Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Learning from the Past to Improve the Future

Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Learning from the Past to Improve the Future

Article excerpt

Disregard for the past will never do us any good. Without it we cannot kno

A lot of thought went into the topic for the final three issues of my term as Editor of The Agricultural Education Magazine. From my earliest days as a student I was interested in historical events. I went to an elementary school where three grades were taught in the same room. The teacher rotated between the classes as she presented her daily lessons. While she was teaching the other two grades, students were instructed to study their upcoming lessons. I would finish my lesson and head to the set of encyclopedias to "find something to read." More often than not I would read something on the Revolutionary, Civil or World Wars.

My love of history has carried over into my professional career. As a high school teacher I tried to keep track of officers and award winners and display that information to present students. As a teacher educator I have spent time researching supervised experience programs and problem solving teaching. I enjoy sitting down and looking through documents on the history of agricultural education in West Virginia. As a result of my passion I have learned a lot about the profession.

As I contemplated the retirement of Virgil Wilkins (see the article on page 10) after fifty-one years of service to the profession, my thought pattern went in a number of directions. First, think of the wealth of knowledge these individuals possess. Secondly, these individuals have seen a number of milestones in the profession. Thirdly, the young teachers in the profession could learn a great deal from these individuals. That set the idea in motion for the next three issues of The Agricultural Education Magazine.

The current issue is devoted to veteran high school agricultural education teachers. I asked for nominations in a number of ways including publishing the request in The Agricultural Education Magazine, sending a request to State Teacher Association Presidents, and using my general knowledge of the profession. I found the profession reluctant to take the time to nominate individuals in this category. I also found that many nominees were too humble (a common trait in the profession) to talk about their experiences. …

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