Laura Klenda, ag education instructor for Centre schools, was selected to attend an Agriscience Inquiry Institute facilitated by the National Association of Agricultural Educators in Junction City, July 9-12.
Hosted by state vocational agriculture teacher associations from Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas, the tri-state event focused on improving agriscience teachers’ ability to incorporate scientific teaching methodology, problem solving and inquiry-based learning into their existing agriscience curricula.
This training is invaluable for solidifying the connections between the core subject areas of math, science, language arts and social studies with agriscience, according to planners.
Throughout the training, teachers engaged from both the perspective of a student and a teacher. Inquiry-based teaching is student-centered, allows for more collaborative learning, and encompasses 21st century skills development.
Research shows that students who learn through hands-on, inquiry-based lessons are more successful in high school and beyond.
Another goal is to improve student performance on standardized tests through the methodologies of inquiry-based instruction and activities in the agriscience classroom.
“These teachers are leaving the training with a powerful skill,” said Alissa Smith, NAAE associate executive director. “Students become deeply engaged when they are challenged to ask questions, investigate the answers, and build new knowledge.
“In the process, they discover connections to things they learned previously, and also learn how to communicate their new findings effectively. Agriscience is a perfect place for teachers to incorporate this style of learning, because it is already so hands-on.”