general education requirement (University of Florida, 2012). According to the University of Florida Catalog, science the scientific method. Courses focus on major scientific developments and their imp acts on society and the environment. You will formulate empirically testable hypotheses derived from the study of physical processes and living things and you will apply logical

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64 rida, 2012, Physical (P) and Biological Sciences (B) section, para. 1). The course of study for agricultural education suggests that these be an introductory biology course, a course chosen from a list which includes a chemistry, physics, geology, and thre e introductory applied agricultural science courses, and one course chosen by the student from the general education list (University of Florida, 2012). In relation to requirements for applied agricultural science courses, the course of study for agricultu ral education requires the students to take thirty three hours of applied agricultural electives (University of Florida, 2012). WIthin those requirements, three credits of agricultural business are required by all students. This leaves thirty total credit hours of required applied agricultural science credits. These requirements are all upper division course requirements. The following is a breakdown of those requirements: T hree specific courses are required: ANS 3006C Introduction to Animal Science, AOM 32 20 Agricultural Construction and Maintenance, and SWS 3022 Introduction to Soils and the Environment with the required Laboratory course; An introductory entomology course chose from a list of five courses; A horticulture or plant science course chosen b y the student; Thirteen credit hours of applied agriculture science courses chosen by the student (University of Florida, 2012). Courses Taken for Degree Students took a wide variety of courses to satisfy the degree requirements for science and applied agr icultural science. A total of 73 different courses were taken to satisfy the minimum requirement of nine credit hours in science. In conjunction with the aforementioned requirements of the course of study, the most frequently taken courses were biology cou rses. The course BSC 2010 Integrated Principles of Biology 1 was

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65 taken the most frequently, in tandem with the corresponding laboratory. An introductory level of chemistry was also taken by a majority of preservice teachers in the agriculture education pro gram. Students took either CHM 2045 General Chemistry 1 or CHM 1083 Chemistry for Consumers. Note that CHM 1083 was not taken at the University of Florida, a high level of students in agricultural education program transfer from one of the many state colleges in Florida. Therefore, it is concluded that students will typically complete a biology and a chemistry course. This course taking pattern is consistent with the literature (Johnson, 1996) From the data it is concluded that students are not taking advanced science courses for degree requirements. Less than 50% of the population took the second level of biology or chemistry courses that had an advanced component. Integrated principles of Biology 2 had 37% ( n = 22) of students take to satisfy degree r equirements; while only 17% ( n = 10) of the students took General Chemistry 2. This was also demonstrated by the infrequent completion of other advanced science courses, such as microbiology, anatomy and physiology, or physical sciences. From the literatu re, Johnson (1996) demonstrated that few agricultural education students took physics or physical science courses for the degree requirements. This was confirmed within the study. Of the 73 various courses taken, seven courses were taken in physics, and fi ve courses were taken in a physical or earth and space science. Additionally, these courses were taken by one or two students. From this, it is concluded that students are not taking core science courses which will expose them to physical science principle s.

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66 Applied agricultural science courses fared similarly with a pattern of high variability within the courses taken. Students took 97 different courses to satisfy the 30 credit hours of applied agricultural science required by the course of study. The stu dents took courses congruently to the course of study; all students took an introduction to animal science, introduction to soil science, and an introductory entomology course. Outside of the three prescribed courses, students took a highly variable amount of courses to satisfy the remaining horticulture and other applied agricultural science requirements. Animal science courses were taken the most frequently to satisfy the applied agriculture science credit requirements (26.8%, n = 26). The variability of the courses taken is exacerbated by the high propensity for unique courses taken by students. Thirty eight of the 73 science courses, and 39 of the 97 applied agricultural science courses were taken by one student. This means 45% of the courses taken to l earn science are different from one another other. Additionally, only 19.4% ( n = 33) of all courses taken were taken by at least 6 preservice agricultural education students, which is 10% of the population of students It is concluded that the high variabi lity of courses taken will yield a high variability in the science concepts that students learn. Science Competencies The courses taken by a minimum of 10% of the preservice teachers from the agricultural education program were assessed for the science co mpetencies present within the courses, and those competencies which were required prior to the courses. The courses were assessed based on syllabuses and instructor surveys. After the researchers completed the quantitative content analysis of the syllabuse s, it became apparent that the syllabuses were not a viable source or reliable data. The level of

