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ERIC Number: EJ890036
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jul
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-0092-055X
Civic Engagement through Civic Agriculture: Using Food to Link Classroom and Community
Wright, D. Wynne
Teaching Sociology, v34 n3 p224-235 Jul 2006
The maximization of productivity and labor efficiency has been a hallmark of the American agriculture and food system. The result of these twin processes is an industrial, concentrated, and consolidated provisioning system that produces cheap and plentiful food. Many view this model as a panacea for providing food to a modern industrial workforce, yet, increasingly, others are identifying cracks in this system. Research shows that an abundant food supply from an industrial model of agriculture has hidden costs to farm family stability, rural community well-being, and human and ecosystem health. A recent turn in this research has shifted away from the identification of weaknesses toward the exploration of viable options to redesign the food system in a manner that ensures long term sustainability. Civic agriculture is one such model that includes community-embedded initiatives to re-localize agriculture in communities of place, while enhancing food security, literacy, safety, and rebuilding rural communities. In this paper, I detail an exercise to teach the concept of civic agriculture through the development of community-based learning in the form of global and local public learning communities, service-learning advocacy, and international exchange. To demonstrate the comparative nature of agriculture and food system changes, as well as emerging models of sustainability, I developed a partnership with a Hungarian class which allowed students to compare and contrast approaches to sustainable development and probe the role of history and culture as causal forces in these endeavors. I describe my efforts to develop this partnership and weave opportunities for service-learning advocacy into the curriculum. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hungary