ERIC Number: ED158933
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug-9
Reference Count: 0
Types and Role Performance of the Extension Field Staff in a Midwestern University.
Lionberger, Herbert F.; Pope, LaVern A.
To identify and describe extension role types, all educational assistants in the Small Farm Program, agricultural specialists, and community development and local government specialists in Missouri were asked to fill out questionnaires asking how frequently they performed 56 activities broadly representing what extension field staff might do. Analysis of data from the 249 respondents was done by Q-methodology plus factor analysis. Five distinctive modes of operation were defined as teacher therapist, teacher extensionist, people-oriented problem solvers, public servant, and extension activist. Though some differences existed, as a whole, extension staff most emphasized roles conducive to developing managerial and problem-solving capabilities of their clients. Secondarily, they operated as conveyors of information from the university; no role type operated primarily as hard sell information conveyors. Agricultural specialists and educational assistants stressed information-conveyor and client-protector roles more than in community development and were more inclined to communicate in-field informational needs back to researchers. Educational assistants involved clients in extension programs and trained local leaders less than did subject matter specialists. Community development specialists helped clients achieve their objectives more through organized group effort and agency linkages. (RS)
Descriptors: Adult Farmer Education, Behavior Patterns, Communication (Thought Transfer), Community Development, Extension Agents, Extension Education, Individual Development, Information Dissemination, Information Networks, Problem Solving, Q Methodology, Research Utilization, Role Perception, Rural Areas, Teacher Role
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Tables I and III may not reproduce well due to small print size of original