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Evidence for Experiential Learning in Sustainable Agriculture Education Teaching Farms at Higher Education Institutions

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042934/00001

Material Information

Title: Evidence for Experiential Learning in Sustainable Agriculture Education Teaching Farms at Higher Education Institutions
Physical Description: 1 online resource (86 p.)
Language: english
Creator: MAZURKEWICZ,MELISSA L
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: AGRICULTURE -- EXPERIENTIAL -- FARMS -- LEARNING -- SUSTAINABLE -- TEACHING
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: According to Parr and Van Horn (2006), the agricultural community wants Higher Education institutions to provide more opportunities for education on sustainable agriculture. Teaching farms have the potential to offer students practical knowledge for their future careers (Andreasen, 2004). It is unclear if sustainable agriculture programs at Higher Education institutions are achieving the desired educational outcomes. There is a lack of research regarding the degree of cognitive engagement and educational quality at teaching farms (Parr, 2009). Purposive curricula needs to be designed and implemented utilizing the experiential learning model to enhance learning experiences and prepare future sustainable agricultural practitioners (Parr & Van Horn, 2006). The theoretical framework used was Kolb?s (1984) cyclical four-stage experiential learning model. The first stage is concrete experience in which learners use their senses to experience the phenomenon (Kolb, 1984). During the reflective observation stage, learners try to make sense of the experience by breaking the information apart and internalizing it (Kolb, 1984). Generalizations are made during the abstract conceptualization stage. During active experimentation, learners test out their generalizations in a new situation (Kolb, 1984). A basic qualitative design was used to determine where and how teaching farms are used for sustainable agriculture programs at Higher Education institutions in the U.S. Syllabi from courses that use teaching farms at Higher Education institutions were collected using a snowball sample. Evidence for experiential learning was determined using the collected syllabi. For this study, the constant comparative method, a form of content analysis, was used to determine if teaching farms are truly applying the experiential learning model to ensure the quality of sustainable agriculture curricula (Merriam, 1998). The findings of this study indicated that public and private Higher Education institutions utilized teaching farms. The public institutions included land-grant universities and community colleges. The following disciplines emerged from the course syllabi: agricultural systems, horticulture, animal science, natural resources, soil science, and sustainable agriculture. Overall there was evidence for the presence of both concrete experience and active experimentation in the syllabi. Fewer syllabi had evidence for the cognitive stages of reflective observation and abstract conceptualization. Abstract conceptualization was the least represented stage of the experiential learning cycle. Additional curricula materials should be analyzed to fully understand what is occurring at teaching farms. Practitioners should be cognizant of when activities are intended to facilitate students to enter the reflective observation and abstract conceptualization stages. Opportunities for experience that are included in teaching farm courses should have purpose and be more than just mere activity.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by MELISSA L MAZURKEWICZ.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Harder, Amy Marie.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0042934:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042934/00001

Material Information

Title: Evidence for Experiential Learning in Sustainable Agriculture Education Teaching Farms at Higher Education Institutions
Physical Description: 1 online resource (86 p.)
Language: english
Creator: MAZURKEWICZ,MELISSA L
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: AGRICULTURE -- EXPERIENTIAL -- FARMS -- LEARNING -- SUSTAINABLE -- TEACHING
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: According to Parr and Van Horn (2006), the agricultural community wants Higher Education institutions to provide more opportunities for education on sustainable agriculture. Teaching farms have the potential to offer students practical knowledge for their future careers (Andreasen, 2004). It is unclear if sustainable agriculture programs at Higher Education institutions are achieving the desired educational outcomes. There is a lack of research regarding the degree of cognitive engagement and educational quality at teaching farms (Parr, 2009). Purposive curricula needs to be designed and implemented utilizing the experiential learning model to enhance learning experiences and prepare future sustainable agricultural practitioners (Parr & Van Horn, 2006). The theoretical framework used was Kolb?s (1984) cyclical four-stage experiential learning model. The first stage is concrete experience in which learners use their senses to experience the phenomenon (Kolb, 1984). During the reflective observation stage, learners try to make sense of the experience by breaking the information apart and internalizing it (Kolb, 1984). Generalizations are made during the abstract conceptualization stage. During active experimentation, learners test out their generalizations in a new situation (Kolb, 1984). A basic qualitative design was used to determine where and how teaching farms are used for sustainable agriculture programs at Higher Education institutions in the U.S. Syllabi from courses that use teaching farms at Higher Education institutions were collected using a snowball sample. Evidence for experiential learning was determined using the collected syllabi. For this study, the constant comparative method, a form of content analysis, was used to determine if teaching farms are truly applying the experiential learning model to ensure the quality of sustainable agriculture curricula (Merriam, 1998). The findings of this study indicated that public and private Higher Education institutions utilized teaching farms. The public institutions included land-grant universities and community colleges. The following disciplines emerged from the course syllabi: agricultural systems, horticulture, animal science, natural resources, soil science, and sustainable agriculture. Overall there was evidence for the presence of both concrete experience and active experimentation in the syllabi. Fewer syllabi had evidence for the cognitive stages of reflective observation and abstract conceptualization. Abstract conceptualization was the least represented stage of the experiential learning cycle. Additional curricula materials should be analyzed to fully understand what is occurring at teaching farms. Practitioners should be cognizant of when activities are intended to facilitate students to enter the reflective observation and abstract conceptualization stages. Opportunities for experience that are included in teaching farm courses should have purpose and be more than just mere activity.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by MELISSA L MAZURKEWICZ.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Harder, Amy Marie.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0042934:00001


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EVIDENCE FOR EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING IN SUST AINABLE AGRICULTURE EDUCATION TEACHING FARMS AT HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS By MELISSA L. MAZURKEWICZ A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011 1

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2011 Melissa L. Mazurkewicz 2

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In loving memory of Helen Mazurkewicz and Tina Mazzeo 3

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS There are many people that have been very supportive and encouraging throughout my time in graduate school. First, I would like to express my thanks to my family. My parents support through my educ ation has given me the opportunity to pursue my many interests. I t hank my sister for all of he r advice and confidence that I would excel in graduate school. My Poppy always had a funny story to tell and encouraged me to get another key that would open up doors for me in my future. I am thankful to my Aunt Felicia, Uncle Ted, and c ousins for giving me a place to live during my internship that was a step in directi ng me to an education in Extension. Their phone calls and letters were always a delight to receive. I would also like to thank my family friends. First, the Clelans have been involved and supportive in my life for as long as I can remember. Also, the Stephans have been very encouraging and I appreciate them lending me their bike rack so I co uld have a bike in Gainesville. Coming up with a thesis topic and sticking wit h it was not an easy process. I would like to thank my committee, Dr. Amy Harder and Dr. Grady Roberts for their patience through this process. Also, I would like to thank the faculty and staff in the AEC department for answering my endless number of questions. I am thankful for the input that Dr. Rose Koenig and Dr. Mickie Swisher gave me. I never felt alone during my graduate sc hool experience. I have had the pleasure to go through this experience with fantasti c friends: Mary Rodriguez, Kate Wilson, Allison Britton, Viviana Giraud, Lex Lamm, Andrea Andrews, Adrienne Gentry, Karen Cannon, Katie Abrams, Meredith Cochie, Tr e Easterly, Jason Davison, Ryan Conklin, Laura Kubitz, Aaron Giorgi, Holly Reed, Mi cah Bolen, Micah Scanga, Blair Krusz, 4

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Lauren Hrncirik, Kate Shoulders, Lauri Bake r, Rochelle Strickland, Amy Richard, Joe Richard, Bradley Hunter, Ana Lima, and Greyson Nyamoga. Graduate school has been an adventure in which I have made many new friends. However, the support of my friends from ot her life stages was never lacking. My best friend, Lindsay Gabers, was always availabl e to share a laugh and give encouragement. I am thankful for Lois Usner w ho helped drive me to Gainesvi lle when I first moved here. I am grateful for the support I received from the Hendricks; they gave me a job when I needed one and have remained very important in my life. Megan Hayden was fantastic and I greatly appreciate our almost weekly phone ca lls. I am grateful to my friends from the Co-op for post-cards, emails, and mini -reunions: Erin Roycroft, Meghan Sansivero, Sarah Chelius, Sarah Parker, Megan Broda, Rachel Sherman, Jimmy Burridge, Jordan Smith, Josh Lennes, Andrew Cressman, Chris Ruhl, and Ben Tutolo. I am glad to have been able to share my first year in Florida with my former roommate Elisabet Eppes; our visits were always just the fun I needed. Se rendipitous reunions with former roommates, Julie Smartt, Maggie Hurne, and Julia Shay, were always pleasant surprises. My move to Gainesville was initially qu ite an experience. Without the support of Ann Vinaya Abraham I do not think I would have been able to transition to this new place. I never would have come to the University of Florida if not for my friends Bethany, Chelsey, Sierra, Shani, and Sydney. The Welden girls introduced me to Gainesville and encouraged me to come here. I have been very thankful for their friendship over the years and for making me one of their own. Finally, I would like to mention my fr iend Nada Baxley who passed away in the beginning of January 2011. She was my first neighbor when I moved to Gainesville. I 5

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always enjoyed her company and brining her a variety of Southern fried foods. Her humor and sharp wit will be dearly missed. 6

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDG MENTS .................................................................................................. 4LIST OF TABLES .......................................................................................................... 10LIST OF FI GURES ........................................................................................................ 11ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................... 12CHAPTER 1 INTRODUC TION .................................................................................................... 14Sustainable Agricultur e and Teaching Farms ......................................................... 14History of the Land Grant University and Cooperativ e Extension ..................... 14Demonstrati on Farms ....................................................................................... 15Sustainability .................................................................................................... 16Teaching Farms and Sustainable Agricultural Educatio n ................................. 18Experiential Learning .............................................................................................. 19Statement of t he Problem ....................................................................................... 21Purpose and Objectives .......................................................................................... 22Significance of Study .............................................................................................. 22Definitions of Terms ................................................................................................ 23Limitations and Assump tions of Study .................................................................... 242 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK .............................................................................. 25Experiential Learning .............................................................................................. 25Application of Exper iential Lear ning ........................................................................ 28Summary/Conceptual Framewor k .......................................................................... 343 METHODOL OGY ................................................................................................... 36Research Design .................................................................................................... 36Data Sources .......................................................................................................... 37Data Anal ysis .......................................................................................................... 38Content An alysis .............................................................................................. 38Trustworthiness .......................................................................................... 40Credibility ................................................................................................... 41Transferab ility ............................................................................................ 41Dependabili ty ............................................................................................. 41Confirmability ............................................................................................. 42Researcher Bias Statem ent .................................................................................... 424 FINDINGS ............................................................................................................... 44 7

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Findings by Ob jectives ............................................................................................ 44Objectiv e 1 ....................................................................................................... 44Objectiv e 2 ....................................................................................................... 46Objectiv e 3 ....................................................................................................... 48Concrete Ex perience ................................................................................. 48Reflective Ob servati on ............................................................................... 50Abstract Concept ualizatio n ........................................................................ 52Active Experi mentation .............................................................................. 53General Experientia l Learning Th eory ....................................................... 54Evidence for each Disciplin e ............................................................................ 55Agricultural Systems .................................................................................. 55Horticulture ................................................................................................. 56Animal Sc ience .......................................................................................... 56Natural Res ources ..................................................................................... 56Soil Sci ence ............................................................................................... 56Sustainable Ag ricultur e .............................................................................. 575 DISCUSSI ON ......................................................................................................... 58Summary ................................................................................................................ 58Conclusions and Im plicati ons ................................................................................. 58Objectiv e 1 ....................................................................................................... 58Objectiv e 2 ....................................................................................................... 59Objectiv e 3 ....................................................................................................... 61Concrete ex perience .................................................................................. 61Reflective obs ervation ................................................................................ 62Abstract concept ualizati on ......................................................................... 64Active experi mentation ............................................................................... 65Implications for the Exper iential Learni ng Model .................................................... 66Recommendations for Fu ture Res earch ................................................................. 70Recommendations fo r Practiti oners ........................................................................ 71Appendix A IRB APPRO VAL ..................................................................................................... 73B INITIAL CO NTACT ................................................................................................. 74C SECOND CO NTACT .............................................................................................. 75D FINAL CO NTACT ................................................................................................... 76E EXPERIENTIAL LEARNI NG INSTRUM ENT .......................................................... 77F COURSE TITLES, DISCIPLINES, AND INSTITUTION T YPES ............................. 78LIST OF RE FERENCES ............................................................................................... 81 8

