CASE Institutes

CASE Institute is a professional development workshop to provide teachers training for the instruction related to a specific CASE course. Once a teacher has successfully completed 50-100 hours of intense professional development at a CASE Institute, the teacher is certified to teach the specific CASE course.

CASE Institute sessions provide teachers important background related to the pedagogy used in CASE curricula and practice teaching various lessons to prepare them for classroom instruction. Teachers are required to attend the entire workshop and CASE Institute instructors determine if each teacher is adequately prepared to provide instruction using CASE curricula.

See the following video for perspectives from teachers at a CASE Institute. Thank you to Rutgers University for developing and publishing the video.

An excerpt from the NAAE publication News and Views by Allison Meadows discusses attending a CASE Institute.

As a recent graduate of Oregon State University and first year teacher, I had many fears and trepidations about attending the CASE Institute in Minnesota on my own. For one, I had never traveled alone! Secondly, I had spent the last 8 months in an intensive graduate program and disliked the idea of a rigorous program teaching more about curriculum.

Is it really necessary to invest 50-100 hours of professional development training to receive the CASE curriculum? Yes! Teachers completing a CASE Institute complete every science lab and many other activities, projects and problems in order to be better prepared to teach our students. CASE believes in their curriculum; why else would we learn how to teach hands-on curriculum with a hands-on approach? Time spent at the CASE Institute was well balanced between instruction surrounding the curriculum and time to share best practices.

Each day we walked into the classroom greeted by lead teachers who loved nothing more than to mix up our naturally forming groups. For a new teacher, this was great! I learned new strategies to break my students into groups and built a relationship with everyone in the cohort. Throughout the same day we worked sequentially through the lessons as experienced lead teachers provided feedback and tips for each lesson. The pace is quick! It seemed as though we were constantly moving and learning. We moved from the classroom to the lab, worked outside, but always ended with a session to tie up any loose ends and review the day.

In truth, two weeks is a very short period of time to learn an entire year’s worth of curriculum. Six months into the AFNR curriculum, I find myself referring to my institute workbook to remember lessons. It’s critical to use the workbook to record potential student responses and ideas shared by other teachers. NAAE Communities of Practice is also a great way to share ideas and strategies for CASE curriculum.

Would I attend another CASE Institute? Without reservation! The time invested in the institute is inconsequential compared to the time it would take me to create the curriculum myself. A CASE Institute provides an opportunity to work collaboratively with other teachers around the country. It has rejuvenated veteran teachers and prepared new ones.

CASE Institute is a professional development opportunity unlike any other I have experienced. It has jump started my career, providing some exceptional tools for my teaching toolbox. The sessions provide instruction on how to teach each lesson and activity while practicing experiments and developing models to help guide students. Using the curriculum has helped me become a facilitator of learning and rely less on lecture and teacher-directed instruction.


Tips and Tricks for Success at a CASE Institute

  • Think like both a teacher and a student and take notes of your thoughts and potential student responses when completing lessons. It helps in the classroom.
  • Use the post-its provided at the CASE Institute to make notes and suggestions for each lesson. It helps jog your memory when you’re setting up the lesson for students.
  • Spend time with other CASE teachers after hours to relieve some Institute stress.
  • Use time off, such as evenings and weekends, to continue developing your network. Take in the local culture while creating lasting relationships with ag educators.
  • Work with different people and groups (if your lead teacher hasn’t already forced you to do that). Take advantage of being with educators from around the nation who can share ideas and enhance learning.