The Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) Institute is a professional development workshop to provide teachers training for the instruction related to a specific CASE course. CASE Institute sessions provide teachers important background related to the pedagogy used in CASE curricula in which participants practice teaching various lessons to prepare them for classroom instruction. 2019 marks the 8th year the University of Kentucky Agricultural Education program has hosted the institutes. 2 separate certifications ran concurrently including Principles of Agricultural Science: Animal (ASA) Institute and Introduction to Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (AFNR).

In 2019’s ASA and AFNR institutes, 42 participants traveled from as far as northwest Washington state to take part. With expertise spanning coast to coast, CASE brings together seasoned educators with first year teachers to learn and grow from each other’s experiences in the classroom. At the core, CASE is a comprehensive curriculum workshop that not only helps Ag teachers develop content, but with the delivery thereof. 2019 AFNR participant Jessica Collins traveled from Illinois to attend her second institute: “I really love the inquiry-based learning in CASE curriculum that allows students to explore on their own and not have their hand held throughout the lesson.”CASE 2019

Justin Lamb, a 33-year agriculture educator, served as a lead teacher for this summer’s Animal Science institute. “To me, CASE is the best professional development, by far, that I have had in my entire career,” Lamb explained. Lamb went on to express that lead teachers learn just as much from participants as they impart in their teaching. “I’m going home to Iowa with so many new ideas and pieces of inspiration.”

Dr. Rebekah Epps, an Associate Professor in the Department of Community and Leadership Development, organizes this event annually. Visiting educators get to experience both campus life and the best of Kentucky during their 1.5 week stay. Since the program’s start, Epps explained that significant changes have been made to the institutes offered at UK. These improvements include addressing length of the curriculum, vetting strength of the institute lead teachers, and attending to needs of the participants while on campus. “It is such a valuable program because we’re able to highlight Ag Education and the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment here at the University of Kentucky during the program,” Epps commented. “We’ve also been able to highlight so many assets here such as the meats lab, soil profiles, food sensory evaluation center, the Arboretum, and more to show students of these visiting teachers what UK can offer them if they come to Kentucky.”

CASE 2019

UK Ag Education looks forward to holding future programs for the growing cohort of agriculture educators across the country. If you would like more information about upcoming CASE offering at the University of Kentucky, contact Dr. Rebekah Epps and visit our website for more information.