Bird, T. & Rice, A. (2021). The influence of CASE on agriculture teachers’ use of inquiry-based methods. Journal of Agricultural Education, 62(1), 260-275. http://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2021.01260

The Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) is a national curriculum model used to
promote inquiry-based learning, with a focus on facilitating student development of critical thinking
skills through hands-on application. However, limited research has been conducted on how agriculture
teachers are using the curriculum after completing the required professional development training and
its impact on their future classroom instruction. The central research question that guided this study
was: how does completion of the Southwestern Land Grant University CASE professional development
institute influence behavior patterns of agriculture teachers for incorporating inquiry-based learning
through science integration? This research was conducted utilizing a multi-case study design. Nine
certified CASE teachers who completed a summer 2018 institute were interviewed, observed, and had
lesson plans analyzed. Five major themes emerged from the data: 1) barriers to CASE implementation
exist that impacted teacher behavior, 2) experience in industry leads to increased teacher efficacy for
inquiry-based strategies, 3) traditionally certified teachers are more likely to fall back on didactic
teaching orientations, 4) a disconnect exists between student capacity and CASE expectations of
inquiry-based methods, and 5) in state training and networking plays a vital role in teachers’
perceptions of CASE. Further research recommendations include expanding the scope of this study to
provide insight on how lead teachers, regions, and/or curriculum pathways affect implementation of
inquiry-based learning and purposeful science integration. Recommendations for practice include
increased collaboration among CASE certified teachers, development of a state-wide online platform,
and additional funding opportunities for teachers.

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