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ERIC Number: EJ864881
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-1389-224X
Circles and Communities, Sharing Practices and Learning: Looking at New Extension Education Approaches
Cristovao, A.; Ferrao, P.; Madeira, R.; Tiberio, M. L.; Rainho, M. J.; Teixeira, M. S.
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, v15 n2 p191-203 Jun 2009
We live today in a "knowledge society", but "knowledge transfer" is no longer the dominant extension education paradigm. The principle of "learning to learn" and the concepts of self-directed, collaborative and action learning are more crucial today then ever. The key principles are to stimulate knowledge discovery and facilitate learning through group exchanges and active participation, building on peoples' motivations and projects. This conceptual background was key to the formulation and implementation of the two action-oriented projects which are analysed in this paper: two "Study Circles" linked to the "Olive Oil" and "Port Wine" Routes of northern Portugal, created to share experiences, promote initiatives and enhance the performance of these two organisations in terms of rural development; and five different "Communities of Practice", in distinct stages of development, functioning as lifelong collaborative learning instruments. Do such projects show the way to relevant extension education approaches and methods? Which strengths and weaknesses do they present? How did they evolve? Are there cultural bound constraints to their functioning and outputs? If yes, which strategies should be adopted in order to overcome them? What are the major lessons to be learned? One of the major conclusions is that extension and development facilitators can benefit from such approaches in different ways and levels. More than using personal networks, the challenge these agents face is to help build and maintain social networks like the ones studied, involving different development stakeholders from the institutional, research and practice arenas, serving as learning and action systems. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Portugal