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................................................ 86 9

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Number of student or teaching farms located in each state based on existing online farm di rectorie s ........................................................................................ 454-2 Disciplines and sub-disciplines represented by the teaching farm course syllabi ................................................................................................................. 474-3 Occurrences of evidence for each stage of the experienti al learning cycle found in each s ub-discipl ine ............................................................................... 57 10

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1-1 Kolbs model of experi ential learning (Kolb, 1984) .............................................. 204-1 Geographic distribution of participating institutions of higher education ............. 465-1 Roberts (2006) Model of the Experiential Learning Pr ocess .............................. 675-2 Action learning model (Battisti et al., 2008) ........................................................ 68 11

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Abstract of Thesis Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulf illment of the Requirements for t he Degree of Master of Science EVIDENCE FOR EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING IN SUST AINABLE AGRICULTURE EDUCATION TEACHING FARMS AT HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS By Melissa L. Mazurkewicz May 2011 Chair: Amy Harder Major: Agricultural Education and Communication According to Parr and Van Horn (2006), t he agricultural community wants Higher Education institutions to provide more opportunities for education on sustainable agriculture. Teaching farms have the potentia l to offer students practical knowledge for their future careers (Andreasen, 2004). It is unclear if sustainable agriculture programs at Higher Education institut ions are achieving the desired educational outcomes. There is a lack of research regarding the degree of cognitive engagement and educational quality at teaching farms (Parr, 2009). Pur posive curricula needs to be designed and implemented utilizing the exper iential learning model to enhance learning experiences and prepare future sustainable agricultural pr actitioners (Parr & Van Horn, 2006). The theoretical framework used was Kolbs (1984) cyclical four-stage experiential learning model. The first stage is concrete experience in which learners use their senses to experience the phenomenon (Kolb, 1984). During the reflective observation stage, learners try to make sense of the experience by breaking the information apart and internalizing it (Kolb, 1984). Generalizations are made during the abstract conceptualization stage. During active ex perimentation, learner s test out their generalizations in a new situation (Kolb, 1984). 12

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13 A basic qualitative design was used to determine where and how teaching farms are used for sustainable agriculture programs at Higher Education institutions in the U.S. Syllabi from courses that use teaching farms at Higher Education institutions were collected using a snowball sample. Evidence for experiential learning was determined using the collected syllabi. For this study, t he constant comparative method, a form of content analysis, was used to determine if teaching farms are truly applying the experiential learning model to ensure the quality of sustainable agriculture curricula (Merriam, 1998). The findings of this study indicated that public and private Higher Education institutions utilized teaching farms. The public institutions included land-grant universities and community colleges. The follo wing disciplines emer ged from the course syllabi: agricultural systems, horticulture, animal science, natural resources, soil science, and sustainable agriculture. Overa ll there was evidence for the presence of both concrete experience and active experiment ation in the syllabi. Fewer syllabi had evidence for the cognitive stages of reflective observation and abstract conceptualization. Abstract conceptualizat ion was the least represented stage of the experiential learning cycle. Additional curricula mate rials should be analyzed to fully understand what is occurring at teaching farms. Practitioners should be cognizant of when activities are intended to facilitate students to enter t he reflective observation and abstract conceptualization stages. Opportunities for experience that are included in teaching farm courses should have purpose and be more than just mere activity.

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Sustainable Agriculture and Teaching Farms Academic programs focused on sustainable agriculture are increasing at Higher Education institutions thr oughout the United States (Redden, 2009). Similarly, land grant institutions are making an effort to shi ft back to their original focus of providing education to the common person and teaching agr iculture through demonstration (Parr & Van Horn, 2006). Programs in sustai nable agriculture, agroecology, organic agriculture, alternative cropping systems, and food systems are becoming more prevalent in the agricultural colleges at Hig her Education institutions (Thompson, 2009). In the remainder of the paper these progr ams will be collectively referred to as sustainable agriculture progr ams. In order to keep up with the times, land grant universities need to establish curricula t hat will help prepare future agricultural professionals, growers, ex tension educators, and consumer s to address issues in sustainable agriculture. History of the Land Grant University and Cooperative Extension The Morrill Land Grant College Act was signed to initiate the establishment of agricultural colleges in the United States of America due to the demand for federally supported agricultural colleges (Campbell, 1998; Grant, Field, Green, & Rollin, 2000; Rasmussen, 1989). Each state was given an allotment of 30,000 acres for each Senator and Representative in Congress in order to establish colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts (Meyer, 1998). The states were able to sell the land and use the money to fund agricultural institutions. In 1890, t he Morrill College Aid Act was passed creating 14

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access to the benefits of the Morrill Act of 1862 for the previously excluded African American population (Rasmussen, 1989). The original land grant institutions were not strictly technical schools, though a major focus was on practical knowledge for advancing the professions of agriculture and mechanical arts (Grant et al., 2000). The early agriculture curricula at the land grant schools were designed to educate students and prepare them with practical knowledge and skills. In 1905, Professor Liberty Hyde Ba iley explained the use of university farms as laboratories to put to practice the k nowledge gained through the classroom (Parr, Trexler, Khanna, & Battisti, 2007). Demonstration Farms Seaman A. Knapp, considered to be the father of Extension, was inspired to work with agricultural demonstration s hortly after the establishment of land grant institutions (Rasmussen, 1989). Knapp was an advocate of the demonstrati on of agricultural practices but more specifically the demonstr ation by individual farmers in order to achieve the most effective behavior change. Knapp acquired funds and used them to establish farmer-operated demonstration fa rms. Knapp supported the presence of an extension agent in each county to work with the active farmers an d their demonstration endeavors in addition to his contributions to demonstration agriculture (Rasmussen, 1989). Demonstration farms were used to educate farmers on better agricultural practices. Similarly, agricultural colleges utilized experiment stations to provide students with practical experiences that complem ented their academic coursework (Hillison, 1996).The experiment stations were used as teaching farms and laboratories where students were able to put to practice skills t hey learned. Farms at the early agricultural 15

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colleges served as demonstration farms and spaces where learning occurred and where new principles were un-covered (Ma rcus, 1986, p. 27). The teaching farms were deemed the most important par t of agricultural college s by people that viewed agricultural colleges as business schools (Marcus, 1986). In addition to experiment stations, teaching farms are currently used at institutions of higher education in similar ways to how experiment stations were used in the past. Some teaching farms are student run while others are faculty run (Parr & Van Horn, 2006; Reiling, Marshall, Brendemuhl, McQ uagge, & Umphrey, 2003). For example, the Student Experimental Farm (SEF) at the University of Calif ornia, Davis was formed by students due to a growing interest and concer n in environmentally sound alterative agriculture practices (Parr & Van Horn, 2006). The New Farm at Rodale Institute compiled a directory of at l east 44 on-campus farms at institutions of higher education (Sayre, 2003). Sustainability According to Parr (2009) there is an increased interest in the social and environmental sustainability of agriculture and food systems (p. 3). This trend may be growing due to the unsustai nable qualities of conventiona l agriculture. Conventional agriculture commonly has the following characteristics: rapid technological innovation; large capital investments in order to apply production and management technology ; large-scale farms; single crops/row crops grown continuously over many seasons; uniform high-yield hybrid crops; extensive use of pestici des, fertilizers, and external energy inputs; high labor efficiency; and dependency on agribusiness. (Gold, 1999, para. 7) While there are benefits to conventional agriculture, unsustainable practices include the destruction of soil structur e, pest susceptibil ity, environmental 16

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contamination, erosion, and loss of bi odiversity (FAO, 2002). Gold (2007) added chemical resistance to the list of negative impacts of conventional agriculture. With these ramifications in mind, sustainable agriculture is aimed to be environmentally healthy, to encourage social equity, and be economically viable (USDA, 2009). According to ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, sustainable agriculture promo tes biodiversity, recycles plant nutrients, protects soil from erosion, conserves and protects water, uses minimum tillage, and integrates crop and livestock enterprises on the farm (Ear les, 2005, p. 1). In the 1990 Farm Bill, sustainable agriculture was defined as an integrative system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term: satisfy human food and fiber needs; enhance environmental qualit y and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depend s; make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm re sources and int egrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole. (Gold, 2007, para.3) In this definition, the three co mmon tenets addressed were food needs, environmental quality, and economic feasibility. Though sustainable agriculture has been defined, there are many opinions regarding what truly defines sustainable agriculture (Gold, 2007). It is important for agriculture to respond to the needs that exist as food insecurity grows as a global issue. The Millennium De velopment Goals init iated by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) holds eliminating extreme poverty and hunger as their number one goal; their seventh goal is establishing environmen tal sustainability. The goal deadline is 2015 ( UNDP, 2010). The agricultural sector needs to modify existing practices to reach this impending deadline. 17

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Organic agriculture is not synonymous with su stainable agriculture but rather is a form of sustainable agricultur e (USDA, 2009). In the past decade, organic farm acreage has increased from around 1.3 million acres in 1997 to about 4 million acres in 2005 (Dimitri & Oberholtzer, 2009). In 2007 the United States D epartment of Agricultures (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Serv ice reported that the majority of organic farms were considered small farms, less t han nine acres (Dimitri & Oberholtzer, 2009). Higher education institutions need to be pr oviding future agriculture leaders and producers with the proper tools as more agricu ltural operations are turning to organic agriculture or sustainable practices. Teaching Farms and Sustainable Agricultural Education Parr (2009) found students are often the dr ivers of the formation of sustainable agriculture curricula and teaching farms at universities. In a study looking at student preferences for learning at teaching farms, Parr (2009) found students sought to connect concepts learned in the classroom to field experiences. According to Parr (2009), teaching farms serve as important educational facilities for experiential learning (p. 6). Lieblein, stergaard, and Franc is (2004) stated that while university educators are very well versed in a specific discipline, t hey are often less knowledgeable on education theory. After taking a course in sustainable agriculture, Lieblein et al. (2004) proposed that the following five co mpetencies will most likely be obtained by participating students: to have knowledge of farmi ng and food systems; be able to handle complexity and change; be able to link t heory and real life situations; be good communicators and facilitators; and be autonom ous learners (p. 298). Recently, as more attention is being paid to sustainabl e agriculture, universities such as the 18

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University of California at Davis are ma king an effort to addre ss topics related to sustainable agriculture through the use of a student farm (Par r et al., 2007). Teaching farms have been focused on sust ainable and organic agriculture over the past few decades (Leis, 2008). The focu s on sustainable agriculture has grown and persisted due the increasing demand for educat ion in this topic area by students and extension educators (Schr oeder, Creamer, Linker, Muel ler, & Rzewnicki, 2006). Learners at teaching farms are given the opport unity to have many experiences and use critical thinking to apply sustainable agriculture practices (Leis, 2008). Experiential Learning The National Research Council (2009) made suggestions on how universities can better provide agricultural education to thei r students. It was sugge sted that teaching methods shift from traditional lecture style to a more intera ctive way of teaching. This suggestion emulated Deweys (1938) philoso phy on the importance of experience in education. For the purposes of this study, Kolbs (1984) theory on experiential learning was used (Figure 1-1). The model is made up of f our stages: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and ac tive experimentation (Kolb, 1984). Kolb (1984) described knowledge as something that is not static but rather is in constant flux, shaped by experience. Building on past kno wledge and making connections from new experiences to previous experiences is a main tenet of exper iential learning. 19

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Figure 1-1. Kolbs model of experiential learning (Kolb, 1984) Experiential learning takes hands-on lear ning to another level. There is an emphasis on doing in the experiential learni ng model along with a focus on intentional reflection (Kolb, 1984). Experiential lear ning has been defined as the sense-making process of active engagement between the inner world of the person and the outer world of the environment (B eard & Wilson, 2006, p. 2). Simply participating in an educational activity is not experiential lear ning. The participants must be able to reflect on the experience, process the new connec tions, and make an attempt to apply the transformed knowledge. Experiential learning is designed to encourage student centered learning in an attempt to move away fr om traditional education techniques (Dewey, 1938). The educator acts more as a facilitator (Bear d & Wilson, 2006). The facilitator helps to 20

