Development of this tool was funded by a Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) grant aimed at supporting school-based agricultural education throughout the state.
Project Idea Generation
Once funding was received, project leadership met with Michigan AFNR educators to identify their most pressing needs. A theme of that discussion was the need for curriculum support, especially for new and alternatively certified teachers in the state. Importantly, however, teachers did not want a standardized, state-wide curriculum given the variability of AFNR throughout the state. Therefore, it was decided the curriculum resource would illuminate core ideas within each of the state’s academic standards, informing teachers of what content could be taught without specifying how the content should be taught.
Project Creation Process
Once goals were identified, the project team developed a plan for achieving those goals. An open invitation was sent to teachers to participate in a three-day collaborative workshop focused on the identification of core ideas within all of the state’s AFNR standards, description of the core ideas, identification of relevant resources, and exploration of potential methods to teach the core ideas. In total, 17 teachers signed up to participate in this workshop. Participating teachers, compensated for their time and expertise, were split into working groups and assigned sets of standards to focus on. During the workshop, a peer review process was conducted to increase the quality of the tool. Resources created during the workshop provided the foundation for the curriculum tool.
The project leadership is thankful for the support of MDARD and for all the Michigan AFNR teachers who have supported the project. From the onset, this project sought to leverage teacher expertise to address a relevant need in the state.
Additionally, photos included on this website are courtesy of University Communications.