Impact of Teacher Self-Efficacy on Elementary STEM-Based Agricultural Curriculum
Keywords:agriculture, curriculum, teacher self-efficacy
Teachers may be hesitant to implement STEM-based agriculture programs due to their perceived low self-efficacy in the subject area. More deliberate professional development resources for educators can be refined by understanding how their beliefs impact students’ learning and interest. The objective of this study was to determine how teachers’ previous knowledge and self-efficacy in agriculture impacted student interest in the turkey industry. Four hundred eighty-two students enrolled in the POULT program across 23 [STATE] classrooms (17 teachers) in the fall of 2021. Students completed the program (online modules, interactive notebook, and class project) over six consecutive school days. Student situational interest was measured two times throughout the program. Teacher self-efficacy, previous agricultural experience, and knowledge of turkey industry were assessed at the start of the program (70.59% response rate). Teachers showed low self-efficacy in poultry content knowledge and high self-efficacy in engagement. Their agriculture experience positively increased their self-efficacy to motivate students to learn about turkey production. Additionally, teachers’ instructional self-efficacy impacted students’ situational interest. Overall, teachers found the program to be a positive way to engage students in agriculture. However, time commitments and technology issues may prevent them from implementing the program again in the future.
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