Journal of Research in Technical Careers


Human Capital, Teacher Preparation, STEM.


Curriculum and Instruction | Secondary Education and Teaching


The emphasis for STEM integration in school-based agricultural education (SBAE) classrooms is imperative, resulting in a need for teacher educators to generate a positive view on the integration. Specifically, SBAE teacher aspirants need to be prepared to deliver relevant agricultural curriculum grounded in STEM. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the content knowledge and interest in STEM-related careers for secondary students enrolled in SBAE programs in Oklahoma. Pre-service SBAE teachers from Oklahoma State University were charged with delivering a sustainable bioenergy unit of instruction to their students. This study resulted in a statistically significant improvement in students’ STEM knowledge as a result of teaching the content and laboratory experiences (p < .01). Mean scores increased three letter grades and almost 30 percentage points. Unfortunately, minimal differences existed in student interest in STEM as a result of the experience. Future research needs to explore the preparedness of SBAE teachers to develop, teach, and evaluate the impact in all four content areas (i.e., science, technology, engineering, and math). In addition, the results of this study should be used to guide in the evaluation of state standards compared to national SBAE standards.