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67 depth an instructor chose to include in the syllabus determined the quality of the syllabus. on and the university required legal content, but no mention as to the purpose of the course, content taught, or a weekly guide to topics. Conversely, two courses taught by one instructor had a weekly set of objectives, content and topics, and cited sugges ted readings. This inconsistency in syllabuses warrants the conclusion that syllabuses are not a valid source of course content information in their present unregulated form. Further conclusions made related to course content were based solely on the data collected from the surveyed instructors. The literature demonstrates that taking an applied agricultural science course better defines the relationship between science and real world practice (Balschweid, 2002; Chiasson & Burnett, 2001; Thoron & Myers, 20 10). For the purposes of this study, the expectation was that the applied agricultural sciences courses will have a greater demand for content taught prior to students taking the courses as prerequisite content as opposed to teaching the content standards directly. For the content standards B: Physical Science and C: Life Science the results yielded expected outcomes. The physical science standards were covered predominantly by the chemistry courses and not in the biological or applied agricultural course s. While the opposite is true for the life science standards; those standards are present in the biological and applied agricultural courses while not in the chemistry courses. Since all preservice students completed the introductory animal science course and introductory soil science courses they will still be exposed to the application all of the physical science standards. The life science standards are prerequisite

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68 standards, as well as present, in many various applied agricultural courses that student s took. For the content standard D: Earth and Space Science far fewer courses taught or required knowledge on the component benchmarks. Additionally, benchmark D4: Origin and Evolution of the Universe was not present in any courses. A deficiency was also found for benchmark B4: Motions and Forces which is considered a physical principle. This benchmark was present in two different chemistry courses and one applied agricultural science course. It is concluded that knowledge related to these standards will be deficient within the preservice students due to lack of exposure from courses taken. For the standards A: Science as Inquiry E: Science and Technology F: Personal and Social Perspectives and G: History and Nature of Science a myriad of courses in bo th core science and applied agricultural sciences contain or require prior experience in these standards. This follows with the expectations of such courses based on the descriptions and objectives of the courses related to these standards from the university requirements (University of Florida, 2012). These standards are described as science skills within the literature (NCAE, 2009). Therefore, it is concluded that preservice teachers should experience life science and most physical science standard s, excluding motions and forces and earth and space science standards. Also, preservice students will be exposed to the standards related to science skills within their degree. Based on the literature present on perceptions and barriers, the findings of t his study finds it plausible that the perceptions that teachers and preservice teachers feel a lack in ability to integrate science content

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69 based on insufficient background knowledge of science content for the physics and earth and space science standards, but is incongruent with the same literature for the biological and chemical science content based on level of exposure the these standards ( Johnson, 1996; Scales et al., 2009; Thompson, 1998; Thoron & Myers, 2010; Warnick & Thompson, 2007). It appears tha t preservice students are not taking enough, or the approriate science courses to be exposed to the entire corpus of expected science standards. Without the exposure, preservice students will not have an opportunity to construct the knowledge required, and thus continue the loop of inadequate science proficiency in students (Davis & Falba, 2002 ; von Glasersfeld, 1998; Hawkins, 1990). The Typical Student The implication for the preservice agricultural education program are predicated by the missing opportun ities to learn expected science competencies. Below is a list of courses that can be expected to be taken by a typical preservice student based on their course taking pattern. BSC 2010 Integrated Principles of Biology 1 BSC 2010L Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 1 CHM 2045 General Chemistry 1 CHM 2045L General Chemistry 1 Laboratory BSC 2011 Integrated Principles of Biology 2 BSC 2011L Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 2 ANS 3006C Introduction to Animal Science AOM 3220 Agricultural Construction and Maintenance ENY 3007C Life Science SWS 3022 Introduction to Soils in the Environment SWS 3022L Introduction to Soils in the Environment Lab PLS 3004C Principles of Plant Science Based on the general education requirements, the suggestions from the course of study and the frequency of courses taken within the population, a typical student will have taken two biology courses and one chemistry course for core science. Integrated

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70 Principles of Biology 1 and General Chemistry 1 are expected beca use they are the most frequently taken courses for the credit requirements of the course of study. Additionally, the other options, BSC 2007 and CHM 1083, are courses that have been removed by the University of Florida. Thus, future students will not have the options to take them. To complete the nine required credits, Integrated Principles of Biology 2 was the most frequently taken course after BSC 2010 and CHM 2045. The laboratory credits are a co requisite to the science courses and thus were included in the typical student course list. The course of study requires all students to take the courses ANS 3006C, AOM 3220, SWS 3022, and SWS 3022L. The Life Science entomology course (ENY 3007C) can be assumed to be taken by a typical student due to the course t aking patterns student are exhibiting. The ENY 3007C course was being taken more frequently by students who graduated more recently within the population. Also, the course is framed as an entomology for teachers course continuing the inclusion of pedagogic al content 3004C) is the most frequently taken course for the horticulture credit. Outside of the courses listed, the variability of the other courses is too high to pre dict any other courses typically taken. The lack of physics and physical science courses is consistent with the literature (Johnson, 1996). The typical student will be exposed to all standards except one benchmark: D4 Ori gin and Evolution of the Universe The other benchmarks in standard D: Earth and Space Science are present in general education courses, and expected to be taught or

