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prepared to solve ill-structured problems because they rarely are required to do so during their education or training. Recognizing the need for students to develop competencies in problem-solving, current trends in pedagogy emphasize student

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In the mid-1970s, University of California, Davis, students concerned about the environmental and social consequences of modern agriculture were interested in exploring the practice and theory of “alternative” agriculture. These students organized to create new educational opportunities to address needs that were not being met by the existing curricula. These student-initiated opportunities emphasized interdisciplinary analyses of agriculture and field-based experiential learning; they included student-organized courses and the development of the Student Experimental Farm (SEF) as a site for student education, research, demonstration, and extension projects. Over the next three decades, the SEF developed diverse experiential educational projects, classroom and field-based courses focusing on sustainable and organic agriculture, and several departments and programs offered additional, related courses and curricula. In 2004, an interdisciplinary curriculum committee within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences began to develop an undergraduate major in sustainable agriculture. A team of faculty and students within the committee conducted a broad stakeholder survey of agricultural practitioners, academics, students, and alumni to help inform decisions regarding what content, skills, and experiences to include in the curriculum. The survey findings reinforced the original curricular and pedagogical themes articulated and acted upon by students 30 years prior. The proposed curriculum is aimed at integrating disciplinary and interdisciplinary coursework in natural and social sciences, significant on- and off-campus experiential learning, and an emphasis on professional and interpersonal problem-solving and communication skills. Educational theory supports these diverse educational approaches and is useful in helping design courses and curricula in organic and sustainable agriculture.

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Major reform of the undergraduate degree program in the Faculty of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences at Massey University has resulted in greater emphasis being placed on developing attributes of lifelong learning in our students. Translating this particular goal into transparent educational practice in the horticulture courses required us to overturn the existing teaching paradigm. The traditional content-focused, principles first, integration second strategy of the existing horticulture curriculum was replaced at the 100 level by a new course that melded the discipline of horticulture with attributes needed for lifelong learning. Using action learning strategies, principles of horticulture were presented in context, with students encouraged to apply and analyze them in the wholeness of the discipline. Students critically reflected on their experiences through writing-to-learn exercises, class or group discussion, oral presentations, and experientially through their laboratories. By incorporating our students' experiences with these strategies, we successfully achieved our goal of the students' learning and relating theprinciples of horticulture to the whole discipline. Although the students understood our goals in engaging them in writing-to-learn and group activities, they did not appear to recognize the educational processes in which they participated throughout the course. It seems that in forming the foundation for lifelong learning in applied science, greater attention must be given to making our mental models of the education process more transparent to the students.

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Creating effective learning experiences with limited educational resources has compelled educators to maximize the value of field trips. A common problem associated with field trips is anxiety felt by students in new surroundings, a situation that can distract students and adversely affect learning. Previsit activities before a field trip may reduce such anxiety and thereby increase attentiveness and learning. The objective of this study was to compare the effects of traditional and Internet-based previsit activities on learning and attitudes of fourth and fifth graders after a field trip to a public garden. Students in three classes were evaluated. Half of each class was assigned to one of the two previsit treatments. Three forms of assessments were used to measure the students' perceptions and learning: 1) observations were made to determine how many students remained on-task during the field trip, 2) 12 close-ended (Likert scale) questions were given to students and used to evaluate attitudinal responses the day after the field trip, and 3) seven open-ended questions were given to students and used to evaluate cognitive responses 1 week after the field trip. Attitudinal responses were identical between treatments. Observational data indicated that students subjected to the Internet-based previsit activity exhibited fewer off-task behaviors. Internet-based previsit activities increased cognitive scores in students compared to the traditional previsit activities for two of seven questions. The advantages of the Internet-based previsit activities may be the result of enhanced opportunity for self-directed learning and access to additional content.

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Student engagement in the classroom is critical for effective learning. To enhance student engagement, several teaching approaches can be used, including a flipped classroom approach and virtual field trips. The flipped classroom approach was used in an undergraduate tropical production systems course in which students viewed lecture materials outside of class, brought their smart devices to class to review materials, searched for new information on the Internet, and participated in small group discussions. In the virtual field trip assignment, each student visited a commercial farm or nursery, interviewed the owner or manager, and gave a presentation to the class about the operation of the enterprise and its sustainable practices.

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paperwork to pedagogy: Channeling intellectual curiosity into a commitment to assessment Amer. Assn. Higher Educ. Bul. 54 3 5 Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools 2006 Characteristics of excellence in higher education: Eligibility requirements

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Large lectures continue to challenge teaching and learning. Our plant propagation course attracts a large number of non-majors seeking to fulfill their science requirement. Although the laboratory is quite successful in maintaining interest, the lecture is plagued by poor attendance and lack of commitment. To deal with these issues, I have incorporated an audience response system (as used in America's Funniest Home Videos) and a multiple-choice exam that uses a scratch-off answer system similar to the instant-win lottery tickets. The audience response system facilitates attendance, and both systems provide immediate feedback to questions. Student and faculty assessment will be presented. Technological and pedagogical challenges will be discussed.

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Paul Read, ASHS Education Division Vice President, encouraged a number of us to share our thoughts on the teaching process for the edification of others. Among the courses I have taught over the last 20 years, a course on greenhouse management, including graduate level plant environmental measurements, has engaged my principal effort for the past decade. I have no pedagogical credentials to do so (i.e., teaching certificate), and certainly an educationist of today would consider me hopelessly old-fashioned and unqualified. However, I take solace in the face that Plato, Diogenes, and Confucius—to mention a few—did not have teacher training, computer grading, slide projectors, or television to “improve” information transfer. This probably represents the height of hubris to call upon the shades of some of the greatest teachers in history.

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The game-show format, used recurrently in an undergraduate-level, introductory plant propagation course, fostered a friendly, competitive incentive for students to master facts and concepts critical to understanding processes in plant physiology. Because student teams, rather than individuals, served as the contestants in each game, and because game points were never translated into grade points, participants and observers learned from and enjoyed the exercises without anxiety. Propagation-specific clues and questions were prepared for “Wheel of Fortune,” “Win, Lose, or Draw,” and other games. These were followed up at the end of each semester with several play-off rounds of a plant propagation variant of “Jeopardy!”, which served as an excellent means of course synthesis and review of key concepts. The format allowed for liberal use of humor as an effective pedagogical tool and resulted in the hands-on contributions of former students in construction of new game quizzes and puzzles for subsequent semesters.

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