Open Access, Open Data, and Open Educational Resources

Introducing: The Art and Science of Teaching Agriculture: Four Keys to Dynamic Learning

by Anita Walz, posted on January 4, 2024

The Open Education Initiative at Virginia Tech is pleased to announce the release of a new open textbook, The Art and Science of Teaching Agriculture: Four Keys to Dynamic Learning.

The Art and Science of Teaching Agriculture: Four Keys to Dynamic Learning is a 240-page methods-of-teaching book. Specifically, it is a collection of thoughts, best practices, strategies, and techniques for planning, delivering, and assessing teaching and learning. This resource is assembled from among the best teaching professors in agricultural communication, education, and leadership in America. The authors offer the opportunity to build confidence in planning, delivering, and assessing the depths of the variables inherent in learning for secondary and postsecondary educators in both formal and nonformal educational environments.

Readers will quickly grasp the four fundamental keys of solid, basic, time-tested formal and nonformal teaching. These keys are shared with you through the unique voices of the authors to provide a multiperspective approach to teaching.

Table of Contents

KEY #1: Laying the Foundation
1. The Discipline of Agricultural Education
2. Psychology of Learning
3. Principles of Teaching and Learning
KEY#2: Connecting with Students, 
4. Learning as Problem Solving
5. Inclusive Teaching
6. Dynamics of Teaching
KEY #3: Designing Instruction
7. Planning for Effective Instruction
8. Delivering Content With Technology
9. Assessing Agricultural Education
KEY #4: Applying Learning
10. Applied Leadership Development through FFA
11. Supervised Agricultural Experiences
12. Effective Use of the Agriculture Laboratory Environment to Support Student Learning

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How to Access the Book

Permanent handle: (PDF, epub, and other versions)
URL: (HTML eBook-Pressbooks)
DOI: (PDF, epub, and other versions)
ISBN (PDF): 978-1-957213-71-2
ISBN (Pressbooks): 978-1-957213-72-9
ISBN (EPUB): 978-1-957213-70-5
ISBN (print): 978-1-957213-66-8 order print here
The book is also listed in the Open Textbook Library, OER Commons, VIVA Open, and Merlot.


Editors: M. Susie Whittington, Rick D. Rudd, and Jack Elliot

Chapter authors: Tiffany Drape, Paula Faulkner, Laura L. Greenhaw, Carla Jagger, Matt Mars, OP McCubbins, Aaron J. McKim, Summer Odom, Tobin Redwine, Amber H. Rice, Eric Rubenstein, Hannah H. Scherer, Kasee L. Smith, Annie Specht, Stacy K. Vincent, Hui-Hui Wang, Wendy Warner, and Donna Westfall-Rudd

Managing editor: Anita Walz

Cover design and selected graphics: Kindred Grey

Support for editorial work, graphic design, accessibility, publication assistance, and project management was provided by the Open Education Initiative of the University Libraries at Virginia Tech.

About the Editors

Susie Whittington, Ph.D. is a Distinguished Professor of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and Executive Director of the Second-Year Transformational Experience Program at the Ohio State University. She was the first woman inducted as a Fellow in the American Association for Agricultural Education.

Rick D. Rudd, PhD, is the Community Viability Chair of Excellence and Professor of Agricultural and Extension Education (ALCE) at Virginia Tech. Rudd served as ALCE Department Head from August 2006–July 2019. He served as Interim Associate Dean and Director of Virginia Cooperative Extension and Professor in 2009–2010. He received his PhD from Virginia Tech in 1994. He earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the Ohio State University.

Jack Elliot, PhD, is the Regional Director for Africa for the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture and Development. He serves on the USAID Higher Education Learning Network Steering Committee and leads the Council of Research and Evidence (CORE). He is a professor in the Texas A&M Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications (ALEC) where he served two terms as the Department Head. Elliot received his BS and MS in Agricultural Education and Agricultural Economics from Washington State University. He earned his PhD in Agricultural Education from the Ohio State University. He was awarded the FFA National VIP Award in 2023.

Suggested citation

Whittington, M. Susie, Rick Rudd, and Jack Elliot, ed. (2023). The Art and Science of Teaching Agriculture: Four Keys to Dynamic Learning. Blacksburg: Virginia Tech Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education. Licensed with CC BY NC 4.0.


Virginia Tech is committed to making its publications accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The Open Education Initiative is committed to continuous improvement regarding accessibility. The text, images, headings, and links in the PDF and HTML versions of this text are tagged structurally and include alternative text, which allows for machine readability. Please contact if you are a person with a disability and have suggestions to make this book more accessible.



The textbook is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 license.

Unless otherwise noted, this work is released under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY NC) 4.0 license which allows adaptation and redistribution with attribution for uses which are not primarily commercial. See the license terms and best practices for attribution for additional information.

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