Presentation - Curriculum Design for Experiential Farm-Based Learning
Curriculum Design for
Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation
When do you need curriculum design?
• When you are offering educational programs
and opportunities for students & schools.
• When you want to move beyond ‘Ag Fact’
tours to offer programs with more substance
• When you want to be sure students ‘get it’
and can make connections between their
everyday lives, their communities, and their
futures in agriculture!
What are the educational goals of a farm-based curriculum?
What FBE Need to Know…
What Teachers Need to Know…
Curriculum is not the same
as a lesson.
Farms are complex
systems of economics,
ecology, history, plant and
Assessment is ongoing and
Don’t disregard educational
standards or best practices.
Use teachers as educational
partners not just
Farms are excellent
classrooms but important
safety and management
rules must be followed.
Farms are not zoos,
amusement parks, or
museums - they are
working lands that bring
us food, fiber, fodder.
The student becomes the
‘translator’ between the
language of education
Pigs are cool because
they allow me to study
and become proficient in:
• Ag History/Heritage
• Farm Business
• Life Sciences
What kinds of curriculum design work with ag?
Q: But I’m not an educator – and I don’t have the time to learn a whole new
language of education just to put a few lessons together – what do I do?
A: Team up with fellow ag educators and a few teachers willing to help you.
Q: Who can help us do that?
A: The Mid-Atlantic Farm-Based Educators Network!
M-AFBEN - The curriculum design that works for us:
Understanding by Design!
Understanding By Design (Backwards Design)
Students will know…
Students will be able to…
• Performance Tasks
• Written & Oral Responses
• Overview of Session
• Instructional Model
McTighe & Wiggins (2004) Understanding by Design , Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Now we need an Instructional Model that fits our
What is constructive learning and why does it work
best in experiential learning?
“Constructivism is a learning strategy that draws on students' existing knowledge,
beliefs, and skills. With a constructivist approach, students synthesize new
understanding from prior learning and new information.
The constructivist teacher sets up problems and monitors student exploration,
guides student inquiry, and promotes new patterns of thinking. Working mostly
with raw data, primary sources, and interactive material, constructivist teaching
asks students to work with their own data and learn to direct their own
explorations. Ultimately, students begin to think of learning as accumulated,
evolving knowledge. Constructivist approaches work well with learners of all
ages, including adults. “ - WBGH, Enhancing Education
The Five E’s
“Works for us!”
• Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down! Wobble All Around!
• Big Ideas and Pressing Questions (Index Cards)
• Think, Draw, Explain (Journals)
• Process Map (Chalk or Whiteboard
• Analogy Prompt (Basket)
• One-Minute Essay
• Misconception Check
Now I ‘get’ why
is so important to
me and family.
Mid-Atlantic Farm-Based Education
MD Ag Ed Foundation
Havre de Grace, MD 20178
Maryland Farm to School
MD Dept. of Ag