Agricultural Educators' Adoption of Inquiry-Based Learning: The Effects of Beliefs About Education, Self, and Context
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Agricultural education is responsible for preparing future generations to continually advance agriculture in a rapidly changing and growing world. How can agricultural education best prepare students to be innovative problem-solvers who can keep up with these changes? One way educators can engage students is to create learning experiences that allow students to uncover material through their own questioning and experimentation using inquiry-based learning (IBL). The purpose of this study was to (a) determine how agricultural educators’ characteristics affect the adoption of IBL; (b) determine how agricultural educators’ beliefs about education, self, and context are related; and (c) determine how agricultural educators’ beliefs about education, self, and context affect their adoption of IBL. Agricultural educators’ adoption of IBL was significantly affected by degree obtained and the agricultural pathway taught. A positive relationship was demonstrated between both IBL adoption and the orientation to teach substantive and procedural knowledge, with the higher correlation between procedural knowledge and the adoption of IBL. Additionally, orientation to teach substantive and procedural knowledge was positively correlated with agricultural educators’ self-efficacy to organize IBL activities. A positive relationship also existed between agricultural educators’ perceived ability to implement IBL and the perceived abilities of their students to complete IBL activities. Of the variance in the adoption of IBL among agricultural educators, 26.5 percent could be attributed to the structural equation model of this study. In conclusion, the adoption of IBL by agricultural educators is something that needs further research. However, this study indicates that beliefs about education, self, and context do affect the adoption of IBL by agricultural educators. Those agricultural educators with a higher self-efficacy in regard to creating IBL lessons and an orientation toward teaching procedural knowledge are more likely to adopt it in their classrooms. Programming should be developed that impacts these beliefs to encourage adoption of IBL.
Baldock, Kalynn Dawn (2019). Agricultural Educators' Adoption of Inquiry-Based Learning: The Effects of Beliefs About Education, Self, and Context. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from