Indiana Ag Teacher Front and Center at National Convention

Indiana Ag Teacher Front and Center at National Convention

Greg Curlin took the stage to talk about ag education.

It's not every year that Indiana has the president if the National Association of Agricultural Educators within its state borders. Greg Curlin, Switzerland County, Vevay, has served the past year as president of the organization.

While it's meant lots of time away from the classroom setting that he loves, it's given him an opportunity to share what he's learned with other ag teachers, and learn at the same time. He also is at the forefront of new trends developing in ag education.

Curlin spent time at the podium during the recent National FFA Convention in Indianapolis to honor other ag teachers who serve on the national level. He also expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve on behalf of ag teachers everywhere.

One of the issues facing ag programs today is upgrading curriculum to make it more challenging, and include more science-based learning, and make it more applicable to today's world. One of the approaches coming to the forefront is pathways curriculum. Curlin piloted this program at Switzerland County before taking the position as head of the national ag teachers organization.

Instead of just lecturing and doing worksheets, the curriculum asks students to take what they learn and apply it to a project. The project isn't as important as the processes the students learn to use to reach conclusions. One of the approaches Curlin used in an animal science class was to have various groups of students study unconventional crosses of one animal species to another. Their goal was to research how the new species would fare in different habitats, what type of food it would need, and what adaptations would be necessary for it to survive.

Curlin will be in the spotlight when NAAE holds its own national convention soon. It's slated for Nov.15-19, 2001 in St. Louis. Mo. As president, Curlin will play a leading role in this convention, which will draw ag teachers from all over the country, including Indiana.
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