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create a learning environment to enhance the learning experience. Depending on the learners, the facilitator will offer more or less guidance (Dewey, 1938). Statement of the Problem Sustainability in agriculture is a growin g trend. According to Parr and Van Horn (2006), the agricultural community wants Higher Education inst itutions to provide more opportunities for education on sustainable agriculture topics. Higher Education institutions are attempting to use teac hing farms to provide hands-on learning experiences to their students in efforts to return to the orig inal mission of the land grant institution and keep up with t he growing field of sustainable agriculture. Teaching farms are not limited to land grant universities (Leis, 2008). Teac hing farms have the potential to offer students with practical and applicable knowledge for their future careers (Leis, 2008). It is unclear if sustainable agricultu re programs are achieving the desired educational outcomes. There is a lack of re search regarding the degree of cognitive engagement and educational quality at teaching fa rms (Parr, 2009). This is problematic because as sustainable agriculture gains mo re recognition, sustainable agriculture programs are adopting teaching farms as part of their curricula. It is first necessary to assess how teaching farms are currently bei ng used before being able to effectively plan curricula based on education theory. As sustainable agriculture education becomes more present in higher education, it is necessary to establish education theory fo r these programs (Parr et al., 2007; Parr & Van Horn, 2006). The technical nature of sust ainable agricultural topics lends itself to educators that are fairly specialized and most likely do not have formal educational training (Bawden, 1996). According to Sayr e (2005), on-campus farms allow students to 21

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develop manual skills alongside intellectual pow er (para. 9). To fully enhance learning experiences and prepare future sustainable agricultural practitioners, purposive curricula needs to be designed and implemented, utilizing the experiential learning model (Parr & Van Horn, 2006). Purpose and Objectives The purpose of this study was to devel op an understanding of t he use of teaching farms at higher education institutions in t he United States. With this purpose, the objectives of this study were: Objective 1: To determine which institutions use teaching farms and their locations throughout the United States; Objective 2: To describe what subject areas utilized teaching farms; and Objective 3: To describe the evidence fo r the presence of experiential learning theory as indicated in syllabi of teaching farm courses. Significance of Study It is necessary to prepare agricultural college students and future agricultural professionals with a broad depth of experiences in order to best prepare them for the multitude of career opportunities in the dive rse field of agriculture (Bawden, 1996). Sustainable agriculture st udents should be provided with educational opportunities rich in experience and applied knowledge. It is im portant to provide students with practical knowledge that will be vital for their future careers, especially as the demographics of agricultural programs shift fr om students with agricultural backgrounds to those lacking agricultural backgrounds (Zhao, 2010). Food security and environmental health are major issues related to agriculture. Educators and agricultural pr actitioners need to be prepar ed to address these growing concerns (Redden, 2009). Agricultural universit ies are expected to be at the forefront of 22

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sustainable agricultural educ ation (Bawden, 1996). Underg raduate programs are being developed across the country, necessitating useful and effective curricula based on education theory (Redden, 2009). The research that exists in this area is mostly focused on specific institutions. This study fulfills the need for a comprehensive assessment of existing sustainable agriculture courses that include a teaching farm throughout the United States. The findings can be used by faculty to effe ctively design curricula for sustainable agricultural courses that take place at teaching farms. Teaching farms will be able to incorporate best practices into their curricu la as well amend ineffective practices to include purposive educational techniques ba sed upon the experiential learning. In addition, the best practices can be used to develop new curricula at teaching farms. Definitions of Terms LAND GRANT UNIVERSITY higher educational instituti on established by the Morrill Act of 1862 that allotted 30,000 acres to each state. The land and money from the sale of the land was used to fund colleges for agriculture and mechanical arts (Meyer, 1998). SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE an integrative system of agriculture that provides the food and fiber needs of humans using envir onmentally sound, economically viable, and socially equitable practices for the present and future (Gold, 2007). COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE a joint effort between land grant universities and the United States Departm ent of Agriculture to pr ovide educational programs in order to improve the lives of citizens based on university research and the needs of the people (Rasmussen, 1989). TEACHING FARM A farm used for agricultural education at colleges and universities, including private and public institutions that ar e funded primarily for educational purposes. According to Sayre (2005), they range in size, can supply dining halls, can be certified organic, and ar e utilized by a variety of disciplines. EXPERIENTIAL LEARNINGThe cyclic process of learning in which the learner undergoes a concrete experience, re flective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experiment ation (Kolb, 1984). Beard and Wilson (2006) defined it as the sense-making pr ocess of active engagement between the 23

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Limitations and Assu mptions of Study There were several limitations to this study. The first was t he use of a snowball sample. When using a snowball sample, it is unc lear if the original population frame is comprehensive or missing potential cases fr om the start (Berna rd & Ryan, 2010). Because a snowball sample relies on key info rmants or well situated people to identify potential cases the sample may not fully r epresent the target population (Bernard & Ryan, 2010; Gall, Gall, & Borg 2007). Even if a case is identified by a well situated person there is no guarantee that each case will participate; some cases will be more willing than others. It will be assumed that the case s that do participate will provide current syllabi for actual courses. The second limitation of this study is how well syllabi represent what was actually occurring in the corresponding courses. As sumptions are made in this study that certain types of activities create the opportunity for students to progress through stages of the experiential learning cycle. Due to the source of data it may not be possible to have a fully representative assessment of how teaching farms ar e using experiential learning. The assumption that the courses are truly using a teaching farm as part of the curricula was made. It is not possible to know for sure that the courses were using the teaching farm as an integral par t of the curricula. One way to address this limitation was to exclude syllabi that made it clear that a teaching farm was used minimally throughout the course. 24

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CHAPTER 2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK Experiential Learning The theoretical framework used in this study was the experi ential learning model developed by David Kolb (1984). This model wa s built off of the works of Jean Piaget, Kurt Lewin, and John Dewey (Beard & W ilson, 2006). In order to fully understand experiential learning theory it is necessary to know the origins of the components of the theory. Other scholars such as Carl Jung, Er ik Erikson, Carl Rogers, and Paulo Freire are also noted as having related ideas to experiential learning; however, the focus will be on the contributions of Piaget, Lewin, and Dewey. Piaget, a developmental psychologist whose work focused on cognitivedevelopment of children, proposed that expe rience and action are central components to building intelligence (Kolb, 1984). Experiences build on each other over time in gradually increasing complexity. As defined by Piaget, development is made up of four stages: sensory-motor, representational, c oncrete operations, and formal operations (Piaget, 1970). Piaget created his model based off of child development yet the concepts he presented can be transferred to that of adult learning (Kolb, 1984). Kolb (1984) recognized the work of De wey as the foundation for experiential learning in education. Dewey (1938), in the book Experience and Education, made a case for a theory of experience and lear ning. As an advocate of experience being central to learning, Dewey recognized that not all experiences ar e equal. Dewey stated, the belief that all genuine education come s about through experience does not mean that all experiences are genuinely or equally educative (Dewey, 1938, p. 25). Dewey placed major emphasis on reflection and the difference between activity and intelligent 25

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activity. According to Roberts (2006), Dewe y considered intelligent activity, or education, an experience that puts off acti on until sufficient observation and reflection is done in order for generalizations to be made. Like Piaget, Dewey recognized that new experiences are influenced by past experienc es, creating a cyclical learning process (Roberts, 2006). Lewin, a social psychologist, contributed to the organizational behavior field as well as social research. Lewins work in action-research methods and group dynamics led to the discovery that learning is best facilitated in an envir onment where there is dialectic tension and conflict between immedi ate, concrete experience and analytic detachment (Kolb, 1984, p. 9) Involvement from the indivi dual learner and recognition of the individuals experiences and feelings are emphasized in Lewins work. Lewins model of action research as presented by Ko lb (1984), similar to Dewey, included four stages: concrete experience, observations and reflections, formation of abstract concepts and generalizations, and testing implic ations of concepts in new situations (Lewin, 1951). Underlying thes e four stages are feedback loops inspired by electrical engineering, that were int ended to strengthen the link bet ween observation and action (Kolb, 1984). Similarities to Kolbs (1984) theory of experiential learning are seen in the ideas of Lewin, Dewey, and Piaget. Themes f ound in the scientific method are found throughout the models of experiential learning presented by Lewin, Piaget, Dewey, and Kolb (Kolb, 1984). Experiential learning is a ho listic view of learning, including the whole person and the environment (Kolb, 1984). As Kolb (1984) explained, The fact that learning is a continuous process grounded in experience has important educational 26

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implications. Put simply, it implies that a ll learning is relearning (p. 28). To fully understand learning, Kolb (1984) stated that the relationship of knowledge and learning must be understood. Knowledge is built through experience (Kol b, 1984). More specifically, knowledge is the sum of previous human cultural experiences, and indi vidual experien ces. In the transaction of these experienc es, a person is able to learn (Kolb, 1984). Learners do not come into a new experience void of previ ous experiences. Because of this, learners bring with them their past knowledge and that has an effect on the new knowledge built in the learning process (Kolb, 1984). Lewin, Dewey, and Piaget all proposed that the process of learning involves resolving conflicts between methods of inte racting with the world (Kolb, 1984). Lewin (1951) presented the conflict between concre te experience and abstract concepts as well as between observation and action. T he conflict discussed by Dewey was between impulse that gives ideas the moving force and reason that gives desire its direction (Kolb, 1984, p. 22). Kolb (1984), ex plained learning and knowing further: The central idea here is that learni ng, and therefore knowing, requires both a grasp or figurative r epresentation of experienc e and some transformation of that representation. Either the figurative grasp or operative transformation alone is not sufficient. The simple perception of experience is not sufficient for learning; some thing must be done with it. Similarly, transformation alone cannot represent learning, for there must be something to be transformed, some stat e or experience that is being acted upon. (p. 42) In Figure 1-1, Kolbs (1984) model of experiential learning displays the cyclical process of engaging in an experience, reflecting on the experience, conceptualizing the experience, and actively experimenting. Due to the cyclical nature of this model, the learner can enter the cycle at any of the four poi nts (Kolb, 1984). 27

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Learning through experience is not restrict ed to a formal classroom setting. The concept of lifelong learning stressed by Kolb (1984) is supported by the view that learning is holistic and adaptive. Kolb explai ned that learning involves the transaction of the person and their environment. Kolb stressed not using the word interaction but rather transaction to emphasize that both person and environment can be affected by one another (Kolb, 1984). Kolb defined learning as the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of ex perience (Kolb, 1984, p. 38). The experiential learning model as presented by Kolb (1984) is cyclical and can therefore be entered at any point, as explained previously. Discussion about the experiential learning model often starts at the concrete ex perience stage, as explained by Roberts (2006). At that stage, learners use their senses to experience the phenomenon (Roberts, 2006). During the reflective observation stage, learners reflect on their experiences and try to make sense of the information by breaking the information apart and internalizing it (Roberts 2006). Generalizations are made during the abstract conceptualization stage. In the fourth stage, lear ners test out their generalizations in a new situation. After this series of stages, the cycle starts over again (Roberts, 2006). Application of Experiential Learning Experiential learning is applicable to m any disciplines. In their analysis of two wildlife technique courses at separate universities, Mill enbah and Millspaugh (2003) emphasized the importance of exper iential learning in content re tention, critical thinking, and competency building. Exper iential learning was used to enhance the learning of the students in an effort to prepar e wildlife students for a professional career (Millenbah & Millspaugh, 2003). Students are able to get the most out of the learning experience due 28

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to the learner-centered nature of experiential learning. Millenbah and Millspaugh looked at two separate wildlife techniques courses to show how Kolbs (1984) four stage learning cycle was implemented. Concrete experience took the form of using radio telemetry equipment to find tracking colla rs. Reflection was done through field journals and group discussion. Abstract conceptualization and active experimentation were done by applying the original experience to si milar scenarios (Millenbah & Millspaugh, 2003). Overall, it was found that ex periential learning is beneficial to preparing students for future careers by strengthening critical th inking, increasing confidence, personalizing the learning experience, increasing re tention, and accommodating the learning experience to a diversity of learning styles (Millenbah & Millspaugh, 2003). Colleges of agriculture use capstone c ourses to help students make connections between coursework and application to career related situations (Andreasen, 2004). Andreasen found the framework of experiential learning is apparent in the components of the capstone courses although capst one courses may not be designed based on experiential learning theory. The model for integrating experiential learning into capstone courses (MIELCC) was proposed to strengthen capstone courses and ensure that experiential lear ning theory criteria are being me t in capstone courses (Andreasen, 2004). In the MIELCC, the six components of capstone courses (team work, problem solving, decision-making, crit ical thinking, and communicati on) and the four stages of the experiential learning cycle (concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation) are integrated using five steps. The five steps are: receive, relate, reflect, refine, and reconstruc t (Andreasen, 2004). A similar 29

