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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Comparison of agriculture biology and general biology testing outcomes in Utah
by Despain, Deric Walter, D.Ed., University of Phoenix, 2014, 129; 3692152
Abstract (Summary)

Agriculture education can take scientific topics to higher levels, emphasize scientific concepts, involve hands-on learning, and develop interrelationships with the other sciences, thus making the living and non-living world around them relevant for students. Prior to 1996, agriculture education was not considered adequate to prepare Utah high school students to meet state biology requirements. The appropriateness of making that equalizing decision in 1996 was not tested until this 2014 study, comparing student test scores on the state biology test for general biology and agriculture biology students. The 2008-2012 data were collected from the Utah Department of Education Data and Statistics, utilizing a descriptive comparative post-test only analysis. As seen in this study, not only did B/AS students tend to score lower than their General Biology counterparts, in multiple cases this difference was significant (p ≤ .05). This contrary finding challenges the theoretical foundation of this study. As a result of this study three implications were made; (a) the Utah CRT-Biology test is not a reliable gauge of academic achievement in agriculture biology, (b) agriculture students in the sample population have not been taught with rigorous biology standards, and (c) biology standards taught in agricultural biology classes are not aligned with content tested by the biology portion of the Utah CRT-Biology test standards. The results of this study indicate to stakeholders that there is a gap occurring within the B/AS education, and the need to reevaluate the biology curriculum delivery to its population may possibly be in need of immediate action.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: North, Teresa Lynn
School: University of Phoenix
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 76/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational evaluation, Agricultural education, Secondary education, Science education, Vocational education
Keywords: Agriculture education, Biology education, Gender gaps in STEM, STEM, Teaching agriculture, Teaching biology
Publication Number: 3692152
ISBN: 978-1-321-76320-1
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