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71 applied in the applied agricultural science course SWS 3022 The benchmarks in standard F: Personal and Social Perspectives are taught in advanced science courses and applied agricultural science courses, but not in the introductory science courses. The standards A: Science as Inquiry and E: Science and Technology are present throughout the lab oratory courses the typical student takes. The standards B: Physical Science and C: Life Science are present in the general education courses and more frequently reported as a prerequisite in the applied agricultural science courses. The only exclusion, as mentioned previously in this chapter, is benchmark B4: Motions and Forces The benchmark is touched on in CHM2045, CHM2045L, ANS3006C and SWS 2007 courses; students have a hi gher opportunity to learn the other standards based on being taught by more courses. This scarcity of benchmarks related to physics and physical sciences implies that preservice students will be deficient in teaching these competencies and therefore negati vely influence the science achievement of their students. Finally, based on the high level of inclusion of the other standards, a typical preservice student will be exposed to a high level of science competencies. This implies that preservice agriculture e ducation students should have a high level of science competency. Based on this high level of science competency within the future teacher, it should be expected that students will have a higher level of science achievement by participating in secondary ag ricultural education. Recommendations Several conclusions and implications of this study are consistent with the literature. Preservice agricultural education students are taking higher levels of biological science courses, and are not taking physics and physical science. This

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72 predicates the deficiency of preservice teachers in the competencies related to those standards. Therefore, in conjunction with the recommendations made by Thoron and Myers (2010), it is recommended for practice that faculty advisors help students select study. Additionally, it is recommended that the course of study for agricultural education be redesigned to include physics or physical science general education course. Based on the conclusions of the study in conjunction with the literature, agricultural education students are taking sufficient sciences in the undergraduate programs to expose themselves to science content they understand the value of integration of science into the secondary agricultural education programs, and their secondary students do benefit by taking agriscience courses, but after graduation the literature demo nstrated a lack of proficiency in scienc e by agricultural education teachers ( Chiasson & Burnnett, 2001; Johnson, 1996; Roegge & Russell, 1990; Scales et al., 2009; Thompson, 1998; Thoron & Myers, 2010;). Based on this, it is recommended that preservice agriculture education student be evaluated for the actual th eir level of science competency Research should be undertaken to better describe the relation between courses taken and science proficiency. Based on the constructivist theory, learners must actively participate in knowledge integration (von Glasersfeld, 1989). It is recommended that the learning strategies preservice teachers are using in the science courses should be described and evaluated Additionally, research should be conducted on current teacher planning techniques integration a nd teaching practices within agriculture science programs student science achievement, and at the state and national levels to further describe the

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73 impact that agricultural science education has on student science proficiency and standardized testing. To combat the deficiency in science competencies elucidated by this study, teacher preparation programs should offer in service opportunities in the areas identified to remediate previous graduates from the agricultural education program. This is consistent with the recommendations from previous studies (Bal schweid & Thompson, 2000; Grady et al., 2010; Thompson, 1998; Warnick and Thompson, 2007). Course of Study Based on the findings of this study the following is a recommended course of studies for faculty t o enact in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication for preservice students in the Agricultural Education undergraduate program at the Gainesville campus. To combat the high level of variability within the courses chosen, develop prescrib ed courses for each of the nine credit hours of core science needed for the graduation requirements. Currently, a preservice teacher is only required to take one level of biology, the rest of the science credits are chosen by the student. Typically, 9 cred its translate into 3 courses at 3 credits each. It is recommended that the course of study requires courses which reflect the three content areas from the AFNR standards: Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and Earth and Space science. Therefore, one prescribe d course in Biology, one prescribed course in Chemistry and or Physics, and one prescribed course in Earth and Space science. The following is an example of the recommended courses: BSC 2009 Biological Sciences ;