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model could be used to incorporate the experi ential learning framework into sustainable agriculture education courses at teaching farms. Battisti, Passmore, and Sipos (2008) looked at the use of action learning, a form of experiential learning, in sustai nable agriculture education. Afte r providing an overview of experiential learning and its hi story at universities, they argued that experiential learning is more than just giving students the opportuni ty to do something hands-on (Battisti et al., 2008). Battisti et al. (2008) stressed t he need for changes in sustainable agriculture curriculum in order to implement experiential learning. The idea of experiential learning in agric ultural education can be traced back to 1905 to Liberty Hyde Bailey, a Co rnell professor (Parr et al ., 2007). Parr et al. (2007) explained that Bailey proposed students should learn by engaging in concrete field experiences, making observation and reflecting on the relationship of the discoveries to the more abstract disciplinary knowledge f ound in the classroom (p. 524). The use of farms for teaching agriculture goe s back to the origins of the land grant university. In the beginning of the land grant hist ory, there was little educati onal material available to teach about agriculture (Richt er, 1962). Often, educators at land grant universities used model farms to allow students to practice what they learned through experimentation and observation (Richter, 1962). Parr and Van Horn (2006) proposed the use of experiential le arning theory to develop curricula for a sustainable agricul ture undergraduate major at University of California, Davis, in response to the National Research Council and the Boyer Commission as well as the growing need for sustainable agriculture education. Similarly, Trexler, Parr, and Khanna (2006) elicited the need for experiential learning in 30

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their study on the necessary content fo r an undergraduate sustainable agriculture major. The need for more research on sustai nable agriculture education curricula is due to the increased interest in sustainable agriculture and the calls for curricula reform (Trexler et al., 2006). Parr et al. (2007) explained college cu rricula have been historically and contemporarily debated in their study on th e perspectives of academics regarding sustainable agriculture curricu la. Historically, curricula were content focused and more traditional in nature. Land grant universitie s were intended to use more progressive education, yet there is still conflict between traditional and progressive rationale when designing curricula (Parr et al., 2007). Traditi onal education is more lecture based while progressive education, championed by Dewey (1934), is more student-centered and experiential in nature (Parr et al., 2007). An existing teaching farm, the Student Expe rimental Farm (SEF), at University of California, Davis was started by students in 1977. The education associated with this farm is rooted in learning through experi ence, being student-centered, and focusing on sustainable agriculture (Parr & Van Horn, 2006). The desire for a sustainable agriculture major has lead to the need to determine the appropriate education theory and curricula content for sustainable agricul ture. Based on a Delphi study done by Trexler, Parr, and Khanna (2006) about practitioner opinions on a sustainable agriculture major, Parr and Van Horn (2006) proposed seven components t hat should be included in a sustainable agriculture major including experiential learning as one of the key components. Parr and Van Horn (2006) added that ex periential learning also necessitates building upon students sense of purpose, current conceptions, and cycles of reflective 31

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observation, abstract conceptualization, and ex perimentation in real-world contexts (p. 431). Through these studies the importance of utilizing experi ential learning is seen in addition the need to assess the current use of experiential learning in existing courses. Parr et al. (2007) researched the topic of sustainable agriculture curricula development due to the lack of informati on about necessary content and teaching theory. Using the Delphi technique, faculty, staff, and graduate students were questioned on what content and experience students should get in a Sustainable Agriculture major. Experiential learning was one of three top recommended methods for teaching approaches along with experience in the classroom and the field and the opportunity to apply learned theory into practi ce. Results found by Parr et al. (2007) are harmonious with the findings of Bawden (1996) and the philosophy that knowledge is generated through a reflective process on past ex periences that result from everyday practice (Parr et al., 2007, p. 530). Overall, Parr et al. (2007) conclude that sustainable agriculture education requires progressive, int egrated, experi ential, interdisciplinary, systems-based curricula where learning grou nds theory to practice in relevant and purposeful social and environmen tal contexts (p. 530). Simila rly, Ngouajio et al. (2006) reported more people are incorporating ex periential learning in their curricula development as interest in sustai nable agriculture curricula grows. Examples of institutions that have developed experient ial sustainable agriculture curriculum include Hawkesbury Agricultural College, Norwegian University of Life Science, EARTH University, and Zamorano Un iversity (Juma, 2007; Parr & Van Horn, 2006). Zamorano University upholds a lear ning-by-doing philosophy (Zamorano University, 2005). EARTH University, loca ted in Costa Rica, was founded in 1990 32

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designed around the U.S.A. land grant model (Juma, 2007). According to Juma (2007), EARTH University has developed an innovative, learner-centered and experiential academic program (p. 8). All st udents at EARTH study sustainab le agriculture. Lifelong learning, as stressed by Kolb (19 84), is encouraged through EARTHs use of experiential learning (Juma, 2007). During the four years at EAR TH, students take part in f our key activities that clearly display the use of the experi ential learning model: Work Experience, Professional Experience, Community Outreach, and Entr epreneurial Projects Program. EARTH has an active farm on campus wher e students take part in during the Work Experience activity, starting by learning production skills in the first year and progressing to management skills in the se cond (Juma, 2007). During their third year, students work with local producers for the Wo rk Experience where they are able to utilize their experiences and apply them to real life settings. Also, students take part in Community Outreach. During t he Professional Experience, students work on campus to strengthen their professional skills An international internship during their third year is the highlight of experiential learning used at EARTH (Juma, 2007). Through the Entrepreneurial Projects Progr ams, the students are able to fully prepare for careers in sustainable agriculture and bu ild entrepreneurial skills (Juma, 2007). During field trips, EARTHs student-centered characteristic is evident when faculty participate directly along with the students (Chakeredza et al., 2008). In addition to University of California, Davis, other institutions that have implemented experiential learni ng into their sustainable or organic agriculture courses include Michigan State University and Iowa St ate University (ISU) (Biernbaum, Thorp, & 33

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Ngouajio, 2006; Trede & Andreasen, 2000; Trede, Soomro, & Williams, 1992). In 1943, a laboratory farm, known as the Ag 450 farm, was established at Iowa State University to allow a space for hands-on learning for the senior-level capstone course for Agricultural Education and Agricultural St udies majors (Trede, Soomro, & Williams, 1992). Currently, this farm is still being used as the experiential learning laboratory for the capstone course (T rede & Andreasen, 2000). Trede and Andreasen (2000) conducted a study to determine students perceptions on the experiential component of the ISU capstone course as it related to their first career. Overall, t he participants in the study i ndicated that the experiential opportunities in the AgEdS450 course prepar ed them for their first career (Trede & Andreasen, 2000). The authors concluded, the ex periential learning process provides for integration, synthesis, and evaluation of the activities desired and is deemed essential to the success of the course (Trede & Andreasen, 2000, pg. 39). Summary/Conceptual Framework Experiential learning theory according to Kolb (1984) is based on the works of Lewin, Dewey, and Piaget (Beard & Wilson, 2006). The cyclical process indicates how learners develop knowledge by taking their ex periences, reflect on them, take abstract concepts and apply them in new settings. As explained by Kolb (1984), experiential learning can occur in a wide range of se ttings and disciplines. Experiential learning theory has been used in undergr aduate capstone courses, sustainable agriculture teaching farms, and wildlife techniques courses (Andreasen, 2004; Millenbah & Millspaugh, 2003; Parr & Van Horn, 2006). In ternational agriculture universities including EARTH University and Zamorano University, utilize experiential learning theory to structure their curricula (J uma, 2007; Zamorano University, 2005). 34

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Universities and colleges that have teachi ng farms often use terminology on their websites and syllabi that describe the fa rm and its curricula as experiential and handson. As stated previously, not all experienc es allow for equal learning potential (Dewey, 1934). Experiential learning allows learners to experience a phenomenon, reflect, make generalizations, and experiment (Kolb, 1984). Higher Education institutions can use teaching farms to facilitate sustainable agr iculture education. It is necessary to determine if teaching farms are truly applying the experiential learning model to ensure the quality of sustainable agriculture curricula. Based on experiential learning theory and it s practical application evident in the literature, the following cat egories have been identified to be indicative of experiential learning theory: concrete experience-dire ct interaction and observation; reflective observation-group/class discussion, assignm ents that allow stude nts to incorporate previous experiences or existing know ledge, assigned readings intended to help students internalize experiences, use of a field journal or similar tool, and built in debriefing and reflection; abstract conceptua lization-opportunities for students to develop models and make hypotheses, demons trates opportunities for students to make generalizations, written reports wit h a discussion or synthesis component, and students given opportunities to make plans for future action; active experimentationactivities that allow students to make appl ications and use their own thoughts and ideas, students develop and create a project, student s test hypotheses and newly made rules and apply course theories, and activities require students to adapt to specific situations. 35

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Research Design A basic qualitative design was used to determine where and how teaching farms are used for sustainable agriculture program s at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Basic qualit ative studies simply seek to discover and understand a phenomenon, a process, or t he perspectives and worldviews of the people involved (Merriam, 1998, p. 11). Data from interviews, observations, or document analysis can be used in basic qualitative studies (Merria m, 1998). This study used document analysis in the form of examining syllabi. The target population of this study was all Higher Educat ion institutions in the U.S.A. that use teaching farms for academic programs focused on sustainable agriculture. Institutions identified as havi ng programs in at leas t one of the following areas: sustainable agriculture, agroecology, organic agriculture, alterative cropping systems, and food systems, collectively referred to as sustainable agriculture programs, were included in initial population frame. The populati on frame was created from institution lists provided by the following organizations : Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), Rodale Institute, United Stat es Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Sustainable Agricu lture Education Association (SAEA). The compiled institution list contained wellsituated people that provided contact information for the relevant faculty members involved in sustainable agriculture (Gall, Gall,& Borg, 2007). 36

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Data Sources A snowball or network sample was used. This type of sampling technique is used when potential respondents are not centrally located but scattered in different sites (Ary, Jacobs, Razavieh, & Sorensen, 2006, p. 473). Well situated people are contacted initially and potential cases to study are suggested (Gall et al., 2007, p. 185). The institutions that use teaching farms were sele cted in order to describe the current use of teaching farms across the U.S.A. Approval was received from the Institutional Review Bo ard (IRB02) to contact the institutions on the initial institution list (Appendix A). After the initial institution list was compiled, the institutions we re contacted by the researc her on September 7, 2010 via email to determine whether or not the faculty involved with the relevant programs used a teaching farm for their course s. The first email contact explained why the person was contacted and a question regarding whether or not a teaching farm was used at the institution. In addition, the first email in cluded a request for the contact information for faculty involved with the teaching farm, if one existed (Appendix B). Follow up e-mails were sent on September 14, 2010 and (Sept ember 21) based on D illman, Smyth, and Christians (2009) Tailored Design Method (s ee Appendices C & D). Contact information for the relevant faculty was collected until no new cases were given (Bernard & Ryan, 2010). The population was more clearly defined based on e-mail correspondence with the institutions to determine if they had a t eaching farm or not. Two hundred and forty three institutions were initially contacted. Of the 243 institutions contacted 80 responded. Twenty-eight indicated that they did not hav e a teaching farm, 39 responded that they do utilize a teaching farm, 3 identified an al ternative teaching space, and 10 responded 37

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but did not clarify if they have teaching fa rm or not. Based on the responses, the faculty that utilized teaching farms were contacted by e-mail on September 27, October 11, and October 25, 2010 to request the relevant syllabi. Not all syllabi that were collected were used in the data analysis. Thirty-two of the 110 syllabi were excluded. Excl usions were made if similar syllabi were submitted from the same institute but from varying years (S 11, S12, S17, S19, S20, S21, S25, S27, S36, S37, S38, S39, S65, S70, S72, S83, S91, S92, S93, & S94). Also, syllabi were excluded if they did not make regular use of the teaching farm fac ility (S30, S33, S85, S90, S100, S101, S102, & S111). In additi on, internship based courses were excluded (S3, S4, S5, S41, & S109) Data Analysis Content Analysis According to Bernard and Ryan (2010), cont ent analysis is a set of methods for systematically coding and analyzi ng qualitative data (p. 287). The aim of this content analysis was to describe prevailing practices (Ary et al., 2006, p. 464). For this study, the constant comparative met hod, a form of content analysis, was used. Merriam (1998) described the constant compar ative method as a process of comparing one segment of data with another to determine similarities a nd differences (p. 18). Glaser (1965) stated the basic defining rule for c onstant comparative method: while coding an incident for a category, compare it with the previous incidents in the same category (p. 439). This study used preset category codes in t he form of an index to guide the content analysis (Gall et al., 2007).. According to Gall et al. (2007) each category should be mutually exclusive, such that any bi t of communication can be coded by only one category in the category syst em (p. 289). There was no ex isting experiential learning 38

