Journal of Research in Technical Careers


agricultural education, interdisciplinary teaching, food security, learning outcomes, student reactions


Agricultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Vocational Education


Tomorrow’s agricultural workforce will face challenges in the form of complex problems that transcend disciplinary boundaries, including food security. Addressing these complex issues requires professionals to work within and across disciplines in ways that may not have been required in previous generations. Teaching using an interdisciplinary approach may be one approach to helping students develop the skills needed to address these problems. The purpose of this study was to explore student reactions to being taught with an interdisciplinary teaching method in a secondary agricultural education context. Overall, students reacted favorably to this interdisciplinary teaching approach. Several student characteristics contributed to their reactions. Multiple aspects of the facilitation process also impacted student reactions, as did specific features of the interdisciplinary approach. The interdisciplinary teaching approach produced several learning outcomes beyond the technical concepts, including gaining new perspectives and critical thinking. Recommendations for teachers and recommendations for additional research are provided.