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74 One course from the following: CHM 1030 Bas ic Chemistry Concepts and Applications CHM 1083 Consumer Chemistry, or SWS 2007 World of Water ; and One course from the following: PHY 2004 Applied Physics 1 or GLY 2010C Physical Geology The courses recommended were determined based on discussions that ensued with undergraduate advisors during the process of locating professors for the study. To continue to provide the most adequate and rigorous course of study for preserivce students, faculty should contact undergraduate coordinators in respective depa rtments to entertain discussion on appropriate courses to meet the needs of the preservice students. Additionally, the undergraduate advisors discussed the context of first and second level courses; for example BSC 2010 and BSC 2011, Integrated Biology 1 and 2. According to the advisors, th ese courses are designed as a pair, and students will not be exposed to the entire corpus of content if they take one level of the course. Therefore, the advisors recommended using applied core science courses, such as B SC 2009 Biological sciences, CHM 1030 Basic Chemistry Concepts, or PHY 2004 Applied Physics. The point the advisors made was that the courses are designed to demonstrate the science content in an applicable fashion to a nonscience major, i.e. someone who w ill not be a chemist or physicist for their career. These discussions coupled with the data have yielded the aforementioned recommendations for course of study alterations for core sciences. The following are recommendations for the applied agricultural science courses within the course of studies. The three prescribed courses, ANS 3006C, AOM 3220, and SWS 3022 cover all standards either as a prerequisite or in the course, except A2: Design and conduct scientific investigation s. The course AOM 3220 should be further

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75 investigated based on what content is actual ly being taught in the course. The Based on the description of the AOM course, content from the standard B: Life Sciences was expected to be outside of the scope of the course; yet the instructor responded to the instrument with a prerequisite for the life science knowledge. It is recommended that cou rses similar in rigor to the three prescribed courses be further identified and included within the course of studies for agricultural education students. The variability of courses students are allowed to choose minimizes the ability to ensure that studen ts continue to gain exposure to science concepts they will be expected to teach. Much like the entomology credits, it is recommended that prescribed choices be established for applied agricultural science credits. As an example, t he course VEC 3221C Vegeta ble Production was only taken by 6 preservice students but contained nearly 70% of the standards. The disconnect between quality courses and preservice student enrollment in those courses would be mitigated with a more structured course of study. Due to la ck of response from instructors, it is difficult to ascertain a full picture related to the content within courses preservice students chose to take to satisfy degree requirements. It is recommended that continued investigation into the courses taken to sa tisfy degree requirements be completed to gain a more complete picture of the content covered in those courses. It is also recommended that faculty contact the undergraduate advisors for departments which offer courses taken in applied agricultural science to ascertain the appropriate courses which should be taken to satisfy both science expectations and degree requirements.

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76 APPENDIX A LIST OF SCIENCE COUR SES Table A 1. Core Science Courses Taken to Satisfy Degree Requirements of Preservice Teachers (N=59) Courses Frequency ANT 2301 Human Sexuality and Culture 2 AST 1002 Discovering the Universe 2 BCH 3025 Fundamentals of Biochemistry 1 BOT 2800C Plants in Human Affairs 1 BSC 1001 Introduction to Biology 4 BSC 1009 The Living World 1 BSC 1020 Biology and the Human Experience 1 BSC 1025 Nutrition & Drugs 1 BSC 1025L Nutrition and Drugs Laboratory 1 BSC 2005L General Education Biology Laboratory 23 BSC 2007 Biological Sciences: Cells, Organisms and Genetics 35 BSC 2008 Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior 4 BSC 2009L Laboratory in Biological Sciences 10 BSC 2010 Integrated Principles of Biology 1 37 BSC 2010L Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 1 35 BSC 2011 Integrated Principles of Biology 2 22 BSC 2011L Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 2 18 BSC 2050 Environment Nonscience Majors 1 BSC 2085 Human Anatomy And Physiology 1 3 BSC 2085L Human Anatomy And Physiology 1 Laboratory 3 BSC 2086 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 1 BSC 2086L Human Anatomy and Physiology II Laboratory 1 BSC 2250 Natural History Of South Florida 1 BSC 2311 Introduction to Marine Biology 1 BSC 2311L Introduction to Marine Biology Laboratory 1 BSC 2933 Selected Topics in Biology 1 CHM 1025 Introduction to Chemistry 24 CHM 1025L Introductory Chemistry Lab 19 CHM 1030 Basic Chemistry Concepts and Applications 1 5 CHM 1030L Basic Chemistry Concepts and Applications Part I Laboratory 5 CHM 1040 General Chemistry A (expanded Sequence) 3 CHM 1040L General Chemistry A Laborato ry (expanded Sequence) 3 CHM 1083 Chemistry for Consumers 10 CHM 2021 Chemistry for Today Nonscience Majors 1 CHM 2045 General Chemistry 1 22 CHM 2045L General Chemistry 1 Laboratory 21 CHM 2046 General Chemistry 2 10 CHM 2046L General Chemistry 2 Laboratory 9 CHM 2210 Organic Chemistry 1 3

