Agriculture's Role in K-12 Education

Proceedings of a Forum on the National Science Education Standards

Board on Agriculture

Professional Scientific Societies Related to Agriculture, Food, and the Environment

National Research Council

Washington, D.C.

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--> Agriculture's Role in K-12 Education Proceedings of a Forum on the National Science Education Standards Board on Agriculture Professional Scientific Societies Related to Agriculture, Food, and the Environment National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1998

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--> NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. In preparing its report, the committee invited people with different perspectives to present their views. Such invitation does not imply endorsement of those views. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This report has been prepared with funds provided by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Farm Foundation, and the National Research Council. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 98-84942 International Standard Book Number: 0-309-06048-6 Copyright 1998 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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--> STEERING COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE'S ROLE IN K-12 EDUCATION CONRAD J. WEISER, Chair, College of Agricultural Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis C. LEE CAMPBELL, Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh ROLAND OTTO, Center for Science and Engineering Education, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California DEBORAH NEHER, Department of Biology, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio ROBERT ZIMBELMAN, Executive Vice President, American Society of Animal Science and Federation of American Societies of Food Animal Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland

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--> BOARD ON AGRICULTURE DALE E. BAUMAN, Chair, Cornell University* T. KENT KIRK, Chair, University of Wisconsin, Madison JOHN M. ANTLE, Montana State University, Bozeman* SANDRA S. BATIE, Michigan State University MAY R. BERENBAUM, University of Illinois LEONARD S. BULL, North Carolina State University* WILLIAM B. DELAUDER, Delaware State University, Dover* ANTHONY S. EARL, Quarles & Brady Law Firm, Madison, Wisconsin ESSEX E. FINNEY, JR., U.S. Department of Agriculture, Mitchellville, Maryland CORNELIA FLORA, Iowa State University GEORGE R. HALLBERG, The Cadmus Group, Boston, Massachusetts RICHARD R. HARWOOD, Michigan State University HARLEY W. MOON, Iowa State University WILLIAM L. OGREN, University of Illinois GEORGE E. SEIDEL, JR., Colorado State University JOHN W. SUTTIE, University of Wisconsin JOHN R. WELSER, The Upjohn Company, Kalamazoo, Michigan** JAMES J. ZUICHES, Washington State University Staff PAUL GILMAN, Executive Director MICHAEL J. PHILLIPS, Director CARLA CARLSON, Director of Communications*** MARY JANE LETAW, Project Officer JANET OVERTON, Editor§ RUTH CROSSGROVE, Editor *   Through December 1997. **   Through December 1996. ***   Through April 1996. §   Through June 1996.

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--> Preface The Board on Agriculture organized a Forum on Agriculture's Role in K-12 Education to provide an opportunity for agricultural professional societies to explore ways that examples from agriculture, food, and environment systems can be used to enhance inquiry-based science education. Participants discussed how professional societies could enhance continued education of K-12 teachers, improve school science programs, and increase collaborations with other professional societies and science teachers. William DeLauder, Board on Agriculture member and president of Delaware State University, convened the forum of 71 scientists and educators representing 42 professional societies. Harold Pratt of the National Research Council walked participants through the National Science Education Standards. Pratt compared the National Science Education Standards to a national road map for achieving scientific literacy. Paul Williams, plant pathologist from The University of Wisconsin, made the keynote presentation. He urged participants to nurture and sustain the natural curiosity of students for science. Williams demonstrated inquiry-based approaches to teaching and learning biological science with Wisconsin Fast PlantsTM (fast-growing Brassica plants). Next a panel of educators and scientists exchanged views on the following issues: 1) curriculum decisions and design; 2) teacher education (pre-service, inservice, and other professional development opportunities for teachers; 3) educational resources; and 4) community support for inquiry-based science education. Perspectives were provided by Patricia Hoben, research director of Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in Minneapolis; Michael Klentschy, school superintendent from El Centro, California; Kathy Scoggin, early-education teacher from Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Judith Williams, high school biology teacher from

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--> Central City, Nebraska. Jan Tuomi, director of the National Research Council's Regional Initiatives in Science Education, moderated the discussion. Panelists mentioned that scientists can help teachers understand inquiry-based learning processes. Participants stressed scientist-teacher partnerships as a way for scientists to become involved in K-12 science education reform. Scientists and educators reconvened into smaller groups to discuss the National Science Education Standards and professional society roles in K-12 science education. Two questions were used as a basis of discussion. In Question 1, societies were asked to share their experiences in undertaking education-related activities or initiatives, identify those which were most effective, and make recommendations for other societies to consider. Their responses indicated that most societies are involved in K-12 education, but the level of involvement varies considerably. In Question 2, participants were asked to identify new directions which societies could explore, based on their understanding of the National Science Education Standards and the educator panel discussion. Scientists and educators indicated that professional societies need to enhance communications and collaborations among professional societies, educators, universities, and local communities. William DeLauder synthesized the presentations and discussions made over the one and one-half day conference. DeLauder urged scientists to take responsibility for helping to improve education for all children. He reminded them that scientific society members can make a difference in science education reform by becoming involved with their professional societies at a national level and as individuals within their local communities. Forum participants identified many ways that scientists can improve science education for K-12 students, undergraduates, and future teachers attending our colleges and universities. The proceedings contained herein do not include any recommendations but are intended to reflect the perspectives of forum participants. We hope the proceedings will stimulate further interactions between teachers and scientists and continue the momentum generated by this national meeting. CONRAD WEISER, CHAIR FORUM STEERING COMMITTEE