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index for course syllabi. An index was created by the resear cher in order to assess the degree of the incorporation of ex periential learning in courses at institutions that utilize teaching farms (Appendix E). I dentifiers of experiential learning were developed based on the experiential learning model and the literature (Kol b, 1984; Millenbah & Millspaugh, 2003; Roberts, 2006). The main sections of the index were based on the four parts of the experiential learning cycle: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active exper imentation (Kolb, 1984). In addition, the discipline of each syllabus wa s noted. One coder was used for this study. Using the experiential learning theory as a framework, criteria for what determines the use of experiential learning at teaching farms was established (Kolb, 1984). Concrete experience was divided into in class acti vities, on farm activities, and other field experiences. For each of those settings, direct interaction and observation were considered. For reflective observation the following categories were included: group/class discussion; assignments that allow students to incorporate previous experiences or existing knowledge; a ssigned readings intended to help students internalize experiences; use of a field jour nal or similar tool; and built in debriefing and reflection. Abstract conceptualization consis ted of the following types of opportunities: opportunities for students to develop models and make hypotheses; opportunities for students to make generalizations; written reports with a discussion or synthesis component; and opportunities to make plans for future action. The final stage, active experimentation, was identifi ed with the following themes: ac tivities that allow students to make applications and use their own thoughts and ideas; students develop and 39

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create a project; students test hypotheses and newly made rules and apply course theories; and activities that require st udents to adapt to specific situations. The initial pool of items was reviewed fo r content and construct validity by a panel of experts in Agricultural Education and Communications; Agronomy; and Family, Youth, and Community Sciences at the University of Florida. According to Ary et al. (2006), validity of an instrum ent must be determined in or der to ensure that the information the instrument was designed to obtain was truly measured. McMillan and Schumacher (2010) defined validity as the degree to which scientific explanations of phenomena match reality (p. 104). The generalizability of the result s was addressed by external validity. Thr eats to external validity were addressed by using snowball sample of institutions with teaching farms in the United States. T he results will not be generalized past institutions in the U.S. Internal validity is the degree to which extraneous and confounding variables are c ontrolled (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010, p. 488). To reduce the threat to internal validity, the same index was used to score each syllabus and all collected syllabi were used (Ary et al., 2006). As defined by Ary et al. (2006), construct va lidity is the extent to which a test or other instrument measures what the resear cher claims it does (p. 630). In order to reduce the threats to construct validity, a thorough explanation of the constructs was defined based on the liter ature (Ary et al., 2006). The us e of the panel of experts to contribute items was another method to increase the construct validity. Trustworthiness Trustworthiness in qualitative research re fers to consistency and the extent to which variation can be tracked or explained (Ary et al., 2006, p. 509).Trustworthiness needs to be established in order to show the results are valid and reliable (Merriam, 40

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1998). According to Lincoln and Guba (1985) trustworthiness is addressed by credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability. Credibility The believability of the findings refers to the credibility of the study (Ary et al., 2006). According to Lincoln and Guba (1985), cr edibility can be established using five major techniques. For this study, activities that make it more likely that credible findings and interpretations will be produced and activit ies that provide and external check on the inquiry process were used to establish credibility (Lincoln & Guba, 1985, p. 301). A thorough literature review was completed as well as consulting an expert panel regarding indicators of experiential learning in course syllabi. Transferability Transferability refers to the level that this study can be generalized to other contexts or situations (Ary et al., 2006). Lincoln and G uba (1985) explained that though the researcher is not intending the study to be generalizable, the researcher must provide thick description necessary to enabl e someone interested in making a transfer to reach a conclusion about whether transfer can be contemplated as a possibility (p. 316). Descriptions of experiential learning indicators found in the course syllabi have been recorded for this purpose and included in the findings. Dependability Credibility and dependability are lin ked. If a study is credible, the methods used to ensure credibility help build the case fo r dependability (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). This study referred to a panel of experts to examine the process of the inquiry and attest to the dependability of the inquiry by using an inquiry audit (Lincoln and Guba, 1985, p. 318). The panel of experts received a sample of the syllabi and blank coding sheets. 41

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The researcher compared the initial finding s with the panel to ensure consistency in coding. Confirmability Confirmability refers to the level at which others would arrive at the same conclusions in similar scenarios (Ary et al., 2006). To account for confirmability, an audit trail was done as well as the inquiry audi t (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). The audit trail included the following categorie s: raw data, data reconstr uction and synthesis products, process notes, materials rela ting to intentions and disp ositions, and instrument development information (Lincoln & Guba, 1985, p. 319). These materials included notes from meetings, drafts of the instrument, and e-mails. Researcher Bias Statement In qualitative research, it is necessary fo r the researcher to be aware of personal bias. Merriam (1998) explained the importance of recognizing researcher bias, because the primary instrum ent in qualitative research is human, all observation and analyses are filtered through that human beings worldview, values, and perspective (p. 22). The researcher has a background in ho rticultural science and therefore has taken many courses in disciplines related to su stainable agriculture. Through this experience she has seen courses with effective hands-on components as well as courses lacking in opportunities for direct student involvement. The researcher went into this stud y with the assumption that while some components of experiential le arning will be apparent, concrete experience and possibly reflective observation, abstract generalizat ions and active experimentation would be lacking. This assumption was developed due to the information the researcher received in a graduate course on exper iential learning as well as from the literature. This 42

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assumption was accounted for by having the panel of experts review the indicators of each stage of experiential learning. 43

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CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS Findings by Objectives Objective 1 The first objective was to determine which institutions of higher education in the United States of America use teaching farms as part of their sustainable agriculture curricula. Also, the locations of the identifi ed institutions throughout the United States of America were determined. Two online direct ories were used as part of the initial institution search. Table 4-1 displays the number of institutions found in each state based on the two existing directories of t eaching farms or student farms. Based on the two databases a range of 36-76 institutions were identified. Twenty-eight institutions contributed a total of 78 syllabi. Figure 41 displays the geographic distribution of the institutions that participated in this study. Both public and private institutions were represented in this study (Table 4-1). Of the public institutions there were three categories: public institutions, land grant institutions, and community coll eges. Most of the institutions that were studied were public institutions including ni ne land grant institutions. There were only two states that included community colleges, California and Arizona. Most states only had one type of institution. California contained community colleges, a land grant institution, and a private institution. Vermont and Oregon similarly had three types including a land grant institution, private institut ion and public institution. Wa shington and North Carolina contained land grant institutions as well as other public institutions. 44

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Table 4-1. Number of student or teaching farms located in each state based on existing online farm directories State Rodale Institute SAEA Arizona 1 1 California 12 6 Colorado 2 0 Connecticut 1 0 Florida 1 0 Georgia 3 0 Hawaii 0 0 Idaho 1 1 Indiana 2 1 Iowa 2 1 Kentucky 1 1 Maine 3 2 Massachusetts 1 2 Michigan 1 2 Minnesota 3 1 Missouri 2 0 Montana 1 0 New Hampshire 2 1 New Jersey 1 1 New Mexico 1 0 New York 2 1 North Carolina 3 3 Ohio 2 1 Oregon 3 0 Pennsylvania 5 2 South Carolina 1 1 Vermont 7 3 Virginia 1 1 Washington 4 2 West Virginia 1 1 Wisconsin 5 1 Wyoming 1 0 Total 76 36 45

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Figure 4-1. Geographic distri bution of participating instit utions of higher education Objective 2 The second objective was to describe what subject areas instructors were utilizing at teaching farms. Eight main disciplines were found throughout the courses that were studied. The main disciplines were the fo llowing: agricultural systems, horticulture, animal science, natural resources and soil science. Table 4-2 displays the disciplines and the sub-disciplines that emerged as well as the number of syllabi in each category. Appendix F displays the course titles along with the correspond ing discipline and institution type. The majority of the sylla bi studied were from courses in the animal science and sustainable agriculture discipl ines. Horticulture had the third highest number of syllabi. 46

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Table 4-2. Disciplines and sub-disciplines represented by the teaching farm course syllabi Discipline and sub-disciplines Total Syllabi for discipline Total Syllabi in subdiscipline Agricultural Systems 9 9 Horticulture 12 5 Weed Science 1 Crops-Floriculture, vegetable, fruit and nut 4 Hydroponics/Nursery Management 2 Animal Science 24 4 Beef 1 Breeding/Reproduction/Physiology/Vet. Practices 4 Dairy 1 Equine 6 Evaluation/Shows/Feed 3 Sheep/goat 3 Swine 2 Natural Resources 3 3 Soil Science 3 3 Sustainable Agriculture 27 11 Agroecology 5 Organic Agriculture 11 The course titles found in agricultura l systems included examples such as Introduction to Agricultural Systems; Agricult ural Techniques; Food, Agriculture, and the Environment; and Agricultural Machine Systems. Horticultu re courses included Weed Identification and Control; Principle of Horticulture; Plant Science; Tropical Fruit and Nut Production; Vegetable Crop Produ ction; Orchid Culture; Nursery Management; and Hydroponics The animal science courses were titled General Livestock Production; Beef Production; Fairs & Exposition; Equine Science; Vet Practices; Feeds and Feeding; Technical Management of Dairy Cattle; and Animal Breeding and Genetics The three natural resource courses were the following: Orientation to Natural Resources and Park Management Prac tices; Wildland Trees and Shrubs; and Urban Tree Management The three soil science courses were indicated by the titles such as Soil and Soil Fertility Management and Soils, Sustainable Ecosystems Examples of the 47

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sustainable agriculture courses were Organic Crop Production Practices; Introduction to Sustainable Agricultur e; Fundamental of Organic Agriculture; and Advanced Agroecology Objective 3 The third objective was to describe the pr esence of indicators of experiential learning theory as reflected in the syllabi of teaching farm courses. This section is divided by the four component s of the experiential learning theory model (Kolb, 1984). Concrete Experience Most (e.g. S7, S24, S25, S34, S35, S47, S68, and S 78) of the syllabi had clear indications that concrete ex perience was present while some (e. g. S1, S2, S6, S10, S15, S15, S18, S32, S46, S56, and S 66) had weak evidence that lacked clear description of specific activities. Weak ev idence typically meant that there was some indication that the potential for a stage was pr esent but there was limited information to support the evidence. An example of weak evidence was found in syllabus 32 in which a lecture and lab section were indicated but no description of activities were included. The concrete experiences were divided in to three categories: in class, on farm, and other field experiences. For each cat egory the experiences were divided between direct interaction and observation. The following are how each category was defined: DIRECT INTERACTION. Activities in which the student s directly interact with the phenomenon such as setting up and ma intaining field plots. OBSERVATION. Events in which students watch vi deos or listen to a lecture with indirect engagement with the phenomenon. OUT OF CLASS. Experiences that included students being required to read course material prior to lectures on a related topic. 48

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There was no evidence for direct interact ion in class. The three observation experiences that were found in the in cla ss category included lecture, watching videos, and demonstrations. Fifty of the 78 collected syllabi indicated a lecture component (S1, S2, S6, S7, S8, S9, S10, S13, S14, S15, S16, S18, S22, S24, S25, S32, S42, S43, S44, S45, S46, S47, S49, S50, S52, S57, S58, S59, S68, S71, S73, S74, S75, S76, S77, S78, S79, S80, S81, S82, S84, S86, S 87, S88, S89, S104, S105, & S110). Other courses (e.g. S28, S29, S62, S64, S95, S96, & S103) did not have lecture components and were strictly labs. Videos were often included in the course calendars (S6, S15, S16, S24, S25, S53, S73, S86, S107,& S110). In syllabus 68 the presence of demonstrations was included in the course structure section of the syllabus. Most of the courses had a field work or lab component. Some of the courses (S1, S40, S48, S54, S84, & S98) had field ex periences in a garden or greenhouse setting. For example, syllabus 1 included an expla nation of the uniquenes s of each students field experiences. For that course students were required to participate in 7 of 10 possible field experience activiti es. Other courses (S2, S6, S7 S9, S10, S13, S16, S24, S28, S29, S34, S35, S47, S49, S51, S54, S60, S61, S63, S67, S68, S69, S77, S78 S79, S95, S96, S99, S105, S106, S107, & S108) had opportunities for students to directly interact in the farm setting. One such course (S24) stat ed the expectation that students should be getting sweaty and your hands dirty in the lab portion. Farm tours and tours of facilities were found in several of the syllabi (S1, S8, S14, S15, S53, S54, S60, S95, S98, and S107). Such tours constituted on farm observation activities. Farm tours were often placed in the course calendar. 49

