Benefits of Using Service-Learning in the Preparation of Teachers: An Analysis of Agricultural Education Teacher Educators’ Beliefs and Intentions

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In the 1990s, higher education institutions began to dedicate substantial resources to support the integration of service-learning (SL) in courses across university campuses. However, a dearth in the knowledge base endures in regard to understanding how faculty members’, and especially agricultural education teacher educators’, underlying beliefs about the benefits of SL may influence their intentions and associated planned behaviors. This study, therefore, sought to understand the behavioral beliefs and intentions of agricultural education teacher educators regarding their use of SL as a method of instruction. To accomplish this, we used descriptive statistics to describe results derived from measures of relationships among the variables of interest. Overall, the teacher educators perceived that SL could provide benefits to classrooms and communities. Findings also revealed statistically significant relationships (p < .05) among the dependent variables and participants’ prior SL experiences. Despite reporting positive beliefs about the method, participants generally indicated they did not intend to use or highlight SL in their teaching methods courses. Future research should explore the chasm that exists between teacher educators’ beliefs and their intentions to use the method in the preparation of agricultural education teachers.

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Journal of Agricultural Education

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