Purdue University Graduate School
McGuire Thesis Final.pdf (7.66 MB)

Secondary Preservice Agriculture Education Teachers' Professional Knowledge Bases & Collective Pedagogical Content Knowledge

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posted on 2022-06-17, 17:54 authored by Miranda R McGuireMiranda R McGuire


School-based agricultural education programs use laboratories to develop cognitive, psychomotor, and procedural skills (Phipps et al., 2008). It is important to help preservice teachers develop the ability to design instruction to cultivate skills that are taught in laboratory settings. Shulman (1986) authored a term called Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK), which is a teacher’s knowledge of teaching. Animal science dissection was the topic chosen for this study, as PCK is topic-specific (Chan & Hume, 2018). There are many interpretations of PCK. The Refined Consensus Model (RCM) of PCK in Science Education (Carlson et al., 2019) was the conceptual model used in this study, as it is the most recent PCK model, and was developed by experts in science education from multiple countries. This model asserts that PCK is comprised of three realms: Collective PCK (cPCK), Personal PCK (pPCK), and Enacted PCK (ePCK). The first purpose of this study was to describe preservice agriculture teachers' Professional Knowledge Bases (which informs pPCK), before and after instruction, on the topic of animal science dissection in a Laboratory Practices in Agricultural Education (LPAE) course. The second purpose was to describe preservice agriculture teachers' cPCK, after instruction, on animal science dissection in an LPAE course. Content Representations (CoRes), a common tool used for PCK research, were used identify evidence of the Professional Knowledge Bases (PKBs) in preservice agriculture teachers’ instructional planning. Results from this study showed elevated descriptions of Professional Knowledge Bases, and participants collectively gained new ideas and collaboration skills. Overall LPAE dissection experience appeared to push the depth of student thinking and ability to make connections with future learning. Future research recommendations include using the RCM of PCK (Carlson et al., 2019) and CoRes in agricultural education; more PCK research, specifically exploring the development of Curricular Knowledge, on preservice teachers in agricultural education; and PCK research on other topics in agricultural education. It is recommended to not only include PCK development in teacher preparation programs but also have more than one exposure to PCK development.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Sarah LaRose

Additional Committee Member 2

Elizabeth Karcher

Additional Committee Member 3

Kathryn Orvis

Additional Committee Member 4

B. Allen Talbert