Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Editorial: Thinking and Acting Differently - What If?

Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Editorial: Thinking and Acting Differently - What If?

Article excerpt

In their book Learning from the Future, Fahey and Randall point out that learning is not merely generating or acquiring knowledge. True learning puts knowledge to use. True learning challenges the mindset, implies discussion and dialogue, leads to decision-making, spawns further reflection and thinking and leads to understanding. Fahey and Randall focus on the use of scenarios in this process. Their ideas provide an interesting backdrop for our theme for this issue of The Magazine - Service Learning.

When most of us think about the term "service" we liken "service" to what the Random House College Dictionary (1984) describes as an "act of assistance for the public good." We often lock onto that definition and leave it at that. However, there is another aspect to the definition according to the people at Random House. Service is "to be of use" or "have a definite use." These definitions of "service" provide a linkage to our beliefs about "learning."

We believe in action - "doing" becomes the heart of our teaching and learning delivery system. Most agricultural educators would probably agree with the above named dictionary definitions of learning as being an "act or process of acquiring knowledge through systematic study" and "modification of behavior through practice, training or experience."

While most agricultural educators may be comfortable with these definitions, some would argue for a stronger emphasis on what Fahey and Randall refer to as an "intense emphasis on continual reflection" and questioning the "hows" and "whys" and "what ifs."

Agricultural educators have long been supporters and practitioners of service-oriented activities in our communities. …

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