The purpose of this collective case study was to explore the impact of using young adult literature in a content area literacy course to leverage the development of professional identities in preservice agriculture teachers (n= 4).
Empirical studies of the literacy-based experiences and professional development of agricultural education majors are often absent in teacher education scholarship despite a growing need for agricultural expertise in schools.
Interdisciplinary groupings, disciplinary textual study, and teaching demonstrations comprised participant activities in which participants catalyzed their pedagogies through literature.
The study followed the qualitative principles of case study methodology and employed interviews, field notes, and artifactual analysis over the course of eight weeks.
Results show participants cultivated professional identities by constructing literacy-based learning communities, practicing agricultural instructional design, establishing themselves as experts across multiple fields, and exhibiting feelings of isolation and skepticism in their ability to transfer literary-infused agricultural education from the preservice setting to practice in schools. Implications, interpretations, and recommendations for research are also discussed.