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Observations in other field experiences were comprised of field trips, industry tours, and field days. Field trips took place at local farms or other agricultural operations (S6, S14, S16, S22, S25, S34, S35, S40, S47, S50, S51, S52, S54, S67, S80, S81, S82, S88, S106, and S110) as well as other on-campus facilities (S2 and S89). Several syllabi mentioned field trips in the course format or in the course calendar (S24, S28, S42, S53, S57, S68, S71, S 73, S74, S75, S76, S86, S87, and S99). Syllabus 35 offered more detail on the types of experiences included in the field trips. For example, we will visit several family-run sustainable operations in order to see firsthand the challenges facing organically-minded farmers (S35). Reading prior to lecture was emphasized in some of the syllabi (S14, S16, S18, S22, S23, S25, S49, S55, S60, and S89). Not every syllabus that had assigned readings directly indicated that students we re required to read the material before lecture. Syllabus 14 stated students are expected to read the materials prior to coming to class while syllabus 55 st ated students should read all materials before class as it will be useful for discussions during class. Reflective Observation Evidence for reflective observation was id entified based on the following criteria: reference to class discussion, assignments t hat allow students to incorporate existing knowledge, readings that are intended to hel p students internalize the experience, the use of a field journal, and written reports. Tw enty two of the 78 sylla bi included evidence that class discussions took place (S2, S6, S7, S14, S18, S24, S25, S35, S43, S47, S49, S50, S53, S54, S60, S61, S67, S68, S 89, S99, S104, and S107). Other opportunities for reflective observation were literature re views with a reflection component (S15, S25, S50, S67, and S76) in addition to annotat ed bibliographies (S16, S24, and S98). 50

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Reflection was evident in literature review s based on requirements such as include a summary of the information, along with a fe w sentences that reflect your personal opinion (S15). There was less descrip tion about the details of the annotated bibliography assignments. Response papers (S6, S40, S47, S49, S50, S68, S88, S98, S106,& S110) and lab reports (S8, S9, S10, S13, S24, S25, S43, S46, S47, S57, S58, S59, S76, S79, & S84) were indicated in several of the syllabi. Syllabus 40 had a response paper assignment following field trips. This assign ment was described in the following way: following the experience, students will write a response paper in which they reflect on their learning about current issues in sma ll scale sustainable agriculture (S40). In syllabus 50 a reflective paper was included in which students will reflect on the work undertaken on their project, focusing on what they learned through the project and how the class can be improved in future semest ers. Lab reports were found in several syllabi but did not include very descriptive evidence describing the components of the lab reports (S8, S9, S10, S13, S24, S25, S43, S46, S57, S58, S59, S76, and S84). Syllabus 47 and syllabus 79 explained the format of the lab report as being in the standard scientific format with an introducti on, material and methods, results, and discussion. Five of the collected syllabi (S14, S 18, S24, S25, & S98) contained the requirement that students bring in questions for class discussion based on the assigned reading. For example, syllabus 14 stat ed that students should be prepared to ask and answer questions based on the readings. Syllabus 18 included the suggestion that students review their class and reading notes in order to raise questions and solidify 51

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your understanding. Similarly in syllabus 24 students were told to be prepared to ask questions about the material. Another major i ndication of reflective observation was the use of a field journal or similar tool (S14, S24, S25, S28, S29, S47, S63, S77, S78, S79, S86, S88, S99, and S106). Tw enty-one of the 78 total syllabi did not have evidence for reflective observation. Abstract Conceptualization Most of the syllabi did not have evidence for abstract conceptuali zation. Of the 31 syllabi that did have evidence, there were three main activities and assignments that indicated this stage in the experiential lear ning cycle. First, opportuni ties for students to develop models and make hypotheses we re made available through written assignments and projects with hypotheses co mponents. Abstract conceptualization was represented by statements such as learn how to formulate a researchable question (S48) and by direct indication of the requirem ent to create and describe hypotheses in assignments (S24, S40, S48, S50, S58, and S84). Written assignments with a discussion or synthesis component was another form of abstract conceptualization t hat was found in several of t he syllabi. In syllabus 6 the students were required to write a final synthesizing essay and in syllabus 51 students were instructed to write a final report based on small reports they had been writing throughout the course. Syllabus 76 and 77 went into greater detail about the requirements for the synthesis component to the written assignment. The components of this section were the following: critically discuss the literature, build to support your assertion. Identify weaknesses and str engths and needs to be addressed in future research (S76 and S77). 52

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The other major indication of abstract c onceptualization found in the assignments included in the syllabi was opportunities for students to make plans for future action. Plans included enterprise or production plans. One example of an enterprise plan was found in syllabus 10. The Sheep Enterprise Plan consisted of t he assignment purpose, an explanation, and outline development. Anot her example of a production plan was found in syllabus 35. This assignment wa s called the Organic Production Plan. The details of this assignment were described in the following way: Each student will choose one product (v egetable, herb, fruit, mushrooms, etc.) for which to develop and organic production plan, from see/spore/cutting/etc. to final produc t. You will need to demonstrate in full detail how to produce this item according to the National Organic Program (NOP) standards. You should incl ude a budget and a marketing plan, including projected production and sale s. A detailed proposal page will be handed out in class. (S35) Other cases of future plans were projects that requir ed creating a future management plan (S47), creating a farm production and m anagement plan (S48), generating a field plan (S68), and a crop production plan (S82). Individual syllabi presented unique oppor tunities for students to go through the abstract conceptualization stage in addition to the previous mentioned opportunities for abstract conceptualization. O ne such opportunity was found in three syllabi in which students were assigned to create a systems diagram (S16, S47, and S98). Students were also given the task of writing papers t hat link theory and practice (S25 and S43). Active Experimentation Active experimentation was evident in the form of projects, oral presentations and group work. Thirty-three of the 78 syllabi included a project as part of the student assignments (S6, S9, S10, S13, S14, S16, S 18, S22, S24, S25, S34, S35, S42, S48, S49, S50, S52, S53, S57, S58, S59, S66, S67, S68, S77, S80, S81, S84, S86, S88, 53

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S89, S98, and S110). In syllabus 16, it was clear that one of the pur poses of the project was for students to have the opportunity to apply course concepts. This was seen in statements such as this fall you will work in teams to develop a proposal to improve one area of the local food system in a way that is situated in the historical, scientific, and cultural contexts you will be studying this se mester (S16). The project found in syllabus 34 takes place throughout the entire length of the course and included quality of design, implementation, monitoring, and fi nal crop quality. Syllabus 59 offered less description of the project but some indication of the purpos e of the project was evident in its title: comprehen sive group project. In addition to projects, 21 syllabi contai ned oral presentations. The presence of oral presentations was indicated in course calendars (S9, S10, S42, S53, S57, and S95) and in project descriptions (S14, S16, S 25, S47, S49, S50, S58, S59, S68, S76, S77, S84, S86, S87, and S98). There were 18 syllabi that indicated group work (S2, S6, S14, S16, S18, S22, S25, S29, S43, S47, S48, S49, S50, S58, S59, S77, S82, and S98). Group work represents opportunities for students to adjust to certain situations. There was no evidence for active experimenta tion in 24 of the 78 syllabi (S15, S23, S28, S31, S32, S45, S54, S55, S56, S60, S61, S62, S64, S71, S73, S74, S75, S97, S103, S104, and S105). General Experiential Learning Theory Evidence for experiential learning theor y outside of the specific four stages occurred in several of the syllabi. The major themes that arose were the use of the phrase hands-on as well as directly referring to the course as an experiential learning course. There were 13 syllabi (S34, S40, S49, S56, S62, S63, S67, S86, S88, S95, S96, S97, & S105) that made reference to hands-on learning. Some examples of this 54

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include: hands-on experienc e where students learn by doi ng (S67); this course provides an essential hands-on experience (S40); and classr oom learning is put into practice during the lab portion of the class, which involves hands-o n learning (S105). Three syllabi (S6, S68, and S69) directly referred to the courses as experiential learning courses. This was stated in sy llabi 68 and 69 in the following way: as an experiential learning course, students will ga in experience in. In syllabus 6 the following statement was used: this course will have an experiential component in which we continue to gradually build the garden. Other syllabi expressed that students will gain experience (S2) and that activities are included that will provide students with experiences from which they can build knowledge" (S48). The philosophy of the instructor was clearly seen in syllabi 68, 69, and 95. The instructor indicated that the instructor and the students were partners in the learning process in syllabus 95 while the instructor of syllabi 68 and 69 took on a facilitator or guide role in the learning process. Evidence for each Discipline Evidence for each stage of t he experiential learning cycle was looked at across the disciplines. Table 4-3 displays the number of syllabi in each discipline that had evidence for each stage of the experi ential learning cycle. Agricultural Systems In the agricultural systems discipline all nine of the syllabi included evidence for concrete experience. Only three of the nine syllabi in this discipline contained clear evidence for reflective observati on. However, four of the syll abi had some indication of reflective observation. Four of the syllabi in the agricultural systems discipline had clear 55

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evidence abstract conceptualization. Most of the syllabi in this discipline possessed a strong indication for acti ve experimentation. Horticulture All of the horticulture syllabi had evidence for concrete experi ence. Most of the syllabi had evidence for reflective observation with only 4 lacking any indication of this stage of the experiential learni ng cycle. Five of the twelve horticulture syllabi showed the presence of opportunities for abstract conceptualization. Similar to concrete experience, most of the sylla bi in this discipline had evidence for active experimentation with only two lacking any indication of this stage. Animal Science Sixteen of 24 animal science syllabi had strong evidence for concrete experience while 8 had some indication of concrete experi ence. Half of the syll abi in this discipline indicated that reflective observation was present. In addition, 4 syllabi offered vague indications of this stage of the cycle. Only 5 of the 24 syllabi suggested that abstract conceptualization was present. Active experim entation was strongly ev ident in 10 of the syllabi and weakly evident in 2. Natural Resources All of the three natural resources syllabi had indicators for c oncrete experience. Two of the three syllabi showed signs of reflective observation. There was only one syllabus that had evidence for abstract conceptualization. In this discipline there was evidence for active experimentation strongly in two and weakly in one syllabus. Soil Science Similar to other disciplines, the three soil science syllabi indicated the presence of concrete experience. In addition, all th ree had evidence for reflective observation. 56

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Two of the three syllabi in this disc ipline indicated the presence of abstract conceptualization. This was also found for the active experimentation stage of the cycle. Sustainable Agriculture All 27 sustainable agriculture syllabi c ontained evidence for concrete experience. All but 5 syllabi had indicators for reflective observation. Only 13 of the 27 sustainable agriculture syllabi contained evidence for abs tract conceptualization. Twenty-two of the syllabi in this discipline prov ided indication for opportunities for active experimentation in addition to two syllabi with weak evi dence for this stage in the cycle. Table 4-3. Occurrences of evidence for each stage of the experien tial learning cycle found in each sub-discipline Disciplines and sub-disciplines CE RO AC AE Total Possible Agricultural Systems 9 7 4 6 9 Horticulture 5 3 0 4 5 Weed Science 0 1 0 0 1 Crops-Floriculture,Vegetable,Fruit and nut 4 3 3 4 4 Hydroponics/Nursery MGMT 2 1 2 2 2 Animal Science 4 1 1 2 4 Beef 1 1 1 1 1 Breeding/Reproduction/physiology/vet practices 4 2 0 1 4 Dairy 1 1 1 1 1 Equine 6 6 1 2 6 Evaluation/shows/feed 3 2 0 3 3 Sheep/goat 3 2 1 2 3 Swine 2 1 0 1 2 Natural Resources 3 2 1 3 3 Soil Science 3 3 2 2 3 Sustainable Agriculture 11 11 6 10 11 Agroecology 5 3 2 4 5 Organic Agriculture 11 8 4 10 11 57

