Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Michael F. Burnett


The purpose of this study was to identify the plant science concepts which should be taught in secondary agriculture programs of the future as perceived by innovators in the field of plant science. The Delphi technique was used to gain the perceptions of a nation-wide panel of plant science professionals. The panel was comprised of three groups of plant scientists: secondary plant science teachers, university plant scientists, and plant scientists working in industry. The secondary plant science teachers were selected from the national and regional winners of the agriscience teacher award. The university plant scientists and plant scientists working in industry were chosen for their expertise and innovativeness through multiple nominations from their peers. The Delphi panel identified 191 concepts and reached consensus in prioritizing by importance. The highest rated concept was the "Scientific method of research." New concepts were added in each of the three rounds used in the study giving credibility to the synergistic effect. It is this researcher's view that a refined list of these prioritized concepts, keeping scope, sequence, and difficulty levels in mind, be considered when developing new secondary plant science curricula.