A new competency discovered in the current study focused on the “ability to work with diverse groups.” This concept does not directly relate to ethnic diversity but rather to diversity among students relating to interests, focus, and overall program objectives. Both inservice and preservice teachers mentioned this category with comments such as “the ability to tailor to each student” and “dealing with kids that don’t know anything about Agriculture.” One particular teacher was working in an affluent school district in an urban area and shared that many students entering their program have no previous knowledge of agriculture. Many inservice teachers noted that they have several special needs students in their classroom. “We aren’t necessarily a dumping ground but we have a vast variety of academic levels in our classes.” Another point relevant to this competency was that many student lack “passion” about agriculture and thus the teacher has to be able to “change from year to year depending on the students and school.”
Based on the reported findings, a visual model was constructed to provide greater understanding of the competencies and traits required of successful agricultural science teachers. Given that seven categories were identified (Instruction; Student Organization; Supervised Experience; Program Planning and Management; School and Community Relations; Personal Traits; and Professionalism), a heptagon was chosen for the general shape of the model (see Figure 1). The newly identified competency, “working with diverse groups” was deemed by the research team to transcend and interact with all seven categories. Thus, this competency was placed in the center of the heptagon with double arrows extending to each category.