ERIC Number: EJ1130889
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
The Hippocratic Need for Adequate Supports While Merging Programs: At First Do No Harm
Sipple, John W.
Cultural Studies of Science Education, v12 n1 p211-218 Mar 2017
In response to a paper calling for the re-engagement of agricultural education with the sciences and science education, this essay is supportive but argues to proceed with caution: one that at first does no harm. I offer a supplementary lens and story of change at Cornell University as a cautionary and motivational tale. I concur with the authors who want to redirect faculty, departments, and societies of agricultural educators to become more tightly aligned with the sciences. The need for and ability to better contribute to the critical discussions on contemporary agriculture issues (e.g., urban farming, GMOs, sustainability, local economies) is timely and important. The trick, however, is to do this without weakening the agricultural education community to the point of extinction. Drawing on Institutional Theory, I offer an enhanced perspective highlighting the importance of resource, conformity, and legitimacy. I explore the nature of competing pressures: the strong and restrictive ties to isolated communities and the pressure to reengage a community with a more socially and intellectually central world. I want to emphasize how these strong ties are typically beneficial to the organizations of interest, despite what it may look like to others outside that sector. It is argued that agricultural education will become increasingly "vulnerable and isolated" should it not cross the street and at least partially connect with contemporary science, social science, and new policy and ethical concerns.
Descriptors: Agricultural Education, Science Education, Alignment (Education), Interdisciplinary Approach, Community, Rural Areas, Rural Population, Place Based Education, Social Theories, Higher Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A