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Alternative versus conventional attitudes in higher agricultural education

By Jesper Rasmussen and Pernille Kaltoft

Abstract

From radical positions it is argued that it will take paradigmatic transformations to develop a sustainable agriculture and that values and attitudes have to be changed. To find out if teachers and students in higher agricultural education are motivated for radical changes a survey based on the Alternative-Conventional Agriculture Paradigm Scale (ACAP-scale) was conducted. The ACAP-scale shows how people relate to the alternative and conventional agricultural paradigm and it shows their overall understanding of how agriculture works and relates to the physical and social environment. This study showed that the ACAP-scale is a suitable method for quantitative assessment of attitudes to agriculture in a broader context. Among students and faculty members at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Denmark there exists significant differences in paradigmatic positions. Students’ course choices are, to some extent, influenced by their paradigmatic position, some courses enrol followers of either the alternative or the conventional agricultural paradigm, and females and older students hold more alternative views than males and younger students. It is concluded that the wide range of values and attitudes among students and teachers calls for new teaching methods, where values and attitudes are integrated. It cannot be taken for granted that teachers and students share the radical visions of sustainability as sometimes presupposed of bodies working for sustainable development. \ud \u

Topics: "Organics" in general
Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:orgprints.org:641
Provided by: Organic Eprints

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Citations

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