Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

FFA: Learning How to Learn

Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

FFA: Learning How to Learn

Article excerpt


Schools exist for at least four major reasons: to teach students how to solve problems, how to transfer learning, to become self-disciplined and to learn how to learn.

In several recent publications, a new model for Agricultural Education has been offered as a way to think about the role of the various components in a complete program. This is a slightly different way to visually portray the program than a triangle or the three intersecting circles that are sometimes used. We have found this new model to be useful in thinking about the various components of the program.

The new model depicts classroom/laboratory work heaviest in the academic slot; Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) focuses more in the technical and career areas, and the FFA is mostly concentrated in life skills. This model helps us to make the connection that FFA, if done well, can be a laboratory for life. In other words, the FFA is a laboratory on how to learn to learn. We would suggest that it does this with independent, interactive, and cooperative activities.

In the classroom setting, students can learn about the various activities and programs of the FFA. The development of understanding and knowledge about the FFA can have a significant impact upon students' attitudes and ultimate skill levels that are directly related to the daily operation of their FFA Chapter.

SAE projects are a significant focus of the FFA awards and recognition programs. The more students can apply themselves to a specified field within their SAE projects, the greater the FFA will reward them for the success they have obtained with proficiencies, degrees and other awards. Through SAE programs, students learn how to learn independently.

An ideal FFA program is one where students are responsible for the conduct of the projects and activities of the organization. From money making activities to service projects, the greater the involvement of the members, the greater the learning for the participants. When FFA chapters are student run, members learn how to interact with each other. For example, by serving on a committee students learn how to interact with others and how to facilitate the needs and feelings of others. Leadership skills and abilities are developed when students are involved in committee work through the delegation and communication between members, officers and the chapter. …

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