Amber Rice

Associate Professor

Director of Graduate Studies


Dr. Amber Houck Rice CV, 2023

Amber Rice was born and raised in Bardstown, KY. She grew up one generation removed from the family farm and found her passion for the agriculture industry through involvement in the National FFA Organization. Her experiences as an agriculture student and persuasion from her high school agriculture teacher led to her pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education, Communications, and Leadership from the University of Kentucky and obtaining her teaching certificate. Following graduation in 2007, Dr. Rice decided to return to the University of Kentucky to pursue a master’s degree in Career and Technical Education and served as a teaching and research assistant in the Community and Leadership Development Department. Her master’s thesis explored the relationship between the content preparation and content knowledge of Kentucky agriculture teachers. This initial study sparked her interest in research and led to her current research agenda which is focused on agriculture teacher knowledge and preparation. <span>Upon completion of her master’s degree, Dr. Rice returned to her hometown to teach agriculture at Nelson County High School to students grades 9-12. There she served as the department head of a three teacher agriculture program and advised approximately 300 students annually in a nationally recognized FFA chapter. She taught agriculture courses in the areas of animal science, plant science, leadership, and communication. She earned an additional teaching certification in biology and began teaching high school level biology and agribiology courses in addition to her agriculture courses. Her four years in the secondary public school system were some of the most rewarding experiences of her career. While her passion for the education of high school students never waned, she made the difficult decision to leave the high school classroom to continue her education. Her goal was to extend her influence on the future of the agriculture industry through the training of preservice agriculture teachers.

In the fall of 2012, Dr. Rice entered the doctoral program at the University of Missouri in Agricultural Education and Leadership. During the three years she studied at MU, she had the opportunity to teach multiple courses in the areas of verbal communication, personal leadership, and teaching methods. This period was also when she established her research agenda and began her work in the area of pedagogical content knowledge of agriculture teachers. Dr. Rice is passionate about agriculture teacher knowledge, the preparation of future agriculture teachers, and the professional development of inservice agriculture teachers. She is interested in developing theories that explain how teachers acquire and utilize their knowledge for teaching agriculture and the impact this knowledge has on the learning of their students.

Her first faculty appointment began in August 2015 at the University of Georgia on the Tifton Campus. There she served as the primary faculty member in teacher preparation. She taught courses in curriculum development, teaching methods, service learning in science education, and agriscience for teachers. She revamped the existing teacher preparation curriculum and placed a greater emphasis on the teaching of content and pedagogy together to increase teacher effectiveness in the classroom. After one year at the University of Georgia, she had an opportunity to join the faculty in the Agricultural Education Department at the University of Arizona. Dr. Rice is enjoying living in the beautiful state of Arizona. She continues her mission of preparing future agriculture teachers through various teacher preparation courses and her mentoring of graduate students. Her research agenda in agriculture teacher pedagogical content knowledge is expanding as she interviews and observes agriculture teachers in the classroom through qualitative research methods, with fourteen journal publications to date. She plays an integral part in developing and delivering cutting edge curriculum to future Arizona agriculture teachers, extension agents, and industry professionals

Educational Background  

University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Doctor of Philosophy, 2015
Agricultural Education and Leadership
University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Master of Science, 2008
Career and Technical Education
University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Bachelor of Science, 2007
Agricultural Education

Teaching Responsibilities

AED 437/537 Methods of Facilitating Learning
AED 438/538 The Teaching of Secondary School Agricultural Science 
AED 450/550 Total Program Development
AED 462/562 Curriculum Development

AED 496D/596D Teaching Science and Mathematics Through Inquiry
AED 697C Workshop for Teaching at the College Level

CTE 400/500 Principles & Philosophy of Career and Technical Education
CTE 410/510 Curriculum Development in Career and Technical Education


Owl Pellets Podcast: Tips for Ag Teachers


Bowling, A., Rice, A. H., Curry, K., & Marx, A. (2022). The essence of agricultural education teachers' motivational beliefs across career stages. Teaching and Teacher Education, 114, 1-12.  

