Rapid Scientific Progress and Technical Change: Although agricultural generally kept up with scientific progress in the past, the pace of change is much faster today, requiring continual updating of curricula. Scientific knowledge is changing very quickly as modern communication technologies facilitate the global sharing of information among scientists and educators.
Since “new” knowledge attitudes that will allow them to continue to learn and develop their competencies throughout their professional lives.
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- AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
- Agriculture: Contextual Constriants, Budgetary and Financial Crisis
- Marginalization of Agriculture and Rural Life
- Relationship between agricultural education and research and extension
- Integration Population Issues Into Agricultural Education
- Agricultural Change to Curricular Content and Emphasis
- Agricultural education: Changes to Educational Processes
Rapid advances in information technologies (e.g., electronic mail and the internet) now make possible new modes of collaboration and cooperation between institutions of agricultural education. Reduce funding for education makes inter-institutional collaboration both increasingly necessary and difficult to achieve. Access or lack of access to the internet will be determined if the information gap is reduced, or if it will widen even furred.
In institution are to keep pace with rapid changes in science and technology, continuation education for faculty members is necessary through scientific meetings and inter-institutional exchanges, including those that apply innovative uses of electronic information systems (e.g. electronic networks for collaborative curriculum development and distance education) A commitment must be made by institution to improve the information infrastructure to ensure that students and faculty have access to the new information technologies (Richardson, 1997).
New global development in science and technology have profound implications for agricultural education institutions. New advances in science and technology influence the subject matter and types of courses need to understand today’s Agriculture.
Food processing and post- harvest technologies, biotechnology, agri-business management and farming system development are some of the subject areas which need to be incorporated into curricula. This subject will attract increasing number of students as new employment opportunities are created which demand expertise in these fields. Advances in biological science increase the complexity of Agriculture and complicate access to technology by poor nations. Regional cooperation and centers are a possible solution. Partnership with private companies should be explored as a means to improve access to new technologies.
In addition to new scientific knowledge, the most important source of knowledge for agricultural development is rural people themselves and the time-tested systems of production that embody their knowledge. An understanding of rural people and their production systems should be an integral part of agricultural education.
This requires that agricultural education institutions play not only an academic role, but also a community development or outreach role that allows them to understand local knowledge and combine it with modern agricultural science. Understanding the contributions that local people can make to solving their own problems is the key to sustainable rural development.
Environment Issues in Agricultural Education
In many parts of the world, the increasing needs of growing populations for food, fuel fibers have led to deforestation, severe soil erosion, loss of water resources, and eventually declining crop production. It is clear that the loss of natural resources and environmental degradation affects food security. It is also clear that institutions of education in agricultural development issue into their curricula.
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Environmental and sustainable agricultural development problems require an interdisciplinary approach to curricula since sustainable development relates not only to technological concerns, but also to economic, social, cultural, ecological, and public policy matters. Furthermore, curricula need to prove students with opportunities to observe first-hand the physical, technological and social aspect of natural resources uses for agriculture through learning activities that are experiential and problem-focused.
Experience shows that institutions of agricultural education can play a vital role in bring about changes in peoples’ attitudes and practices so that they are more environmentally responsible. Developed countries have for some time included environmental concerns in their teaching curricula, research activities and outreach programmes.
Current practices in agricultural education in many developing countries, however, does not demonstrate widespread integration of environmental and sustainable agricultural topics into academic programmes. Rather, these topics are added piecemeal to existing curricula, if at all.
There main issues can be identified which affect the challenges of integrating environmental and sustainable development themes or issues into agricultural education programmes. First, such issues are complex and diverse. They involve social, cultural, political and economic aspects as well as technical and scientific information. Thus, an interdisciplinary approach is essentially (Bawden, 1996).
Second, agricultural education institutions are not always structured to deal with the complexity of these issues. Substantial institutional reorientation and attitude change among faculty members may be necessary. In order to achieve such changes, the training and redeployment of teachers may be needed along with greater involvement of students, younger, environmentally-aware staff and rural communities in the design of new curricula.
Third, new approaches to learning and knowing which incorporate that environmental knowledge of local people are needed. These new approaches should involve people situation on campus and in the professionalism of graduates, the production practices of farmers, the commercial objectives of agri-business and the interests of society for a safe and secure environment.
Agricultural Change to Curricular Content and Emphasis