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION Summary The purpose of this study was to determi ne the use of teachi ng farms throughout the United States for sustai nable agriculture education at institutions of higher education. There has been an increase in the demand for sustainable agriculture education at institutions of higher education (Shroeder, Cr eamer, Linker, Mueller, & Rzewnicki, 2006). Experiential learning theory, as defined by Kolb, has been used in agricultural education to help link practice and theory (Perez, Parr, & Beckett, 2010). As curricula for sustainable agriculture is re fined and newly developed it is important to ensure that agricultural student s will be properly prepared fo r the variety of potential careers available (Bawden, 1996). Syllabi were collected from higher education institutions across t he U.S. All of the syllabi that were assessed were from course s that utilized a teachi ng farm as part of the curricula. Common themes were found in the syllabi as well as differences between courses and disciplines. The conclusions m ade from the findings will be presented in this chapter as well as a look at the existing literature on the subject of teaching farms at higher education intuitions. Conclusions and Implications Objective 1 Institutions of higher education in t he U.S. that use teaching farms were determined in this study. A total of 78 syllabi were collected from 27 institutions. These institutions were found throughout 18 stat es. These findings may be limited to the institutions that responded. The most represented type of inst itutions that were found in 58

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this study was public institut ions. Of the 21 public institutions there were 9 land grant institutions. Public institutions were found in all states included in this study excluding Pennsylvania and New York. Of the public in stitutions, land grant institutions with teaching farms were in California, Wash ington, Oregon, Utah, Montana, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Maine. The community colleges were only found in California and Arizona. Private institutions with teaching farms were found in Oregon, California, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New York, and Maine. It was difficult to ascertain from the instit utions websites whether or not a teaching farm existed. If it was clear t hat a teaching farm did exist at a specific institution it was not always easy to determine the contact informa tion for the relevant faculty. The use of existing directories provided by the Roda le Institute and Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) were helpful in determining what institutions to include in the pool of institutions that were contacted however not all information was up to date. The institutions that parti cipated in this study are not the only institutions in the U.S. that have teaching farms. This st udy was limited by whether or not faculty responded to the series of email requests. The in stitutions that participated in this study were also limited by whether or not it was possible to find accurate contact information via the institutions websites. Objective 2 The following disciplines were the original focus of this study when requesting syllabi from faculty: sustai nable agriculture, agro ecology, organic agriculture, alterative cropping systems, and food systems. Bas ed on the syllabi collected additional disciplines emerged. The main disciplines that were found included agricultural systems, horticulture, animal science, natural resources, and soil science. There was a 59

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prevalence of sustainable agriculture syllabi as well as the sub-disciplines of organic agriculture and agroecology. Animal science and the sub-disciplines were the second largest set of syllabi. Horticulture was the third most abundant with agricultural systems following close in number. The least represented disciplines were natural resources and soil science. Experiential learning has been found in si milar courses including agricultural capstone courses (Andreasen, 2004; Trede & Andreasen, 2000). Also, the use of experiential learning has been looked at in sust ainable agriculture, organic horticulture, and organic and sustainable agriculture (Batti sti et al., 2008; Ngouajio et al., 2006; Schroeder et al., 2006). Similarly, sustai nable agriculture and rural development education at Hawkesbury Agricultural Colle ge has emphasized the use of experiential learning as well as sustainable agriculture at University of California, Davis and ecological horticulture at U. C., Santa Cruz (Bawden, 1996; Parr et al., 2007; Perez et al., 2010). Michigan State University has used experiential learning in organic agriculture courses (Biernbaum et al., 2006). Linking practice and theory has been emphasized in an agroecology Masters program at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Lieblein, Salomonsson, & Fr ancis, 2007). Experientia l learning has been incorporated into wildlife c ourses at the University of Missouri-Columbia (Millenbah & Millspaugh, 2003). Another international exam ple is EARTH University in Costa Rica (Juma, 2007). Based on the findings there is a number of animal scien ce courses that are using teaching farms as part of the curricula. It was found that the ani mal science courses had many opportunities for hands on learning but were weak in the reflective observation 60

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and abstract conceptualization stages of the ex periential learning cycle. More research should be done to determine how well experient ial learning is being incorporated into the educational activities in these courses. Ho wever, this study found a similar diversity of disciplines as represented by existing literature on teaching farms and experiential learning excluding animal sciences and soil science. Disciplines that were not represented in this study but found in the literature include int egrated pest management and disciplines related to social sciences th at are relevant to sustainable agriculture (Schroeder et al., 2006). Objective 3 Evidence for each stage of the cycle wa s found throughout the syllabi. Concrete experience and active experim entation were more evident than reflective observation and abstract conceptualization. This indicates the need for the two underrepresented stages to be intentionally stru ctured into course curricula. Concrete experience Concrete experience took the form of dire ct interaction with t he topic of study or through observation. It was unclear if ther e was direct engagement in class and in other field experience as compared to di rect interaction in the lab or farm setting. Battisti et al. (2008) raised the question of what defines an experience. This question was asked in light of Deweys assertion that experiences can have va rying degrees of educational value (Battisti et al., 2008). Though there wa s an emphasis in many of the courses for hands-on learning there is more to experiential learning t han the act of just doing. According to Lieblein et al. (2007), agricultural students need to be provided relevant educational experiences that will strengthen their motivations and prepare them for a complex future (p. 37). 61

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Experiences in the classroom and field, experiential learning, and the opportunity to apply learned theory into practice (Parr et al., 2007, p. 529) ranked highest in the types of teaching approaches that shoul d be used in sustainable agriculture undergraduate education. Parr et al. (2007) suggested that students be given opportunities to interact with fa rmers, take field trips, direct ly participate at the farm, and do internships. The activities that emerged fr om the syllabi were very similar to those suggested. Some syllabi had richer descriptions of t he activities than others. Syllabus 50 contained explanations of the expectations of each activity that included all four stages of the experiential learning cycle (Kolb, 1984). For example, the internship component was described as an opportunity for students to make connections between the academic and practical arenas and it was not meant to be busywork just for the sake of doing it, but hands-on work that will improve the Farm and perhaps introduce students to new skills (S50). In those syllabi that were not detailed it was difficult to determine the degree to which students were invo lved and whether or not the activity fit with active experimentation or concrete experience. Concrete experience cannot stand alone. As explained by Parr and Van Horn (2006), for experient ial learning to be fully realized, the students purposeful action or concrete experiences must be linked to an interactive cycle of reflective obser vation, abstract conceptualization, and experimentation (p. 430). Reflective observation Class discussion and reflective papers we re the main forms of reflective observation that emerged from the syllabi. It was clear that some of these opportunities were intentionally included in the course to encourage reflective observation. Parr and 62

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Van Horn (2006) explained that experiential learning includes more than just experience but also encourages students to add to their existing knowledge and incorporate new experiences to prepare them for future experiences. There were a number of syllabi that did not indicate any opportunities for reflective observation, intentional or unintentional. This does not mean that reflective observation was not occurring in those cour ses. However, based on the evidence, this stage in the experiential learning cycle was not intentionally incorporated into the syllabi. Based on Kolbs model of experiential learning, l earners need the opportunity for reflective observation in order to c hange or affirm the meani ng made from prior experiences (Perez et al., 2010, p. 111). Acti vities that emerged from the syllabi that have a high likelihood of allo wing for reflective observation include reflective papers that encourage students to incorporat e their personal insights and past experiences. In addition, class discussions in which students are required to bring in questions from reading or prior lectures are useful tools for enabling reflective observation to occur. Andreasen (2004) explained Joplins perspective on reflection by stating it is the reflecting upon the experiences received and relating them to our previous gained knowledge or information that distinguishes experiential learning fr om merely learning experiences (p. 56). Students should be guided to internaliz e the experience and analyze their observations and reactions to the experienc e (McMullan & Cahoon, 1979). According to Petkus (2000), reflective observation inv olves watching, listening, recording, discussing, and elaborating, on the experie nces (p. 64). Activities should be incorporated into teaching farm courses that allow students to reflect on their concrete 63

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experiences and prepare them for the nex t stage of the learning cycle where generalizations are made. Abstract conceptualization Both reflective observation and abstract conceptualization are the stages of the experiential learning cycle that are cognitive in nature (Roberts, 2006, p. 22). The other two stages are more external and requ ire active participation from the learner. Due to the nature of this stage of the cycle it was difficult to know for sure if opportunities for abstract conceptualization were built into the course syllabi or not. However, it was evident in some syllabi that opportunities for synthesis and future planning, and therefore abstract conceptualization, were included. The abstract conceptualization stage of the cycle is necessary in order to incorporate new knowledge for the use of futu re applications. Evidence for this stage of the experiential learning was la cking significantly from the sylla bi. Over half of the syllabi had no evidence while the rema ining syllabi had varying degrees of opportunities for abstract conceptualization. As with other parts of the cycle single activities provided the venue for several stages of the cycle to o ccur. In several of the syllabi abstract conceptualization was evident in student projects This was especially true in projects in which students had to create pl ans or write reports that tied in course concepts and prior experiences. These opportunities most likely provided students opportunities for refining the received knowledge and concep tualizing it with regards to other experiences as well as opportunities for student s to tie the experience or learning into the educational or experiential pa radigm (Andreasen, 2004, p. 56). The lack of abstract conceptualization in sustainable agriculture courses will hinder students ability to build knowledge. In structors need to intent ionally design their 64

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courses to include opportunities for students to make generalizations. This stage of the cycle prepares students to enter new experie nces and test out their newly formed hypotheses based on prior experiences. In the abstract conceptualization stage in structors may need to take on the role of a facilitator and guide students through the linking of course concepts and theories to the students personal experiences (Petkus, 2000). Instructors should talk through the thought process to bridge the reflective st age to the abstract conceptualization stage and do more than just state conclusions (B rock & Cameron, 1999). To achieve this stage of the cycle students can look at specific situations analytically from a variety of perspectives to compare and contrast the st rengths and weaknesses of each view point (Brock & Cameron, 1999). Identifying assu mptions, building models, and developing hypotheses will allow students to make mean ingful interpretations of otherwise confusing experiences (McMull an & Cahoon, 1979, pg. 455). Active experimentation It was difficult to distinguish active exper imentation from concrete experience. One of the criterions that were used to make this distinction was whethe r or not the activity was intended for application of knowledge or if it was a first exposure to something. This represents one issue that can arise when using Kolbs (1984) experiential learning model. Projects and oral presentations were the main activities that constituted active experimentation. It was assumed that t hese opportunities, while they may offer new experiences, were intended to provide students opportunities to adjust to new scenarios and apply course concepts. Group work also represented active experimentation as 65

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there are ample opportunities in group work to acclimate to a variety of situations and incorporate multiple perspectives (Kolb, 1984). Active experimentation is the stage of the experiential lear ning cycle in which learners test out their newly developed knowledge in new situations (Battisti et al., 2008). Students working in a farm setting ar e given opportunities to respond to unexpected events due to the dynamic characte ristics of the farm setting. Unexpected events allow students to be expos ed to reality, gain confidence, learn to adjust to stress, become familiar with course material, and make decisions on how to respond and act (Millenbah & Millspaugh, 2003, p. 129). Student s should be given opportunities to not only try something once but be able to apply it and make adjustments based on what was learned during the first exposure. Knowledge should be built upon prior experiences, as reflected in the cyclical form of the experiential le arning cycles (Kolb, 1984). Implications for the Expe riential Learning Model Kolbs (1984) model of experiential learning is made up of four stages: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation. The difficult y of distinguishing active ex perimentation and concrete experience emerged based on the findings of this study. Roberts (2006) presented a two part model of experiential learning based on the works of Dewey (1938), Kolb (1984), Joplin (1981), and Dale (1946). Figure 5-1 displays the first part of Roberts (2006) model. This model looks very similar to Kolbs (1984) model however it combines the concrete experience stage with the ac tive experimentation stage. 66

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Figure 5-1. Roberts (2006) Model of the Experiential Learning Process The use of Roberts (2006) Model of the Experiential Learning Process has been found to be more useful based on the results of this study. The experience stage in this model includes both the initial experience and experimentation (Roberts, 2006). Reflection and then generalizat ion, the two cognitive based stages, follow the experience stage. After generalization the process cycles back to the experience and into the next iteration of the cycle (Roberts, 2006). Roberts (2006) described t he experiential learning proc ess as cyclical and spirallike. This explanation accommodates for the acti vities found in the syllabi in this study since many of the activities and topics bui lt off of each other and progressed throughout the courses. The stages are in a specif ic order in both Rober ts (2006) and Kolbs (1984) models for experiential learning. Howe ver, as explained by Kolb (1984) and as found in this study the process may not a lways occur in the order illustrated in the models. It was also difficult to decipher the order of acti vities and progression through the cycle based on syllabi alone. The models act as guides that are useful in planning and evaluating curricula. In practice the stages of the cycle may not manifest in the proposed order. 67