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77 Table A 1. Continued Courses Frequency CHM 2211 Organic Chemistry 2 2 CHM 2211L Organic Chemistry Laboratory 2 ESC 1000 Earth Science 3 EVS 1001 Introduction to Environmental Sustainability 1 GLY 1001 Earth Science 1 GLY 1102 Age Of Dinosaurs 1 GLY 2010C Physical Geology 1 GLY 2030C Environmental and Engineering Geology 1 HUN 1201 Human Nutrition 3 ISC 1051 Environmental Science, From AP Exam Score 2 ISC 1141c Earth and Space Science 1 MCB 1000 Microbiology and Human Disease 1 MCB 1000L Microbiology and Human Disease Laboratory 1 MCB 2000 Introductory Microbiology 2 MCB 2000L Introductory Microbiology Laboratory 1 MCB 2010 Microbiology 1 MCB 2010L Microbiology Laboratory 1 MCB 3020 Basic Biology of Microorganisms 1 MCB 3020L Laboratory for Basic Biology of Microorganisms 1 OCE 1001 Introductory Oceanography 1 PHY 1020 Fundamentals of Physics 2 PHY 1020L Concepts In Physics Laboratory 1 PHY 2004 Applied Physics 1 1 PHY 2053 Physics 1 2 PHY 2053L Physics 1 Laboratory 3 PHY 2054 Physics 2 1 PHY 2054L Physics 2 Laboratory 1 PSC 1341 Physical Science for Educators 1 PSC 1515 Energy in the Natural Environment 2 PSC 2121 General Physical Science 2 PSC 2121L General Physical Science Laboratory 2 ZOO 1503C Animal Behavior & Ecology 1 ZOO 2010 General Zoology 1 ZOO 2010L General Zoology Laboratory 1 ZOO 4926 Special Topics in Zoology 1

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78 Table A 2. Applied Agricultural Science Courses Taken to Satisfy Degree Requirements of Preservice Teachers (N=59) Courses Frequency AGG 3501 Environment, Food and Society 6 AGR 2612 Seeds of Change 1 AGR 3001 Environment, Food and Society 1 AGR 3005L Principles of Crop Science Lab 6 AGR 3303 Genetics 2 AGR 4214C Applied Field Crop Production 5 AGR 4231C Forage Science and Range Management 4 ALS 3133 Agriculture and Environmental Quality 2 ALS 4905 Problems in Agriculture (Independent Research) 2 ANS 1003 Unknown Name 2 ANS 2002 The Meat We Eat 12 ANS 3006C Introduction to Animal Science 58 ANS 3043 Growth & Development of Farm Animals 3 ANS 3079L Relationship of Form to Function in Horses 1 ANS 3236 Introduction to Equine Science 3 ANS 3246 Beef Production Practicum 4 ANS 3250L Dairy Cattle Practicum 1 ANS 3251 Biology and Management of Dairy Cattle 1 ANS 3319C Reproductive Physiology and Endocrinology in Domestic Animals 5 ANS 3383L Application of Genetic Evaluation to the Livestock Industry 1 ANS 3384 Genetic Improvement of Farm Animals 3 ANS 3404C Food Ani mal Nutrition & Feeding 2 ANS 3440 Principles of Animal Nutrition 3 ANS 3613L Livestock and Meat Evaluation 5 ANS 3634C Meats 3 ANS 3934 Careers in the Livestock Industry 5 ANS 4231 Practicum in Horse Management & Training Technique 1 ANS 4238L Horse Psychology and Training Laboratory 1 ANS 4241L Intermediate Horse Training 1 ANS 4243C Beef Cow Calf Management 3 ANS 4245C Beef Background & Feedlot Management 1 ANS 4604C Live Animal Evaluation 1 ANS 4615 Meat Selection & Grading 2 ANS 4635C Meat Processing 1 ANS 4905 Problems in Animal Science (Independent Research) 6 ANS 5312C Applied Ruminant Reproductive Management 2 AOM 2520 Global Sustainable Energy: Past, Present and Future 2 AOM 3220 Agricultural Construction and Maintenance 59 ENY 1001 Bugs and People 1 ENY 2040 The Insect 2 ENY 3005 Principles of Entomology 26

