Pauley, C. M., McKim, A. J., Curry Jr., K. W., McKendree, R. B., & Sorensen, T. J. (2019). Evaluating interdisciplinary teaching: Curriculum for agricultural science education. Journal of Agricultural Education, 60(1), 158-171. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2019.01157

Abstract:

Interdisciplinary learning experiences (i.e., experiences which illuminate learning of, and connections among, multiple disciplines) are essential to building a more robust understanding of the interconnections of multiple systems. Having an interdisciplinary understanding positively influences the ability of learners to contribute to solving wicked problems (e.g., soil degradation, climate change), most of which fall within the realm of agriculture, food, and natural resources (AFNR). Therefore, within AFNR Education, preparing learners via interdisciplinary experiences could empower the next generation of problem solvers. The Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) has emerged as a potential method for teaching AFNR and science in an interdisciplinary way. However, research has yet to evaluate the impact of CASE on teachers’ intentions to teach science within curricula. In this study, intentions to teach science were compared between CASE-certified and non-CASE-certified educators via a national survey of 212 randomly sampled teachers, 81 of whom were CASE-certified. Within four of the eight courses evaluated, CASE-certified teachers intended to teach more science than non-CASE-certified teachers, while non-CASE-certified teachers intended to teach more science in the remaining four courses. The findings suggest opportunities to enhance the interdisciplinary structure of CASE curriculum and/or explore alternative models for facilitating interdisciplinary learning within AFNR Education.

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