There is a need to improve science comprehension in the United States. Incorporating scientific principles into the study of food production provides context to engage youth in STEM education. The Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) is an inquiry-based program that stimulates scientific engagement. While agriscience teachers believe in the concept, less than 20% are certified in Nebraska to teach CASE. Twenty-five active agriscience teachers, who were not CASE certified, individually discussed their reluctance to become CASE certified. Most research participants had a positive view of CASE but were concerned about the apparent stringent program structure. They questioned individualizing the CASE model for different teaching styles and programs. Three primary barriers to CASE certification were identified: cost, time, and administrative support. Although scholarships were available to cover certification costs ($2,500-$3,000) in Nebraska, participants questioned funding needed equipment and supplies to implement the program. Traditional CASE certifications require 50-100 hours of intense training, and participants opposed trainings that exceeded five days due to personal and professional obligations. Teachers also believe school administrators lack knowledge of CASE benefits. For the widespread implementation of CASE, certification trainings need to be more concise, implementation costs minimized, and school administrators informed of benefits.
Witte, K., Conner, N. W., Reiling, B. A., Balschweid, M. A., & Stripling, C. T. (2021). Barriers to Becoming CASE Certified as Seen by Agriculture Educators. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 9(3), 10. https://scholarsjunction.msstate.edu/jhse/vol9/iss3/10
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