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79 Table A 2. Continued Courses Frequency ENY 3005L Principles of Entomology Lab 25 ENY 3007C Life Science 24 ENY 3030C Insect Field Biology 2 ENY 3225C Principles of Pest Management 1 FOR 2662 Forests for the Future 3 FOR 3004 Forest Conservation & People 4 FOS 2001 Man's Food 39 FOS 3042 Introduction to Food Science 3 FOS 4722C Quality Control in Food Systems 1 FRC 1010 Growing Fruit for Fun and Profit 2 FRC 3252 Tropical and Subtropical Fruit 1 FRC 3274 Tree and Small Fruit Production 1 HOS 1010 Horticulture 1 2 HOS 1014 Vegetable Gardening 2 HOS 3020 Principles of Horticulture Crop Production 6 HOS 3222C Greenhouse and Protected Vegetable Production 4 HOS 3281C Principles of Organic and Sustainable Crop Production 1 HOS 4304 Horticultural Physiology 1 HUN 2201 Fundamentals of Human Nutrition 1 HUN 3403 Nutrition Through the Life Cycle 1 IPM 3022 Fundamentals of Pest Management 9 ORH 1030 Plants, Gardening and You 7 ORH 3053C Principles of Floral Art 1 ORH 3222C Turfgrass Culture 1 ORH 3513C Environmental Plant Identification & Use 5 ORH 4236C Landscape and Turfgrass Management with Laboratory 1 PCB 2441 Biological Invaders 1 PCB 3601C Plant Ecology 1 PCB 4044C General Ecology 1 PKG 2001 Principles of Packaging 1 PKG 3001 Principles of Packaging 11 PKG 3010 Packaging, Society and the Environment 1 PLP 2000 Plants, Plagues, and People 5 PLP 2060 Molds, Mildews, Mushrooms, and Man 2 PLS 2003C Plants That Feed the World 5 PLS 3004C Principles of Plant Science 24 PMA 4570C Field Techniques in Integrated Pest management 1 SWS 4244 Wetlands 1 SWS 4451 Soil Chemistry 1 SWS 5247 Hydric Soils 1 SWS 2007 World of Water 7 SWS 3022 Introduction to Soils in the Environment 58 SWS 3022L Introduction to Soils in the Environment Lab 58

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80 Table A 2. Continued Courses Frequency VEC 2100 World Herbs and Vegetables 10 VEC 3221C Vegetable Production 6 VME 4103 Livestock Health/Disease Prevention 1 WIS 2040 Wildlife Issues in a Changing World 18 WIS 2552 Biodiversity Conservation: Global Perspectives 2 WIS 3401 Wildlife Ecology and Management 1 WIS 3402 Wildlife of Florida 1 WIS 3402L Wildlife of Florida Laboratory 1 WIS 3403C Perspectives in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation 1 WIS 4941 Practical Work Experience in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation 1

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81 APPENDIX B QUALTRICS SURVEY INS TRUMENT

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87 APPENDIX C INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD DOCUMENTATION

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93 LIST OF REFERENCES American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1989). Science for all Americans: A project 2061 report on literacy goals in science, mathematics, and technology. Washington, DC: AAAS American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1993). Benchmarks for scientific literacy: Project 2061. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Balschweid, M. A. (2002). Teaching biology using agriculture as the context: Perceptions of high school students. J ournal of Agricultural Education, 43 (2), 56 67. DOI: 10.5032/jae.2002.02056 Balschweid, M. A., & Thompson, G. W. (2000) Agriculture and science integration: A preservice prescription for contextual learning. Journal of Agricultural Education, 41 (2), 36 45. DOI: 10.5032/jae.2000.02036 Berelson, B. (1952). Content analysis in communication research. Glencoe, IL: Free Press. Bodner, G. M. (1986). Constructivism: A theory of Knowledge. Journal of Chemical Education, 63 (10) 873 878. Bransford, J., Darling Hamm ond, L., & LePage, P. (2005). Introduction. In L. Darling Hammond & J. Bransford (Eds.). Preparing teachers for a changing world: What teachers should learn and be able to do (pp. 1 39) San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons. Budke, W. E. (1991, January). A gricultural science Striving for excellence. Agricultural Education Magazine, 63 (7), 4 16. California Department of Education. (2011). 2010 STAR test results Retrieved from http://star.cde.ca.gov/star2010/ Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 2301 et seq. (2006). Chiasson, T. C., & Burnett, M. F. (2001). The influence of enrollment in agriscience courses on the science achievement of high school students. Journal of Agricultural Education, 42 (1), 61 71. DOI: 10.5032/jae.2001.01 061 Connors, J., & Elliot, J. (1995). The influence of agriscience and natural resources Journal of Agricultural Education, 36 (3), 57 63. DOI: 10.5032/jae1995.03057 Crocker, L., & Algina, J. (1986). Intro duction to classical and modern test theory. Toronto, Canada: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers.

