Andrew ThoronAssistant Professor

307C Rolfs Hall, PO Box 110540
Gainesville, FL 32611
352-294-1992
athoron@ufl.edu

Andrew Thoron is an assistant professor of agricultural education in the AEC Department. Andrew grew up in central Illinois and taught high school agriscience at Mt. Pulaski High School in Illinois. He then took on a state leadership role with the Illinois State Board of Education for agricultural education where his primarily responsibility was to aid agriscience teachers, administrators, and community members in developing and maintaining agricultural education programs. Dr. Thoron continues his assistance of teachers through his extension appointment that assists with the professional development needs of the Florida agriscience teachers. Dr. Thoron also coordinates the teaching certification for the department. His research expertise is in the area of teaching and learning that focus on argumentation skill development. Additional areas of research interest are central to effective teaching, student achievement, and scientific reasoning. Dr. Thoron is also a founding member of the s1057 Multistate Research project that focuses on STEM emphasis in school-based agricultural education and the Ag STEM Education Lab within the department.

Education

  • Ph.D. – University of Florida, Agricultural Education, May 2010
  • M.S. – University of Florida, Agricultural Education, Dec. 2007
  • B.S. – Illinois State University; Normal, Illinois, Major: Agriculture; Sequence: Agricultural Education, May 2002
  • A.S. – Lincoln Land Community College; Springfield, Illinois, Major: Agriculture, May 2000

Research Areas

  • Teaching, learning, & assessment
  • Scientific reasoning & argumentation skills

Research Focus- Argumentation: (Thoron, 2010)

Argumentation skill is essential to enhance learner understanding of science in determining solutions or perceptions of a complex authentic problem. Further, argumentation skill can aid a consumer or the public in filtering through and determining their position on a specific issue. At first glance, the term argumentation may lead one to believe individuals will verbally argue their point-of-view. While an argument between individuals can exist, argumentation skill is the development of logical explanations in order for an individual determine the best approach to solving a problem or form their perception. As identified by Toulmin (1958) there are four components to a quality argument:

  • Data: presented to support the claim the student believes to be true or the best solution
  • Claim: established merit through explaining why the data are important, correct, or supportive
  • Warrants: reasons presented to justify and connections between data and the claim
  • Backing: assumptions and commonly agreed justifications for the warrants

Dr. Thoron's focus on argumentation is centered around developing argumentation skill in learners in school-based settings or developing argumentation skill for the general public in an agricultural context to help individuals "think through" their reasoning and provide data supported justifications to inform their reasoning or perceptions.

  • Thoron, A. C. (2010). Effects of inquiry-based agriscience instruction on student argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and student achievement (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Florida, Gainesville.
  • Toulmin, S. E. (1958). The uses of argument. Cambridge, Great Britain: Cambridge University
    Press.

