Tummons, J., Hasselquist, L., & Smalley, S. (2020). Exploring content, pedagogy, and literacy strategies among preservice teachers in CASE institutes. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(2), 289-306. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2020.02289
Educational leaders implement professional development activities to facilitate teacher learning and growth. Each summer, scores of secondary agriculture teachers attend Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) institutes as a form of professional development. Recently, teacher preparation programs have begun offering CASE institutes for preservice teachers. This study explored the lived experiences of preservice teachers in two CASE institutes. Three central themes emerged from the data: 1) preservice participants wrestled with adoption of inquiry teaching strategies as a teaching method, 2) contextualized literacy in the agriculture classroom helped preservice participants understand their role as a teacher of literacy, and 3) participant content knowledge growth was intertwined with self-growth in formative assessment, classroom management/grouping, and literacy strategies. The findings were presented through vignettes to provide a thick, rich description of the case. Recommendations include offering modified CASE institutes for preservice teachers, use of lead teachers who are familiar with the developmental challenges of preservice teachers, and monitoring participant content knowledge to facilitate growth in pedagogical content knowledge.