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94 Davis, K. S., & Falba, C. J. (2002). Integrating technology in elementary preservice teacher education: Orchestrating scientific inquiry in meaningf ul ways. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 13 (4), 303 329. Dillman, D. A., Smyth, J. D., & Christian, L. M. (2009). Internet, mail, and mixed mode surveys: The tailored design method (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Journal of Environmental & Science Education, 2 (1), 3 13. Darling Hammond, L., & Bransford, J. (Eds.). (2005). Preparing teachers for a changi ng world: What teachers should learn and be able to do. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons. Donovan, M. S., & Bransford, J. D. (Eds.) (2005). How students learn science in the classroom. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Dyer, J. E., & Osborn e, E. W. (1999). The Influence of science applications in agriculture courses on attitudes of Illinois guidance counselors at model student teaching centers. Journal of Agricultural Education, 40 (4), 57 66. DOI: 10.5032/jae.1999.04057 Enderlin, K. J., Petrea, R. E., & Osborne, E. W., (1993). Student and teacher attitude toward and performance in an integrated science/agriculture course. Proceedings of the 47th Annual Central Region Research Conference in Agricultural Education 195 207 Enderlin, K. J. & Osborne, E. W. (1992). Student achievement, attitudes, and thinking skill attainment in an integrated science/agriculture course. Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual National Agricultural Education Research Meeting 37 44. Florida Department of Educat ion. (2011a). State and district score for all curriculum groups: Grade 5 [Excel File]. Retrieved from http://fcat.fldoe.org/scinfopg.asp Florida Department of Education. (2011b). State and district score for all curriculum groups: Grade 8 [Excel File]. Re trieved from http://fcat.fldoe.org/scinfopg.asp Florida Department of Education. (2011c). State and district score for all curriculum groups: Grade 11 [Excel File]. Retrieved from http://fcat.fldoe.org/scinfopg.asp Florida Department of Education. (2011d). Statewide comparison for 2001 to 2011: Science scores Retrieved from http://fcat.fldoe.org/scinfopg.asp Gall, M. D., Gall, J. P., & Borg, W. R. (2007). Educational research: An introduction (8th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

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95 von Glase rsfeld, E. (1989). Constructivism in education. In. T. Husen, & T. N. Postlethwaite (eds.) The international encyclopedia of education, Supplemental Vol. 1. New York, NY: Pergamon Press, 162 163. Grady, J. R., Dolan, E. L., & Glasson, G. E. (2010). Agrisci ence student engagement in scientific inquiry: Representations of scientific process and nature of science. Journal of Agricultural Education, 51 (4), 10 19. DOI: 10.5032/jae.2010.04010 Hawkins, D. (1990). Defining and bridging the gap. In E. Duckworth, J. Easley, D. Hawkins, & A. Henriques ( E ds.), Science education: A minds on approach for the elementary years (pp. 97 139). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Jennings, J. F. (1991). Congressional intent. Vocational Education Journal, 66 (2), 18 19. Johnson, D. M. (1996). Science credit for agriculture: Perceived support, preferred implementation methods and teacher course work. Journal of Agricultural Education, 37 (1), 27 37. DOI: 10.5032/jae.1996.01022 MacMillan, J. H., & Schumacher, S. (2010). Rese arch in education: Evidence based inquiry (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education Messick, S. (1989). Validity. In R. L. Linn (Ed.), Educational measurement (3rd ed, pp.13 103). New York, NY: Macmillan Michaels, S., Shouse, A. W., & Schweingruber, H. A. ( 2008). Ready, set, science: Putting Research to Work in K 8 science classrooms. Washington, DC: National Academy. Myers, B. E., & Washburn, S. G. (2008). Integrating science in the agriculture curriculum: Agriculture teacher perceptions of the opportunitie s, barriers, and impact on student enrollment. Journal of Agricultural Education, 49 (2), 27 37. DOI: 10.5032/jae.2008.02027 National Academy of Sciences (1995). National science education standards. Washington DC: National Academies Press. National Commis sion on Excellence in Education. (1983). A nation at risk: The imperative for educational reform. David P. Gardner (Chair). Washington, DC: United States Department of Education. National Center for Educational Statistics. (2009). Science 2009 (NCES 2011 452). Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/

