The Art and Science of Teaching Agriculture: Four Keys to Dynamic Learning


The Art and Science of Teaching Agriculture: Four Keys to Dynamic Learning is a 240-page methods of teaching book. Specifically, it is a collection of thoughts, best practices, strategies, and techniques for planning, delivering, and assessing teaching and learning. This resource is assembled from among the best teaching professors in agricultural communication, education, and leadership in America. The authors offer the opportunity to build confidence in planning, delivering, and assessing the depths of the variables inherent in learning for secondary and postsecondary educators in both formal and nonformal educational environments.

You will quickly grasp the four fundamental keys of solid, basic, time-tested formal and nonformal teaching: Laying the Foundation, Connecting with Students, Designing Instruction, and Applying Learning. These keys are shared with you through the unique voices of the authors to provide a multiperspective approach to teaching.

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How to access this book
The main landing page for this book is
The open textbook is freely available online in multiple formats, including: PDF, ePub, and Pressbooks.
A paperback print version (in color) is available for order here.

ISBN (PDF): 978-1-957213-71-2
ISBN (Pressbooks): 978-1-957213-72-9
ISBN (EPUB): 978-1-957213-70-5
ISBN (print): 978-1-957213-66-8

Table of contents
Key #1: Laying the Foundation
1. The Discipline of Agricultural Education
2. Psychology of Learning
3. Principles of Teaching and Learning
Key#2: Connecting with Students
4. Learning as Problem Solving
5. Inclusive Teaching
6. Dynamics of Teaching
Key #3: Designing Instruction
7. Planning for Effective Instruction
8. Delivering Content With Technology
9. Assessing Agricultural Education
Key #4: Applying Learning
10. Applied Leadership Development through FFA
11. Supervised Agricultural Experiences
12. Effective Use of the Agriculture Laboratory Environment to Support Student Learning

About the editors
M. Susie Whittington
M. Susie Whittington, Ph.D. is a Distinguished Professor of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and Executive Director of the Second-Year Transformational Experience Program at the Ohio State University. She was the first woman inducted as a Fellow in the American Association for Agricultural Education.

Rick D. Rudd
Rick D. Rudd, PhD, is the Community Viability Chair of Excellence and Professor of Agricultural and Extension Education (ALCE) at Virginia Tech. Rudd served as ALCE Department Head from August 2006–July 2019. He served as Interim Associate Dean and Director of Virginia Cooperative Extension and Professor in 2009–2010. He received his PhD from Virginia Tech in 1994. He earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the Ohio State University.

Jack Elliot
Jack Elliot, PhD, is the Regional Director for Africa for the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture and Development. He serves on the USAID Higher Education Learning Network Steering Committee and leads the Council of Research and Evidence (CORE). He is a professor in the Texas A&M Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications (ALEC) where he served two terms as the Department Head. Elliot received his BS and MS in Agricultural Education and Agricultural Economics from Washington State University. He earned his PhD in Agricultural Education from the Ohio State University. He was awarded the FFA National VIP Award in 2023.

Project support
Support for editorial work, graphic design, accessibility, publication assistance, and project management was provided by the Open Education Initiative of the University Libraries at Virginia Tech.

Suggested citation
Whittington, M. Susie, Rick Rudd, and Jack Elliot, ed. (2023). The Art and Science of Teaching Agriculture: Four Keys to Dynamic Learning. Blacksburg: Virginia Tech Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education. Licensed with CC BY NC 4.0.

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Illustration and cover design: Kindred Grey