Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications

Major Professor

Carrie A. Stephens

Committee Members

Christopher T. Stripling, Neal S. Eash

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate change in the impact of American agriculture education student teachers on a rural community in New South Wales, Australia over ten years. The study analyzed interviews with ten participants of the American Student Teaching Program in a New South Wales community. The researcher was a student teacher in the New South Wales community for ten weeks and taught agriculture in one of the community’s high schools. Exposure to individuals in the community and also recommendations from the agriculture teachers and principals of the Australian school, which included the principal, deputy principal, one head teacher, two agriculture teachers, three support staff members, and two area businessmen, served as the basis for participant recruitment. The researcher transcribed the interviews. The researcher and a peer reviewer coded and categorized the data into themes. Since the researcher was a participant in the Australian Student Teaching Program, participatory action research enabled the researcher to identify areas of influence suggested by the interview participants. Participants identified two major themes: impact on student growth and sense of community, and eight subthemes: student performance, international growth, culture, perceptions and stereotypes, values, beginning impressions of American student teachers versus current impressions, involvement within the community, and community acceptance as impactful changes.

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