Experiential Learning - Youth Development _ Agricultural Education

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Experiential Learning - Youth Development _ Agricultural Education Powered By Docstoc
					Module 1: Learning Theories for
Community-Based Horticulture

   Jennifer Wheeler     Neil Knobloch
  Graduate Assistant   Assistant Professor
        Learning Objectives
• Identify key people and events in the
  history of community-based horticulture
• Define four learning theories that underpin
  community-based horticulture education
• Explain differences between the theories
• Discuss the benefits and criticisms of each
       Key Terms & Concepts
• Experiential Learning   • Interdisciplinary
• John Dewey                Learning
• Liberty Hyde Bailey     • Constructivism
• Pragmatism              • Community-Based
• Rural Country Life        Learning
  Commission              • Place-Based Learning
• Nature Studies          • Service Learning
              A Historical Overview
•   1890s – Development of school gardens, linked to the community garden efforts
     –   1890 - First official US school garden at George Putnam School of Roxbury, Massachusetts
         for wildflowers and vegetables
     –   Mrs. Fannie Parsons was a pioneer in school gardens in America; she was Director of the
         First Children's School Farm in New York City and President of the International Children's
         School Farm League
•   1896 - Liberty Hyde Bailey promotes Nature Study through Extension Service, which
    helped develop 4-H in NY
•   Early 1900s
     –   John Dewey advocated experiential learning
     –   Project-based learning was used to teach science and appreciation of nature
     –   Tomato clubs (4-H) were started
•   1914 – Smith-Lever Act
•   1915 – Rural Country Life Commission
•   1900s to 1940s
     –   WWI & WWII – gardens were popular as an expression of patriotism
     –   Declining farm population
     –   Increasing urban population – gardens connected urban citizens to nature
     Historical Overview (con’t)
• 1950s – Nature study was unfashionable because of “weak science”
• 1960s – More emphasis on math and science; and integration of the
  curriculum – progressive education
• 1971 – First Earth Day, formalized environmental education
• 1972 – Master Gardener Program started
• 1973 - National Gardening Association (NGA) was founded as a
  nonprofit organization to provide curricula for plant-based education
• 1981 – USDA starts Agriculture in the Classroom
• 1990 – Boyer emphasized the scholarship of engagement; National &
  Community Service Trust Act
• 1990s – Service learning initiatives
• For more information
    – http://www.cityfarmer.org/highschool77.html
    – http://kidsgardening.tripod.com/history2.htm
                         John Dewey
• John Dewey (1859-1952), American philosopher and
• Father of Experiential Learning
    – “Anything which can be called a study, whether
      arithmetic, history, geography, or one of the natural
      sciences, must be derived from materials which at the
      outset fall within the scope of ordinary life experience”
      (Dewey, 1938, p. 73)
• Continuation of society through education
    – Applying the method of learning through experiences was
      the most direct avenue to understanding science,
      economic, and industrial problems in present society
• Pragmatist
    – “It is a sound educational principle that students should be
      introduced to scientific subject matter and be initiated into
      its facts and laws through acquaintance with everyday
      social applications” (Dewey, 1938, p. 80)
• For More Information
    – http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/publications/dewey.html
    – http://www.bgsu.edu/departments/acs/1890s/dewey/dewey.html
                     Liberty Hyde Bailey
•   Liberty Hyde Bailey (1858-1954), Author, Botanist, & Horticulture Educator
     –   Major contributions in the history of the agricultural sciences
           •   Transformed the field of botany
           •   Systematized classifications in the field of horticulture
           •   Revolutionized methods in the field of agricultural education
           •   Founded the discipline of landscape architecture
           •   Made profound contributions to rural sociology, specifically in the formation of the cooperative
               extension system
     –   A prolific writer, producing over 700 titles ranging from elementary school textbooks to
         volumes of poetry
     –   Began his academic career at the Michigan Agricultural College (now the Michigan State
     –   He moved to Cornell University to serve as an instructor and eventually as the Dean of the
         College of Agriculture
•   Rural Country Life Commission
     –   Focus on education to help solve problems faced by rural people
•   Nature Studies
     –   Children should grow up appreciating nature, included garden projects
     –   Encouraged youth to accept the challenges of life around them
     –   "There seems to be little personal life-motive in our education. The process produces
         passive or static results. The solution is to outgrow the sit-still and keep-still method of
         school work…to put children to work with tools and soils and plants and problems." (from
         the book The Nature-Study Idea, 1903)
•   For more information
     –   http://www.bsp.msu.edu/Background/BaileyBio.cfm
     –   http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/bailey/index.html
            Learning Theories
•   Experiential Learning
•   Constructivism
•   Interdisciplinary Learning
•   Service Learning
        Experiential Learning
• Education through life experiences
• Learning through structured experiences
  involving active participation
• Addresses needs and wants of the learner
• Learner has control of learning experience
• For more information on experiential learning, go
   – http://www.wilderdom.com/experiential/
   – http://www.molloy.edu/academic/philosophy/sophia/
        Experiential Learning:
         Role of the Educator
• Develop interactive experiences of interest to
• Bring out learners’ natural propensity for
  learning by
   – Setting positive learning environment
