Education Doctorate

Year Approved


First Advisor

Tahtinen-Pacheco, Sarah


This dissertation took a phenomenological approach in order to take a deeper look into the experiences of five agricultural education teachers that taught English Learner (EL) students and factors that affected those experiences. Dunkin and Biddle’s (1973) Teacher Model provided the conceptual framework and underpinnings for the literature review. The study identified a pilot study teacher with EL experience and 4 agricultural education teachers that taught agricultural education at schools with at least a 15% EL student population. The interviews were semi-structured in nature and each was audiotaped and later transcribed. Each of the transcribed interviews was coded. Through a reduction process, the list of initial codes combined into 10 main themes of the study. The conclusion of this study showed that 1) Building relationships is an important part of teaching EL students, 2) Agricultural education teachers could be better prepared to teach EL students, 3) Agriculture education teachers need to teach at a slower pace when EL students are present, 4) Agricultural education teachers’ understanding of EL student’s culture has an impact on their ability to teach the EL students, 5) Agricultural education teachers described teaching EL students as challenging, frustrating and/or stressful, 6) Agricultural education teacher’s self-efficacy teaching EL students increased with time, 7) Agricultural education teachers need to be patient when working with EL students, 8) It was beneficial for agricultural education teachers to collaborate with an EL teacher, 9) Agricultural education teacher’s formative experience affected their experiences teaching EL students and 10) Agricultural education teachers noted that mixed language level classes are difficult to teach.

Degree Name

Education Doctorate

Document Type

Doctoral dissertation