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Lessons Learned from Teaching an Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Course on Sustainable Agriculture Science and Policy
This article describes an interdisciplinary undergraduate course in the science and policy of sustainable agriculture that was developed for students majoring in political science. As the theme of the course was both the science and politics of sustainable agriculture, the authors selected and developed materials that featured both natural and social science domains. The major barriers to learning were differences in students' technical backgrounds and levels of motivation to study a discipline outside of their major. After teaching the course, the authors made some recommendations: 1) compile a customized set of reading assignments; 2) address student disciplinary parochialism with interdisciplinary team teaching; 3) focus on the crucial concepts rather than broader topical coverage; 4) employ frequent short quizzes and in-class written activities and discussions to identify points that needed to be clarified; and 5) use a variety of educational materials and activities (articles, videos, field trips, and guest speakers) to address diverse learning styles.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Graduate / Professional
Type of resource:
  • Text:
    • Journal article
Subject:
  • Agricultural science
  • Educational theory and practice
Technical requirements:
Adobe Acrobat reader
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
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DLESE Catalog ID: EVAL-TLKT-000-000-000-195
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: H. D. Karsten
Crop and Soil Sciences Department
Pennsylvania State University

Publisher: The Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education
http://www.jnrlse.org/