Andrew Thoron is an assistant professor of agricultural education in the AEC Department. Andrew grew up in central Illinois and taught high school agriscience at Mt. Pulaski High School in Illinois. He then took on a state leadership role with the Illinois State Board of Education for agricultural education where his primarily responsibility was to aid agriscience teachers, administrators and community members in developing and maintaining agricultural education programs. Dr. Thoron continues his assistance of teachers through his extension appointment that assists with the professional development needs of the Florida agriscience teachers. Dr. Thoron also coordinates the teaching certification for the department. His research expertise is in the area of teaching and learning that focus on argumentation skill development. Additional areas of research interest are central to effective teaching, student achievement and scientific reasoning. Dr. Thoron is also a founding member of the s1057 Multistate Research project that focuses on STEM emphasis in school-based agricultural education and the Ag STEM Education Lab within the department.
- Ph.D. – University of Florida, Agricultural Education, May 2010
- M.S. – University of Florida, Agricultural Education, Dec. 2007
- B.S. – Illinois State University; Normal, Illinois, Major: Agriculture; Sequence: Agricultural Education, May 2002
- A.S. – Lincoln Land Community College; Springfield, Illinois, Major: Agriculture, May 2000
Dr. Thoron believes argumentation skills are essential to enhance learner understanding of science in determining solutions or perceptions of a complex authentic problem. Further, argumentation skills can aid a consumer or the public in filtering through and determining their position on a specific issue. At first glance, the term argumentation may lead one to believe individuals will verbally argue their point-of-view. While an argument between individuals can exist, argumentation skill is the development of logical explanations in order for an individual determines the best approach to solving a problem or forms their perception. Dr. Thoron's focus on argumentation is centered on developing argumentation skill in learners in school-based settings or developing argumentation skill for the general public in an agricultural context to help individuals "think through" their reasoning and provide data supported justifications to inform their reasoning or perceptions.
Dr. Thoron is the teaching and learning expert of the Wild Discoveries team. Dr. Thoron will measure the effectiveness of the student learning and perceptions according to the delivery of the classroom learning environment.