DeConcini, Jamie. and Rice, Amber. H. (2021). The Influence of Social Media Content Framing on Audience Perceptions of the Wild Horse and Burro Controversy. Journal of Agricultural Education, 62(4), 15-34.

Austin, A., Rice, A., & Vincent, S. (2021). Examining likeness among secondary agriculture youth. Journal of Agricultural Education, 62(2), 66-82.

Bird, T. D., & Rice, A. H. (2021). The influence of CASE on agriculture teachers’ use of inquiry-based methods. Journal of Agricultural Education, 62(1), 260-275.

McNall, S., & Rice, A. M. (2020). Arizona agriculture teachers' mathematical content knowledge. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(4), 109-126.

Dover, E., Kelsey, K., & Rice, A. H. (2018). A case study of technology mediated observation in pre-service teaching experiences for edTPA implementationNACTA Journal, 62(1). 

Leggette, H. R., Rice, A. H., Carraway, C., Baker, M. A., & Conner, N. (2018). Applying eye-tracking research in education and communication to agricultural education and communication: A review of literature. Journal of Agricultural Education, 59(2), 79-108. doi:10.5032/jae.2018.02079

Rice, A. H., & Kitchel, T. (2018). Agriculture teachers’ integrated belief systems and its influence on their pedagogical content knowledgeJournal of Agricultural Education, 59(1), 51-69. doi:10.5032/jae.2018.01059

Jeffers-Sample, A., Mars, M. M., Rice, A. H., & Torres, R. M. (2018). Examining the entrepreneurial leadership proclivities of Extension educators.  Journal of Extension.

Wooditch, A. M., Rice, A. H., Peake, J. B., & Rubenstein, E. D. (2018). The development of preservice agriculture teachers' pedagogical content knowledge through a greenhouse for teachers course. Journal of Agricultural Education.

Rice, A. H., & Kitchel, T. (2017). Shaping pedagogical content knowledge for experienced agriculture teachers in the plant science: A grounded theoryJournal of Agricultural Education, 58(4), 50-64. doi:10.5032/jae.2017.04050.

Rice, A. H., & Kitchel, T. (2017). Teachers’ beliefs about the purpose of agricultural education and its influence on their pedagogical content knowledgeJournal of Agricultural Education, 58(2), 198-213. doi:10.5032/jae/2017.02198 

Rice, A. H., Vogelweid, C. M., & Kitchel, T. (2017). The influence of crib sheets on veterinary students’ exam performance, perceived stress, and retention of subject matter knowledgeNACTA Journal, 61(1), 66-72.

Rice, A. H., & Kitchel, T. (2016). Deconstructing content knowledge: Coping strategies and their underlying influencers for beginning agriculture teachers. Journal of Agricultural Education, 57(3), 208-222. doi:10.5032/jae/2016/03208

Rice, A. H., & Kitchel, T. (2016). Influence of knowledge of content and students on beginning agriculture teachers' approaches to teaching content. Journal of Agricultural Education, 57(4), 86-100. doi:10.5032/jae.2016.04086

Rice, A. H., & Kitchel, T. (2015). Preservice agricultural education teachers’ experiences in anticipation of content knowledge preparation. Journal of Agricultural Education, 56(3), 90-104. doi:10.5032/jae.2015.03090

Rice, A. H., & Kitchel, T. (2015). The relationship between agriculture knowledge bases for teaching and sources of knowledge. Journal of Agricultural Education, 56(4), 153-168. doi:10.5032/jae.2015.04153

Vogelweid, C. M., Kitchel, T., & Rice, A. H. (2014). Veterinary students’ use of crib sheets in preparing for learning and reducing stressNACTA Journal, 58(2), 135-139.

Houck, A. M., & Kitchel, T. (2010). Assessing pre-service teachers' content preparation and content knowledge. Journal of Assessment and Accountability in Educator Preparation, 1(1), 29-36.