Yesterday apparently without consultation with agricultural education peak bodies another “New and Shiny” was announced by the federal government with 10 million dollars being allocated to a bring kids and farm together program ($5 million for up to 80 iFarm trailers for city based schools and $5 million for school visits to farms).
21st century education calls for a deep transformative approach to learning. Instead of merely increasing knowledge, it works with values, mind- sets, worldviews and identity to trigger shifts in behaviours and practice.
Students that attend best practice Australian schools are taught to think critically and creatively about real world issues and work collectively to take action that has real world impact. Students who master this find themselves being headhunted in the workplace.
Its a well know scientific fact that education needs to go beyond changing what is inside people’s heads. Its is also well known that facts don’t care about your feelings but your feelings affect what facts you use.
The reason for this is that very few people have a complete understanding of the facts on any issue. If you’re not a Ph.D in a relevant field, or haven’t spent hundreds of hours studying a topic, you almost certainly don’t know all the facts.
The bottom line is this: if you aren’t an expert in a field (and you probably aren’t), you don’t know the facts. What you possess is knowledge of a subset of the facts, and how you decide what facts are included in that subset is of paramount importance. This filter is going to be determined by your background, your experiences, your social circle, your interests, and yes, by your feelings. Source
Current agricultural education industry practice is more output focused instead of outcome focused.
Value change takes a long time and multiple attempts yet there are limited opportunities to create linkages between industry initiatives, or between previous and current programs, in order to share knowledge and learnings and leverage the breadth of experience and promote successful outcomes.
To get it right takes a collective outcomes based approach and longitudinal studies. Imagine how efficiently we could make this happen with government support and our agricultural industries working together.
Please no more new and shiny agricultural awareness programs until we have a strategic framework for agricultural education in this country based on best practice 21st century learning principles.
We are #strongertogether #YouthinAg #YouthVoices19