Student teachers' perceptions of important characteristics of cooperating teachers
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A challenge faced by agricultural educators across the country is a lack of qualified teachers entering the profession. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a relationship between student teacher perceptions of the student teacher/cooperating teacher relationship and the decision to enter the teaching profession. Background/demographic characteristics were also examined to determine if relationships existed with the decision about entering teaching. These characteristics included gender, age, academic classification, race/ethnicity, previous agricultural work experience, and semesters of high school agricultural science courses completed. The target population of this study consisted of preservice agricultural education students at Texas A&M University. The sample consisted of 33 student teachers who completed their student teaching in the fall semester 2004. The instrument consisted of three parts. Part I of the instrument contained six background/demographic variables (gender, age, semesters of high school agricultural science courses completed, academic classification, race/ethnicity, and agricultural work experience). Part II of the instrument contained 14 items measuring student teacher perceptions of the student teacher/cooperating teacher relationship. For each item, participants were asked to indicate the importance of each characteristic and the current level of their cooperating teacher using a modified five point Likert-type scale. Part III of the instrument consisted of a single item, Ã¢ÂÂDo you plan to teach agricultural science when you graduate?Ã¢ÂÂ accompanied by a seven point response scale ranging from definitely yes to definitely no. There was no relationship found between the student teacher/cooperating teacher relationship and the decision to teach. However, a relationship was found between previous agricultural work experience and the decision to teach, as well as a relationship between the semesters of high school agricultural science courses competed and the decision to teach. By knowing how many high school agricultural science courses a student had completed, one could better predict the decision to teach. As a result of the study, the researcher recommends that agricultural education programs recruit students who have completed high school agriculture courses. High school agricultural science teachers should encourage their students to pursue careers in agricultural education.
Kasperbauer, Holly Jo (2005). Student teachers' perceptions of important characteristics of cooperating teachers. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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