   – Clarifying purpose of the experience
   – Organizing resources
   – Balancing emotional and intellectual components of
     the experience
   – Sharing feelings and thoughts without dominating the
     experience; learn from students
      What are the benefits of
      experiential learning?
• Educational experiences are organized
  such that they have meaning to the students
• Students are actively involved, learning
  experience is brought to life
• Educational opportunities can occur in a
  variety of settings
       What are criticisms of
       experiential learning?
• Lack of involvement of social experience
  in learning
• Lack of discussion of power relations in
  learning dynamics—social status, gender,
• Does not address higher learning,
  questioning of the way things are
• Defined: people construct their own meaning and
  understanding of the world through experiences
  and reflecting upon those experiences
• Constructivism in the classroom: use active
  learning techniques to create knowledge and then
  allow students to reflect on the experience to see
  how their understanding changes
• For more information, please go to:
   – http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2clas
        Role of the Educator
• Encourage constant reflection
• Educators help create knowledge rather
  than help reproduce facts
• Guide learners rather than specifically
• Teacher as the expert who guides and helps
  students create understanding and
    Benefits of Constructivism
• Students learn more and enjoy learning
  more than in traditional classrooms
• Concentrates on learning and
  understanding more than memorization
• Learning is transferable
• Students “own” the learning experiences
• Promotes social skills and communication
  Criticisms of Constructivism
• Elitist
• Leads to “group think”
• There was little hard evidence that the
  methods actually work, but research in the
  last 5 years have documented empirical
       Interdisciplinary Learning
• Closely connected to the assumptions of experiential learning and
• Use of two or more disciplines using common questions to illuminate
  the connections between the disciplines
• Curricula tend to be rooted in discipline fields with 3 part structure:
    – Content
    – Skills and thinking processes
    – Assessments
• For more information, please go to:
• For more information
   – http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/interdisciplinary/i
Interdisciplinary Learning: Role
           of Educator
• Work together with other educators to
  develop curricula
• Facilitate learning by asking questions and
  helping students think critically
• Helps identify resources from several
• Focuses on application of concepts using
  real-life, complex problems
   Benefits of Interdisciplinary
• Increased teacher enthusiasm, foster
• Foster higher-order thinking in students
• Bridge disciplines, allowing students to see
• Motivates students because learning is
  Criticisms of Interdisciplinary
• Fear that interdisciplinary learning will
  replace discipline-based learning
• Difficulty deciding what disciplines merge
  and how to create a program
• Difficulty finding common planning time
  to collaborate
• Pressure to teach to standards
• Difficulties deciding grading procedures
               Service Learning
• Brings experiential learning, constructivism, and
  interdisciplinary learning into one
• Plus, adds the community-based dimension of learning
  outside of the classroom
• Defined: Course-based, credit bearing experience
  allowing students to address a community-based need and
  allow reflection on service to course content, the
  discipline, and instill a sense of civic responsibility
• For more information, please go to:
   – http://www.apa.org/ed/slce/servicelearning.html
   – http://nces.ed.gov/programs/quarterly/Vol_1/1_4/3-esq14-h.asp
   – http://www.servicelearning.org/resources/hot_topics/theory/index
     Service Learning: Role of
• Engage students in service project in the
• Provide structured experience for reflection and
• Articulates clear goals for service and learning
• Trains, supervises, monitors, supports,
  recognizes, and evaluates students to meet
  service and learning goals
   Benefits of Service Learning
• Positive effect on youth development
• Positive effect on communication and
  interpersonal skills
• Positive effect on development of civic and social
• For more information, please review:
   – http://www.learningindeed.org/research/slresearch/slrs
   – http://nces.ed.gov/pubs99/1999043.pdf
 Criticisms of Service Learning
• School curriculum becomes diffused
• Extra planning involved in organizing the
  service activity
• Assessment is more challenging
• All 4 learning theories are connected to John Dewey’s
• Constructivist indicators of learning capture the essence
  of all 4 theories
   – To review the constructivist indicators of learning, go to:
       • http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/content/cntareas/math/ma2lin
• Service learning is an excellent educational approach for
  community-based horticulture education
• For more service learning resources, go to:
   – http://www.service-learningpartnership.org/
• Community-Based Horticulture Education
   – Informed by leaders
       • John Dewey
       • Liberty Hyde Bailey
   – Based on the assumptions of
       • Experiential Learning
       • Constructivism
       • Interdisciplinary Learning
   – Service Learning is an excellent way to organize community-
     based horticulture education
• Learning is based on active learning, real-life
  experiences, reflection, and doing a service project in the
             Review Questions
• What are the key assumptions of the following?
   –   Community-Based Horticulture Education
   –   Experiential Learning
   –   Constructivism
   –   Interdisciplinary Learning
   –   Service Learning
• How can service learning be used to teach
  students about horticulture using Master
  Gardener content?
   – What would be the benefits?
   – What limitations would need to be overcome?
• Bringle, R., & Hatcher, J. (1995). A service learning curriculum
  for faculty. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning,
  2, 112-122

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