An examination of reading levels of pre-service agricultural education teachers and the TExES exam
Woodward, Carol Ann Cohea
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The objective of this study was to identify factors that may be related to performance of prospective teachers of agricultural science on the TExES. The purposes of this study were to 1) identify demographic characteristics of pre-service agricultural science teachers, 2) describe academic performance and reading abilities of pre-service agricultural science students, 3) describe relationships among demographics, academic performance, reading abilities, and perceptions about their reading, 4) determine if differences existed between students who chose to take the TExES versus those who chose not to take the TExES test, 5) identify relationships between students? reading abilities and their performance on TExES, and 6) explore relationships between performance on the TExES and rival variables (predictors of TExES performance in addition to reading ability). Pre-service agricultural science students from six Texas universities were administered a Reading Placement Appraisal (RPA) which indicates grade equivalent reading levels, reading rates and vocabulary levels. One hundred sixteen students completed the survey, the reading appraisal, and the TExES exam and participated in the research. These students were either in their final semester of school or in their student teaching semester. These students took their Professional Development TExES test during this semester or in the semester following. The instruments used to collect information were a two page questionnaire created by the researcher and a computerized reading appraisal provided by Taylor Associates. The results from the TExES were evaluated on a pass/fail basis instead of a numerical score. The Pearson product moment correlation coefficient revealed a low but positive relationship between gender, age or ethnicity and passing the TExES; however, there were interesting trends observed. Positive relationships were found between reading levels, vocabulary levels, and self perception of students? reading ability. Additionally, a relationship was detected when reading and vocabulary varied by more than two grade levels. The higher discrepancy was found to be indicative of failure on the TExES exam.