Friday, July 18, 2014

Impact on University of Connecticut Agricultural Education

Yesterday, I hosted the Methods of Teaching Agricultural Education class from the University of Connecticut, at my school.  This year, there are 5 students in the one-year certification program class, and their Professor, Dr. Patricia Jepson, holds class at a different ag center each week.  They have class once a week for 6 hours, and while they are at each center, they meet with some of the ag teachers there, and tour the facilities.  Because the certification program has several different campuses at which the classes are taught, this was the first time that all five Ag Ed candidates were meeting all together.  They started out their day by introducing themselves and their background regarding Ag Ed.  Some had been through School Based Ag Education (SBAE) and others hadn't.  I spent a majority of my time giving them a tour of our facilities and then spent about half an hour talking about my experiences in Korea.

Prior to their visit, I sent them the blog link and twitter feed info, and some of them did indeed read it!  During my presentation about Korea to them, I had them engage in the "Simulated Confusion" activity that Cassidy designed for our reflection.  It worked pretty well for the intended purpose of creating confusion with both the "students" and the "teacher," though I had to step in and model some of the communication behavior between "students."  After this activity, we had a conversation about why this activity was done- to simulate the feeling of confusion that some of our students may have in our classes, especially if they are English Language Learners or students with a learning disability.  I think the activity hit home for these teacher candidates.

UConn Ag Ed Master's Students participating in the "Confusion" activity.

After that activity, I posed the question, "What does it mean to be globally competent?".  It was clear that this was something that the teacher candidates hadn't considered much about before, so we broke it down into smaller chunks.  In preparation for my presentation, I did some research and found a great resource for teaching global competency.  According to the Global Competence Matrix, global competence is defined as "the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance."  Once I read that off to them, we brainstormed different skills that would be necessary to accomplish that goal of being globally competent.  The Global Competence Matrix identifies 4 major skills or ways that students demonstrate global competence:

1. Students investigate the world beyond their immediate environment.
2. Students recognize their own and others perspectives.
3. Students communicate their ideas effectively with diverse audiences.
4. Students translate their ideas and findings into appropriate actions to improve conditions.

I gave them some resources from the Global Competence Matrix, including some ideas for how you can implement these skills into your classroom. 

We also discussed one of the ideas that we reflected on while in Korea:
"Teaching that works well for English Language Learners is good teaching for everyone!"

I wrapped up my presentation with them by going through a Power Point that I put together highlighting Korean SBAE and the 4 high schools that we visited.  It was very difficult to sift through the some 2,000 photos I took and put only a few key photos in the presentation!

I think these teacher candidates might benefit from more guided instruction regarding the impact points we brought back with us from our trip, but at a later date.  Right now they are still trying to wrap their head around U.S. SBAE.  Great first presentation!

1 comment:

  1. Sarah, I love seeing this!

    Please make sure to upload the PPTs you created into our NAAE CoP and the photos to Flickr!