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96 National Council for Agricultural Education. (2009). National agriculture, food and natural resources (AFNR) career cluster content standards. Alexandria, VA: The Council Nation al Research Council. (1996). The national science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press National Research Council. (1988). Understanding agriculture: New directions for education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press National Resear ch Council. (2000). Inquiry and the national science education standards: A guide for teaching and learning. Washington, DC: National Academy. Phipps, L. J., Osborne, E. W., Dyer, J. E., & Ball, A. L. (2008). Handbook on agricultural education in public sc hools (6th ed.) New York, NY: Thompson Delmar Learning. Public K 12 Educational Instruction, 48 Flo. Stat. §§ 1003 413 492 (2010). Roberts, T. G., & Kitchel T. (2010). Designing professional knowledge curriculum and instruction. In R. M. Torres, T. Kitche l, & A. L. Ball (Eds.) Preparing and advancing teachers in agricultural education (pp.100 111). Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Curriculum Materials Service. Roegge, C. A., & Russell, E. B. (1990). Teaching applied biology in secondary agriculture: Effects on student achievement and attitudes. Journal of Agricultural Education, 31 (1), 27 31. DOI: 10.5032/jae.1990.01027 Rourke, L., & Anderson, T. (2004). Validity in quantitative content analysis. Educ ational Technology Research and Development, 52 (1), 5 18. DOI: 10.1007/BF02504769 Rourke, L., Anderson, T., Garrison, D. R., & Archer, W. (2001). Methodological issues in the content analysis of computer conference transcripts. International Journal of Art ificial Intelligence in Education, 12 (1), 8 22. Thompson, G. (1998). Implications of integrating science in secondary agricultural education programs. Journal of Agricultural Education, 39 (4), 76 85. DOI: 10.5032/jae.1998.04076 Thoron, A. C., & Myers, B. E. (2010). Perceptions of preservice teachers toward integrating science into school based agricultural education curriculum. Journal of Agricultural Education, 51 (2), 70 80. DOI:10.5032/jae.2010.02070

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97 Scales, J., Terry, R., Jr., & Torres, R. M. (2009). Ar e teachers ready to integrate science concepts into secondary agriculture programs? Journal of Agricultural Education, 50 (2), 102 113. DOI: 10.5032/jae.2009.02100 Simmel, G. (1895). Ueber eine beziehung der selectionslehre zur erkenntnistheorie. Archiv fr Systematische Philosophie, 1 34 45. University of Florida (2012). Undergraduate Catalog 2012 13. Retrieved from https://catalog.ufl.edu/ugrad/current/Pages/home.aspx Warnick, B. K., & Thompson, G. W. (2007). Barriers, support, and collaboration: A compa integration of science into the agricultural education curriculum. Journal of Agricultural Education, 48 (1), 75 85. DOI: 10.5032/jae.2007.01075 Whent, L. S., & Leising, J. (1988 April ). A de scriptive study of the basic core curriculum for agricultural students in California. Proceedings of the 66th Annual Western Region Agricultural Education Research Seminar. Willis, J. W., & Mehlinger, H. D. (1996). Information technology and te acher educat ion. In J. Sikula (E d.), Handbook of research on teacher education (pp. 978 1029). New York, NY: Macmillan. Wilson, M. R. (1994). One preservice secondary teacher's understanding of function: The impact of a course integrating mathematical content and peda gogy. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 25 (4), 346 370 Wirth, A. G. (1992). Education and work for the year 2000: Choices we face. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass Inc. Welsch, K. K., & Jenlink, P. M. (1998). Challenging assumptions about teachi ng and learning: Three case studies in constructivist pedagogy. Teaching and Teacher Education 14 (4), 413 427

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98 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Aaron Giorgi was born in St. Louis, MO and lived there until he was 10. He moved to Miami, FL when his family left Missouri. He grew up in the public schools of the two urban centers, and participated in magnet programs in primary and secondary school. For Aaron it was not until high school that he began his interest in agriculture. While in high school Aaron found hi s passion for agriculture, sciences, and education. He maintained his SAE, and was a strong member of his FFA chapter. project. While in FFA, Aaron competed in a myriad of CDE s and held offices locally, within his District, and finally earned a state office. During his high school career Aaron participated in sports, as well as agriculture. He took varsity letters in baseball, cross country, and track and field. Aaron began his undergraduate work at Miami Dade College. He earned his Associate of Arts de gree with honors in chemistry. He then transferred to the University al Education, magna cum laude. During his undergraduate studies Aaron enjoyed working as a laboratory supervisor for the chemistry department. It was here that he first began to practice teaching. After gr aduating Aaron began teaching. in teaching high school agriscience courses includes teaching the Agricultural Biotechnology strand of the Florida Career and Technical Education curricula at Middleton High School in Tampa, Florida Aaron blended his love for science and agriculture to t e a ch rigorous science concepts in tho se courses. Additionally, he has served on state curriculum planning and alignment committees for agriscience curricula. Through these

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99 experiences, he has had the chance to analyze and design curricular plans and integrate science concepts and principles into the agricultural education curricula. education and collegiate faculty teaching habits. During his time in his graduate program he also traveled for international work to Trinid ad and Tobago, and continued to work with the Florida Department of Education to build strong ag biotechnology programs. Aaron hopes to one day earn a doctorate degree and enter the faculty in agricultural education.