CSX, the rail transportation people, recently pledged nearly $700,000 to the National FFA Foundation for the sponsorship of a variety of programs, including the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education. CASE, launched in 2007, is an agriscience-based curriculum that includes student assessment, professional development for teachers and teacher certification. Conceptualized and written by agriculture teachers for agriculture teachers, the program is a series of sequential courses designed to prepare students for careers in the food, fiber, fuel and natural resources industries.
CASE provides detailed resources for teaching hands-on laboratory exercises rather than leaving it to the teacher to create instructional aides. CASE develops curriculum utilizing science inquiry for lesson foundation and concepts are taught using activity-, project- and problem-base instructional strategies. CASE also ensures quality teaching by providing extensive professional development that leads to teacher certification.
Last summer, CASE conducted a series of two-week professional development institutes that drew agriculture teachers from 15 states together for training in the areas of inquiry-based instruction, student-directed learning and activity-, project- and problem-based delivery. This summer, CASE will hold similar programs at universities in Iowa, Louisiana, Oregon, Maryland, Texas, Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio and New Jersey.