TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY SKILLS: A NEEDS ASSESSMENT OF SCHOOL-BASED AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION TEACHERS is a well-researched Life Sciences Thesis/Dissertation topic, it is to be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research.
Research has shown 21st-century skills are essential to a student’s success outside of the high school classroom. These 21st-century skills prepare students to enter the workforce or higher education with the ability to think critically and creatively, collaborate with others, take the initiative when approached with a task, and use technology to its fullest potential. If students are not learning the skills needed for success, it is because educators and schools are not teaching them.
This study examined school-based agricultural education teachers’ perceived knowledge, ability, and importance of implementing these 21st-century skills into the classroom. Upon identifying the teacher’s perceived level of importance, knowledge, and ability results were analyzed to determine the professional development needs of school-based agriculture education teachers in regards to 21st -century skills.
Results concluded professional development is needed to further educate and equip agriculture teachers with specific and applicable ways to implement these skills into their classrooms. Upon identifying the teacher’s perceived importance, knowledge, and ability, results were analyzed in relation to demographic characteristics to determine if significant correlations existed. Significant relationships existed between importance, ability, and knowledge when compared to gender, years teaching, and age.
The industry has recognized students need soft skills in today’s workforce, otherwise known as 21st-century skills (National Research Council, 2012; Rotherham & Willingham, 2009). School-based agricultural education (SBAE) allows students to learn these 21st-century skills through the three-component model (Yoest & Kane, 2015).
The three-component model of agricultural education consists of classroom/laboratory instruction including inquiry-based learning through interactive classroom and laboratory instruction; supervised agricultural experiences (SAE) consisting of experiential, service andk/or work-based learning; and the National FFA Organization (FFA) including engagement of premier leadership, personal growth and career success (National FFA, 2018a).
When all three components are implemented into school-based agricultural education (SBAE), it prepares students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber, and natural resources systems (National FFA, 2018a) and may assist in the development of skills needed to be competitive and. succeed in the 21st century.
In the agricultural education classroom, students use knowledge learned and apply it in their daily lives, which develops them into productive and useful members of society (Dailey, Conroy, & Shelley-Tolbert, 2001).
Twenty-first-century teaching allows students to build the skills needed when entering higher education, the workforce, and life (Scott, 2017). Incorporating 21st-century skills into the classroom will engage students in the learning process and allow them to graduate being better prepared to succeed in a growing global economy (Girlando, 2013).
Skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving are crucial to ensuring the success of students (Girlando, 2013). Education as a whole must work to prepare future young adults to obtain these skills, which will lead them toward a better life after high school graduation (Symonds, Schwartz, & Ferguson 2011). SBAE should prepare students for education beyond high school (Davis & Jayaratne, 2015) by teaching the essential skills needed to succeed in a globalized workplace.
Effective teaching strategized at education in the 21st-century will allow students to graduate being better prepared. It is important to incorporate the explicit teaching of 21st -century skills in the classroom in conjunction with teaching real-world scenarios to understand the importance of agriculture, core content, and 21st-century skills outside of the high school classroom.
Incorporating technology, collaboration, and leadership into SBAE classes is necessary to prepare students to accept the challenge of feeding a growing global economy and to prepare them for the ever-growing globalization and technological advancements made in society (Davis & Jayaratne, 2015).