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Module 1: Learning Theories for Community-Based Horticulture Education Jennifer Wheeler Graduate Assistant Neil Knobloch Assistant Professor.

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Presentation on theme: "Module 1: Learning Theories for Community-Based Horticulture Education Jennifer Wheeler Graduate Assistant Neil Knobloch Assistant Professor."— Presentation transcript:

1 Module 1: Learning Theories for Community-Based Horticulture Education Jennifer Wheeler Graduate Assistant Neil Knobloch Assistant Professor

2 Learning Objectives Identify key people and events in the history of community-based horticulture education Define four learning theories that underpin community-based horticulture education Explain differences between the theories Discuss the benefits and criticisms of each theory

3 Key Terms & Concepts Experiential Learning John Dewey Liberty Hyde Bailey Pragmatism Rural Country Life Commission Nature Studies Interdisciplinary Learning Constructivism Community-Based Learning Place-Based Learning Service Learning

4 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

5 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 – –

6 John Dewey John Dewey (1859-1952), American philosopher and educator 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 – –

7 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 University) –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 – –

8 Learning Theories Experiential Learning Constructivism Interdisciplinary Learning Service Learning

9 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 to – – topics/phiedu/exp_edu/contents.htm topics/phiedu/exp_edu/contents.htm

10 Experiential Learning: Role of the Educator Develop interactive experiences of interest to students 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

11 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

12 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, cultural Does not address higher learning, questioning of the way things are

13 Constructivism 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: – s/constructivism/index.html s/constructivism/index.html

14 Constructivism: Role of the Educator Encourage constant reflection Educators help create knowledge rather than help reproduce facts Guide learners rather than specifically direct Teacher as the expert who guides and helps students create understanding and knowledge

15 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

16 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 evidence

17 Interdisciplinary Learning Closely connected to the assumptions of experiential learning and constructivism 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 – ndex.html ndex.html

18 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 disciplines Focuses on application of concepts using real-life, complex problems

19 Benefits of Interdisciplinary Learning Increased teacher enthusiasm, foster collegiality Foster higher-order thinking in students Bridge disciplines, allowing students to see interconnectedness Motivates students because learning is relevant

20 Criticisms of Interdisciplinary Learning 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

21 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: – – –

22 Service Learning: Role of Educator Engage students in service project in the community Provide structured experience for reflection and learning Articulates clear goals for service and learning Trains, supervises, monitors, supports, recognizes, and evaluates students to meet service and learning goals

23 Benefits of Service Learning Positive effect on youth development Positive effect on communication and interpersonal skills Positive effect on development of civic and social responsibility For more information, please review: – rchsy.html rchsy.html –

24 Criticisms of Service Learning School curriculum becomes diffused Extra planning involved in organizing the service activity Assessment is more challenging

25 Summary All 4 learning theories are connected to John Dewey’s philosophy Constructivist indicators of learning capture the essence of all 4 theories –To review the constructivist indicators of learning, go to: di.htm di.htm Service learning is an excellent educational approach for community-based horticulture education For more service learning resources, go to: –

26 Conclusions 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 community

27 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?

28 References Bringle, R., & Hatcher, J. (1995). A service learning curriculum for faculty. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 2, 112-122

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