Saturday, July 6, 2013

CASE: Your Vessel to Applied STEM through Agricultural Science Education

As agricultural educators, we are continually inundated with countless projects, obligations, and new tasks. Agricultural educators are the most innovative teachers on the planet.  Why?  Because we understand the importance of a competitive and competent world.  Just like the American Farmer, we must always think critically for the advancement and betterment of society.  As we advance into 21st Century teaching methods, educators of agricultural science must remain at the forefront of education as engineers creating and designing the newest vessel to deliver applied STEM through agriculture.  This, my friends, is where CASE (The Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education) enters the mix as the tool to allow us, as positive agent of change, to enhance the relevance and rigor of our agricultural science curriculum. 

Recently, twenty-one agricultural science educators from seven states met at Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg, PA for a refreshing professional development opportunity hosted by the Penn State Center for Professional Personnel Development at Cumberland Valley High School in the realm of STEM delivery and how we teach learners of agricultural education the fundamentals and foundations of our diverse curricula.   Albeit, at the beginning of this two-week training some were apprehensive – BUT shortly after the institute began, everyone was fully invested in the learning experience afforded to them through #PSUCASE13 – Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education Introduction to Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Institute[AFNR]. (Click here to view the twitter feed for this experience)

How do we learn best?  BY DOING!  CASE Institutes do just that.  Agricultural educators are challenged as they progress through Activities, Projects, and Problems presented through CASE methodologies – which build upon a pedagogy that spirals and scaffolds the curricula.   

Science and mathematics are not “included” in CASE curriculum, rather science and mathematics are purposely and properly taught to provide true integration of core-academics. CASE does NOT assume students should know how to perform a science skill or mathematical operation – these are purposely taught within the context of AFNR. (Click here to learn more about the AFNR Course)

It has been stated that, “CASE is the most powerful tool available for the advancement of agricultural education and enhancement of student learning of agricultural science subject matter.” Truth be told – if you want ‘up the ante’ of your agricultural science program, - EXPLORE the opportunities of CASE!  Find more time to ‘Do what you love – Love what you do,’ by allowing the CASE Team to lay the foundation for you!  Think of the possibilities! 

Learning more by visiting: or following on Twitter @case4learning.  To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog

Mr. Mike Woods
Guest Blogger
Cumberland Valley Agriscience Teacher/FFA Advisor
2009 Graduate of Penn State AEE

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