As the summer was winding down, the Center for
Professional Personnel Development and the Cumberland Valley Agriculture
Department were putting the finishing touches on the plans to host a Curriculum
for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) Summer Institute. The institute
hosted this year was Agricultural Science--Plant to complement the previous
institutes offered in 2012 (Agricultural Science-Animal) and 2013 (Introduction
to AFNR), respectively. With 17 Agriscience teachers from 7 states registered
and 2 fantastic lead teachers in place, #case14asp hit
the ground running on August 3rd and continued until August 13th.
CASE is a one-of-a-kind curriculum that shifts
the classroom towards student-based learning and inquiry-based instruction
where students apply critical thinking skills and problem-solving each and
every day in the classroom. Students
are challenged to take control of their learning and become an active
member of the learning community. For many agriculture programs, this
curriculum is implemented to increase the rigor and relevance of agricultural
science while preparing students for diverse careers in the field of technical
professional development experience in itself, CASE institutes equip teachers
with the content they will teach by employing 2 Lead Teachers that guide
participants through key Activities, Projects, and Problems that make
up the curriculum. Certified CASE teachers have seen the curriculum through a
student's eyes and have completed the lab activities and projects firsthand to lead
their classes with confidence through the new content. Rather than leaving with
a binder full of worksheets, answer keys and video clips, teachers are prepared to develop an engaging classroom environment and
lead students in inquiry-based lessons.
|Lab exercises utilizing Labquest interfaces|
and sensors increased the rigor of the
Plant Science course. Here, 2 participants are
measuring the turgor pressure within a leaf stem.
New this year to the CASE arsenal is CASE Online, a resource available to certified CASE teachers. This system provides students and teachers an online method to communicate while completing coursework and share course assignments and assessments. End-of-course assessments and review question banks are now available through this platform for teachers already implementing CASE curriculum.
In addition to learning the curriculum and about available resources, CASE workshops are an excellent opportunity for new and beginning teachers to gain "tricks of the trade" from experienced lead teachers and colleagues with years of teaching under their belt. During several lab activities, participants would volunteer their expertise and provide value-added classroom extension projects that were successful in their past classes. This professional collaboration is often a driving factor in motivating teachers to return to CASE institutes each summer to increase the rigor and relevance of their classes and prepare students for employment in the 21st century food and fiber industry.
Although the end of the institute came way too quickly, the friendships, partnerships, and camaraderie developed at this institute will continue to grow as the 17 certified CASE teachers will communicate throughout the school year and work together through classroom challenges. I look forward to see how my fellow participants will implement CASE in their classrooms this upcoming year and how many students will be impacted through the CASE program into the future.
For more information on available CASE curriculum, CASE Online, and upcoming CASE pilot courses, please visit www.case4learning.org.
|17 newly certified Agriscience Teachers from 7 states ready to implement|
CASE Agricultural Science-Plant into their classrooms this fall!