Category: Theory

Action Learning

(Image source, Wendy Brooks, 2016)
Action Learning is a theory and process developed by Professor Reg Revans (Revans, 1982). It is an excellent tool and process for Extension Professionals to facilitate groups (Action Learning “sets”) to tackle key problems or tasks that are complex in nature and don’t already have a solution. “Action […]

APEN

The Australasia-Pacific Extension Network (APEN) is the premier professional organisation for extension workers and those interested in extension in the Australasia-Pacific region.
Four hundred Extension Professionals are part of the network and the APEN website is here www.apen.org.au
APEN provides a range of networking and professional development opportunities for Extension Professionals. They […]

What is Extension?

Extension is the practice of transferring information, knowledge or skills that can assist individuals, families, communities, organisations or businesses achieve improved economic, social and environmental outcomes and create positive change. This article provides a brief history of Extension in Australia.
Agricultural extension is as old as the domestication of plants and […]

Experiential Learning

David Kolb synthesised three models to develop key characteristics of experiential learning.
1)    The Lewinian Model
2)    The Dewey Model, and
3)    The Piaget Model
The Lewinian Model of Action Research and Laboratory Training believes learning is an integrated process involving a feedback loop amongst concrete experiences, observations and reflections, formation of abstract concepts […]

Participatory Research, Development and Extension – Sustainable Agriculture

Developed in the 1980s-1990s, Niels Roling argues for sustainable agricultural development practice (RD&E) to involve farmers in the R&D process as collaborators and driving the RD&E agenda, rather than simply being the end-users (i.e. A shift from a directive approach to participatory extension). Otherwise, Roling believed, there will be little change […]

Extension Continuum

The extension continuum recognises that there are four major strategies or models in agricultural extension. It illustrates that as extension situations become more complex, emphasis should be given to approaches, processes and tools that empower people to engage in ongoing processes of experimentation, learning and human development.  
It recognises that there […]

Programmed Learning Model

Programmed Learning is essentially about formal or ‘packaged’ education opportunities that are positioned beyond informal learning that is often based on existing knowledge and experiences of individuals or bounded within a certain group.  (Coutts et al., 2005).  Programmed learning can be a formal qualification delivered by a Registered Training Organisation […]

Extension as Communications

Improving food production and fostering economic development is not just a matter of individuals receiving messages and adopting the ‘right’ technologies, but more to do with altering interdependencies and coordinating the different actor roles. Societal issues arise from multiple localities and at various points in time and bring about a […]

Group Facilitation / Empowerment Model

This is about approaching extension as a bottom-up process to achieve change – as an exercise in human development for outcomes that have an impact at the farm, community and industry scale (Coutts et al., 2005).  It uses a facilitation process to help groups of motivated participants to identify and understand […]

Diffusion of Innovations Theory – Adoption and Diffusion

The Diffusion of Innovations theory was the leading theory in agricultural extension post World War II until the 1970s.  It is still used today in agricultural extension, particularly when extension is concerned with an adoption of a particular technology (i.e. technology transfer approach to extension). 
Everett M. Rogers is considered a […]