Cognitive behavior and active engaged time: The impact of the CASE curriculum



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Teacher and student behavior in the classroom have both been linked to student achievement. The hands on, real world experiences which students are offered through career and technical education courses provide an opportunity for agricultural education to make contributions to student achievement. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact the CASE curriculum has on the academic engagement of students enrolled in animal science courses and the cognitive behavior of agriculture teachers. The target population for this study consisted of secondary agriculture teachers who teach animal science courses and the students enrolled in those courses. The study employed a quasi-experimental, static-group comparison design. Nine CASE certified teachers represented the treatment group, which were matched with nine traditional agriculture teachers on selected criteria. Teachers’ cognitive behavior was measured using the Florida Taxonomy of Cognitive Behavior while student engagement was measured using the Behavioral Observation of Students in Schools. Matched-pairs t tests were used to compare the CASE group and the traditional group on cognitive behavior and student engagement. Students in the CASE group were found to spend significantly more time actively engaged that those in traditional agriculture courses. This difference represents a large practical difference as well. No significant differences were found between the two groups on the measures of teachers’ cognitive behavior. From the findings it was concluded that the CASE curriculum and professional development can impact the active engagement of students in the classroom and potentially affect student achievement.