Rural Development in Costa Rica
Two Courses, One Mission
Community, Environment and Development (CED) 499B, "Rural Development in Costa Rica" is an embedded course with travel to Costa Rica over spring break. The course is focused on the development of small-scale agricultural production, entrepreneurship, ecotourism, social assistance and education.
Agricultural & Extension Education (AEE) 400, "Global Agricultural Education" is focused on the development and implementation of educational programs in agriculture around the world. The course does not have an international travel component, but focuses on global competency development on-campus.
Instructors for the two courses designed an assignment to augment the learning goals of each course. Students in AEE 400 explored culture-specific pedagogies, researched the Costa Rican context, then worked collaboratively to design agriculture-focused lessons for elementary students in a rural school in Costa Rica.
The agriculture lesson plans were passed on to students in the CED 499B course. The CED 499B class spent a day exploring the Costa Rican educational system, then will engage in active learning by implementing the agriculture lesson plans developed by the AEE 400 students.
Upon return to campus, CED 499B students reported to AEE 400 students on the results of the lesson implementation in the Costa Rican context.
The mission of the cross-pollination of the two courses is two-fold:
- To create active learning opportunities for CED 499B students during their time in Costa Rica.
- To provide AEE 400 students with the opportunity to design instruction for a specific global context and receive feedback on implementation.
Below is a video artifact that gives an overview of the lesson taking place in Costa Rica. The video was shared with students in each class to facilitate reflection.
Throughout process, instructors witnessed development of not only global competency in both classes of students, but development of 21st century learner skills of creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. Additionally, the local in-country partners were pleased with the results. Future plans include repeating the lesson planning process, but altering it based on student feedback from both courses.