Recent Publications

  • Burleson, S.E., & Thoron, A.C. (In press). Effects of agricultural sales CDE modules on content knowledge and argumentation skill. Manuscript accepted for publication in the Journal of Agricultural Education.
  • Stripling, C.T., Thoron, A.C., & Estepp, C.M. (In press). Learning activities utilized and readiness for the student teaching internship. Manuscript accepted for publication in the Journal of Agricultural Education.
  • Rubenstein, E.D., & Thoron, A.C. (In press). Successful supervised agricultural experience programs as defined by American FFA Degree star finalists. Manuscript accepted for publication in the Journal of Agricultural Education.
  • Rubenstein, E.D., Thoron, A.C., & Estepp, C.M. (In press). Perceived self-efficacy of preservice agriculture teachers toward specific SAE competencies. Manuscript accepted for publication in the Journal of Agricultural Education.
  • Estepp, C.M., Thoron, A.C., Roberts, T.G., & Dyer, J.E. (In press). Variations in professional development needs of Florida agricultural education teachers based on gender, school level, and experience. Manuscript accepted for publication in the Journal of Career and Technical Education.
  • Thoron, A.C., & Burleson, S.E. (2014). Students' Perceptions of Agriscience when Taught Through Inquiry-Based Instruction. Journal of Agricultural Education, 55(1), 66-75. doi:10.5032/jae.2014.01066
  • Rubenstein, E.D., & Thoron, A.C. (2013). An observational analysis of agricultural education faculty during on-site supervisory visits with preservice teachers. Journal of Agricultural Education, 54(4), 134-148. doi: 10.5032/jae.2013.04134
  • Thoron, A.C., & Rubenstein, E.D. (2013). The effect of vee maps and laboratory reports on high- and low-order content-knowledge achievement in agriscience education. Journal of Agricultural Education, 54(3), 198-208. doi:10.5032/jae.2013.03198
  • Thoron, A.C., & Myers, B.E. (2012). Effects of inquiry-based agriscience instruction on student scientific reasoning. Journal of Agricultural Education, 53(4), 156-190. doi:10.5032/jae.2012.04156
  • Thoron, A.C., & Myers, B.E. (2012). Effects of inquiry-based agriscience instruction on student scientific reasoning. Journal of Agricultural Education, 53(4), 156-190. doi:10.5032/jae.2012.04156
  • Thoron, A.C., & Myers B.E. (2012). Effects of inquiry-based agriscience instruction and subject matter-based instruction on student argumentation skills. Journal of Agricultural Education, 53(2), 58-69. doi:10.5032/jae.2012.02058
  • Thoron, A.C., Myers, B.E., Harder, A., Stedman, N., & Roberts, T.G. (2012). An analysis of teaching competencies of junior faculty with different levels of graduate teaching assistant experiences. Journal of Natural Resources & Life Sciences Education, 41(1), 1-6. doi:10.4195/jnrlse.2011.0011g
  • Barrick, R.K., Samy, M.M., Roberts, T.G., Thoron, A.C., & Easterly, R.G. III (2011). A needs assessment to determine knowledge and ability of Egyptian agricultural technical school teachers related to supervised agricultural experience. Journal of Agricultural Education, 52(2), 1-11. doi:10.5032/jae.2011.02001
  • Thoron, A.C., Myers, B.E., & Abrams, K. (2011). Inquiry-based instruction: How is it utilized, accepted, and assessed in schools with National Agriscience Teacher Ambassadors? Journal of Agricultural Education, 52(1), 96-106. doi:10.5032/jae.2011.01096
  • Thoron, A.C., & Myers, B.E., (2011). Impact of gender, ethnicity, year in school, social economic status, and state standardized assessment scores on student content knowledge achievement when using vee maps as a formative assessment tool. Journal of Agricultural Education, 52(1), 85-95. doi:10.5032/jae.2011.01085
  • Stedman, N.L.P., Roberts, T.G., Harder, A., Myers, B.E., & Thoron, A.C. (2011). The relationship between experience and self-perceptions of knowledge and relevance of teaching competencies for faculty in a college of agricultural and life sciences. Journal of Agricultural Education 52(1), 50-60. doi:10.5032/jae.2011.01050
  • Thoron, A.C., & Myers, B.E. (2010). The effect of using vee maps versus standard laboratory reports on achieving student content knowledge. Journal of Agricultural Education, 51(3), 12-22. doi:10.5032/jae.2010.03012 *Awarded Journal Article of the Year in JAE
  • Thoron, A.C., & Myers, B.E. (2010). Perceptions of preservice teachers toward integrating science into school¬–based agricultural education curriculum. Journal of Agricultural Education, 51(2), 70-80. doi: 10.5032/jae.2010.02070
  • Thoron, A.C., Barrick, R.K., Roberts, T.G., Gunderson, M.A., & Samy, M.M. (2010). Preparing for, conducting and evaluating workshops for agricultural technical school instructors in Egypt. Journal of Agricultural Education, 51(1), 75-87. doi: 10.5032/jae.2010.01075

Awards & Honors

  • Journal of Agricultural Education Author of the Year, 2011, 2012 & 2014
  • Journal of Agricultural Education Author of the Year – 2nd runner-up, 2013
  • Editor's Excellence in Manuscript Review Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, 2012
  • Over twenty Outstanding Research Paper/Poster Awards – AAAE
  • Dr. Jimmy G. Cheek Graduate Student Medal of Excellence, University of FL, 2010
  • Graduate Student Teaching Award, NACTA, 2009
  • Teachers Turn the Key Award Winner (NAAE), 2004
  • Selected as a Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, 2003, 2004, & 2005

Courses Taught

  • AEC 4504 – Curriculum & Program Planning for Agricultural Education
  • AEC 4224 – Special Methods in Teaching Agricultural Education
  • AEC 4228 – Laboratory Practices in Teaching Agricultural Education
  • AEC 4942 – Agricultural Education Internship
  • AEC 5301 – Professional Skill Development in Agriscience Education
  • AEC 6325 – History & Philosophy of Agricultural Education
  • AEC 6543 – Teaching & Learning Theory: Applications in Agricultural Education

Membership in Professional Organizations

  • Alpha Tau Alpha
  • Alpha Zeta
  • American Association for Agricultural Education
  • Association for International Agricultural Education and Extension Education
  • Association for Career and Technical Education
  • Florida Association of Agricultural Educators
  • Florida Association for Career and Technical Education
  • National Association of Agriculture Educators
  • North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture