The 3-Component Model revision

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We know the three components of agricultural education…right? Let’s ponder two things: integration and communication. How well are we integrating all three components in our program? And, how do we communicate this time-tested educational delivery model, with loads of student success tied to it, to those outside our community? The National Council for Agricultural Education has been working on a revision and this spring approved a refreshed version of the three-circle model.

Dr. Steve Brown, educational program specialist at the U.S. Department of Education and the national FFA advisor, has been a thought leader in this revision. “With the revision we are trying to modernize and update the language to be more reflective of the integral nature of school-based agricultural education,” Brown said. “Also it is an attempt to help communicate to those outside of the agricultural education community the time-tested philosophy of school-based agricultural education.”

The council’s committee report states the purpose of the modifications were to better reflect the long established focus on classroom/laboratory, FFA and supervised agricultural experiences while adopting current education terminology. In all facets, the Three-Component Model for School-Based Agricultural Education is the definition of current educational reform. This new graphic will help the agricultural education community better explain FFA as an integral part of the three-component model and not just as a club or extracurricular activity.

“It is an 80-year-old model that has been tweaked over time and that isn’t just right for agricultural education but right for education,” Mike Honeycutt, the managing director of the council, said. “It is a tool to explain why this model can close the skill-gap and enhance educational programs including STEM programs across the country and world. The model’s revision reminds us of the keys to building the total program.”

The updated image complements the current environment surrounding education reform; experiential learning; cognitive development; employability and career skill development; rigor; relevance; and relationships. Let’s allow this model to jump-start the profession in spreading the word about school-based agricultural education and nearly a century of achievement in developing engaged citizens on track for career success.