Towards Responsible Action through Agroecological Education

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Geir Lieblein *
Charles Francis
(*) Corresponding Author:
Geir Lieblein | mikimos@mac.com

Abstract

In the Agroecology MSc Program in the Nordic Region, conventional training of routine skills and memorizing facts, principles and theories are only two components of the educational activities.We have established a dual learning ladder metaphor to explore the expanded learning process. To establish context and build relevance, student teams begin their studies in agroecology by working with farmers and other key clients in the food system. After exploring the current situation, students can step down the learning ladder to acquire additional needed information and skills. Next they explore the links between theory and application, and we provide a safe space to experiment with putting knowledge into directed action. To help clients plan for a desirable future in farming and food systems, students step up the learning ladder to practice their ability to think creatively about the future, and then to evaluate the expected impacts and potential implications of alternative scenarios. Underlying the learning of skills, principles, and methods for action are the internal values and attitudes that will motivate and drive students in their future work. These include individual learning as a process of practicing, assimilating, connecting, creating, and acting with responsibility. In this paper we describe the educational process used in agroecology, with the dual learning ladder as metaphor for both cognitive learning and personal growth.

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