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The cognitive stages of experiential lear ning theory, reflective observation and abstract conceptualization, can occur away from the direct experience (Kolb, 1984; Roberts, 2006). Because of this it was not alwa ys clear in the syllabi if opportunities for these stages were present or intentionally built into the course structure. The inclusion of these stages is imperative to the progr ession of the cycle and the overall learning experience. This study looked at the use of exper iential learning theo ry based on Kolbs (1984) model and terminology. Similar philos ophies on learning were used at teaching farms but with different words to describe the process. Batti sti et al. (2008) used the term action learning to describe the type of learning they suggest for sustainable agriculture education. Action learning is si milar to but not exactly the same as experiential learning. Accordi ng to Battisti et al. (2008), action learning differs from experiential learning because it is distinguis hed by critical reflection, and can also be referred to as double loop learni ng (p. 28) (Figure 5-2). Figure 5-2. Action learning model (Battisti et al., 2008) 68

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Using syllabi as the data source offered a limited view of what is occurring at teaching farms. The researcher had to make assumptions of what the instructor was intending for the activities in order to assign what stage of the cycle was being represented. Due to this it was difficult to fully know what is truly occurring in the courses that were represented by the collect ed syllabi. It was clear that syllabi were often lacking information to allow for a full pi cture of what occurs. However, the more detailed syllabi offered enough information to suggest that experiential learning is taking place or at least is intended to take place. Overall, the majority of teaching farms included in this study had evident concrete experience and abstract conceptualization activi ties. Reflective observation and abstract conceptualization were present in a signifi cant number of syllabi. However, these cognitive based stages need to be encourag ed and designed deliberately into the curricula in order to provide students with the proper tools to pr epare them for their future careers. Of the 78 syllabi, 17 were found to have t he most evidence for the presence of experiential learning (S7, S24, S25, S29, S35, S43, S47, S48, S50, S67, S68, S76, S77, S79, S84, S89, S98). Curricula that are structured around the experiential learning cycle will give students the opport unity for examining and strengthening the critical linkages among education, work, and personal development (Kolb, 1984, p. 4). The presence of experiential learning in sustainable agriculture cu rricula allows students to add to their sense of purpose (Parr & V an Horn, 2006) and prepare them for life-long learning (Kolb, 1984). 69

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Sustainable agriculture curricula should be designed closely following the experiential learning model. To do this, in itial experiences should be planned with the intention of allowing students to build on to the experience and gain knowledge. The initial experience should be followed by reflective opportunities including guided discussion, journaling, and reading of suppor ting materials. Students should be given opportunities to analyze, compare and contra st, create models, and integrate theories into specific contexts in order to move into the generalization stage (Petkus, 2000). Newly developed theories and g eneralizations should be te sted in other experiences that are comparable but differ ent than then initial experienc e. Throughout the learning experience instructors will need to take on several roles including facilitator and instructor. Recommendations for Future Research Based on the findings several recomm endations have been made. First, a study that includes interviews or focus groups with teaching farm faculty, staff, and students should be conducted in order to find out what is occurring at teaching farms and whether or not teaching theor y is incorporated and applied. It should be determined how intentional faculty are at incorporating the stages of the experiential learning cycle into their activities and lessons. In addition, direct observation of faculty teaching at teaching farms should be done to ascertain what is truly occurring in the teaching farm courses. A similar study should be conducted using additional curricula ma terials with the Roberts (2006) model of experiential learning to more richly assess what is occurri ng in teaching farm courses. Research should be conducted with students of teaching farms to understand their 70

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perceptions of the learni ng process. Follow up studies should be done with students after they graduate to gather t heir perceptions of their pr eparation for their careers. Additional studies should be conducted on other educational theories that are used at teaching farms. Partnerships should continue to be held and formed by those doing research and those utilizing teaching farm curricula. Institutions of higher education as well as SARE and SAEA should be in collaboration to decide what information would be most advantageous for t he future of sustainable agriculture education through teaching farms. Recommendations for Practitioners From the findings, recommendations have been made for faculty and staff that use teaching farms as part of their curricula. Clear descriptions of opportunities to major in sustainable agriculture should be included on higher education institutions websites. Additionally, the presence of a teaching farm should be transparent and easily accessible to prospective students. Teachi ng theory such as experiential learning should be intentionally used to design curricu la in addition to being used in practice during courses at teaching farms. While this study was not intended to assess the quality of how sylla bi are written, it is suggested that practitioners clearly state their expectations fo r assignments. More information given to students initially will he lp the learning process to be enhanced and ensure that both instructor and student have a shared vision for the outcomes of the course. Faculty that design and implement sustai nable agriculture curricula at teaching farms should be cognizant of when activities are intended to facilitate students to enter the reflective observation and abstract concep tualization stages of the experiential 71

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learning cycle. Instructors should design thei r curricula with evaluation in mind in order to monitor that students are fully cycling through the experiential learning process. These indications will help the instructor to be aware that what they are intending for the students is actually occurring. Opportunities for experience that are included in teac hing farm courses should have purpose and be intentional and more than just mere activity. A major part of experiential learning theory is that students have the opport unity to direct their own learning. Opportunities for students to c hoose and make decisions about what and how they learn should be incorporated into teaching farm courses. 72

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73 APPENDIX A IRB APPROVAL

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APPENDIX B INITIAL CONTACT Dear Faculty or Staff Member: I am writing to request syllabi that you use in your courses at the teaching farm at your institution. Over the past three weeks I have been compiling a list of institutions of higher education that use a teaching farm as part of their curricula. You have been identified by someone in your institution as faculty that us es the teaching farm for one or more of your courses. If this is not true, please let me know. For my Masters thesis research at the University of Florida I am determining best practices for curricula that utilize teac hing farms for the following or related disciplines: sustainable agriculture, agroec ology, organic agriculture, alternative cropping systems, and food system s. The reason you are being contacted is to find out how teaching farms are being used in current courses. A teaching farm is defined as a farm used for agricultural education at colleges and universities, including private and public in stitutions that are funded primarily for educational purposes. According to Sayre (2005), They range in size from less than an acre to more than two hundred acres. Some are run as community-supported agriculture programs; others s upply dining halls or sell at farmers markets. Some are certified organic; others follow organic or sustainable methods but are not certified. Some, like Dartmouths, are overseen by a full-time staff person, while others are loosely supervised by professors of ecol ogy or plant and animal sciences. Many are linked to courses in subjects like ecol ogical agriculture, organic gardening, sustainability, or global f ood politics (para. 5). Your contribution of syllabi to my study would be greatly appreciated. University of Florida Institutional Revi ew Board approval has been received for this study. If you have any questions regarding how your syllabi will be used please feel free to contact me at mmazurkewicz5@ufl.edu or 717-330-9563. I look forward to learning more about the work you are doing wit h your teaching farm. Thank you, Melissa Mazurkewicz 74

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APPENDIX C SECOND CONTACT Dear Faculty or Staff Member: On September 27th I sent you a request for syllabi from courses that you teach at the teaching farm at your inst itution. Your contribution to my study is important and will help get a better picture of what is occurri ng at teaching farms throughout the country. The reason you are being contac ted is because you were id entified by someone at your institution as someone that utiliz es the teaching farm. If your institution does not have a teaching farm or you are not involved, please let me know. This study is being done as part of my Masters thesis research at the University of Florida. I appreciate any input you might have for my study. Please let me know if you have any question regarding how your syllabi will be used. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Melissa Mazurkewicz 75

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APPENDIX D FINAL CONTACT Dear Faculty or Staff Member: Two weeks ago I sent out an email requesti ng syllabi for courses that use the teaching farm at your institution. I realize it is a busy time in the semester but your input will greatly benefit my study. If you do not use a teaching farm or do not have syllabi please let me know. I plan to st op collecting syllabi in the nex t two weeks. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding my study on teaching farms throughout the United States. Thank you very much for your time and input. Sincerely, Melissa Mazurkewicz 76

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77 APPENDIX E EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING INSTRUMENT Concrete Experience: In ClassOn Farm Other Field ExperienceRead Prior to Class Direct Interaction "Hands on" Observation Reflective Observation: Theme Evidence Refers to group/class discussion Assignments allow students to incorporate previous experiences/existing knowledge Assigned readings intended to help students internalize experience Explains the use of a field journal or similar tool Lab Report Abstract Conceptualization: Theme Evidence Opportunities for students to develop models and make hypotheses Demonstrates opportunities for students to make generalizations Write reports with a discussion/synthesis component Students make plan for future action Active Experimentation: Theme Evidence Activities that allow students to make applications and use their own thoughts and ideas: Students develop and create a project Students test hypotheses and newly made rules and apply course theories Activities require students to adapt to specific situations

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APPENDIX F COURSE TITLES, DISCIPLINES, AND INSTITUTION TYPES Syllabus # Course Title Discipline Institution Type 1 Organic Crop Production Practices Organic Agriculture Land Grant 2 Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Land Grant 6 Sustainable Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Private 7 Assessment of Soil Resource Potentials Soil Science Land Grant 8 General Livestock Production Livestock Community College 9 Beef Production Livestock Community College 10 Sheep Production Livestock Community College 13 Fairs & Expositions Livestock Community College 14 Organic Farming Practicum Organic Agriculture Land Grant 15 Soil and Soil Fertility Management Soil Science Public 16 Growing Connections and Sustainable Foodways Agriculture Private 18 Equine Science Livestock Community College 22 Sheep (and Goat) Science Livestock Community College 23 Vet Practices Livestock Community College 24 Principles of Agroecology Agroecology Public 25 Agroecology Practices, Systems and Philosophies Agroecology Public 28 Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture Lab Sustainable Agriculture Community College 29 Field Experience in Agriculture Agriculture Community College 31 Agricultural Machine Systems Agriculture Community College 32 Weed Identification and Contro l HorticultureCommunity College 34 The Urban Farm: Biology Sustainable Agriculture Land Grant 35 Fundamentals of Organic Agricult ure Organic Agriculture Private 40 Townes Harvest Practicum Sustainable Agriculture Land Grant 42 Feeds and Feeding Livestock Public 43 Technical Management of Dairy Cattle Livestock Public 44 Evaluation and Selection of Livestock Livestock Public 45 Reproduction and Artificial Insemination of Domestic Animals Livestock Public 46 Swine Production Livestock Public 47 Practice of Sustainable Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Public 48 Student Organic Farm Planning, Growing and Marketing Organic Agriculture Land Grant 49 Principles and Practices of Sustainable Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Private 50 Practicum in Agriculture I Agriculture Public 51 Orientation to Natural Resources and Park Manag ement Practices Natural Resources Community College 52 Wildland Trees and Shrubs Natural Resources Community College 53 Permaculture Design I Sustainable Agriculture Private 54 Organic Gardening Organic Agriculture Private 78

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Syllabus # Course Title Discipline Institution Type 55 Horsemanship III Livestock Public 56 AGSC 160 Agricultural Techniques Agriculture Public 57 Horticulture Horticulture Public 58 Food, Agriculture and the Environment Agriculture Public 59 Introduction to Agricultural Systems Agriculture Public 60 Horsemanship I Livestock Public 61 Horsemanship II Livestock Public 62 Equine Reproduction Practicum Livestock Public 63 Horse Training Techniques Livestock Public 64 Plant Science Lab Horticulture Public 66 Urban Tree Management Natural Resources Public 67 The Urban Farm Organic Agriculture Public 68 Organic Farm Planning Organic Agriculture Land Grant 69 Organic Farm Practicum Organic Agriculture Land Grant 71 Introduction to Animal Science Livestock Land Grant 73 Swine Production Livestock Land Grant 74 Goat and Sheep Production Livestock Land Grant 75 Animal Breeding and Genetics Livestock Land Grant 76 Tropical Fruit and Nut Production Horticulture Land Grant 77 Sustainable Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Land Grant 78 Principle of Horticulture Horticulture Land Grant 79 Vegetable Crop Production Horticulture Land Grant 80 Principle of Horticulture Horticulture Land Grant 81 Orchid Culture Horticulture Land Grant 82 Nursery Management Horticulture Land Grant 84 Hydroponics Horticulture Land Grant 86 Organic Crop Science Organic Agriculture Private 87 Commercial Vegetable Product ion Horticulture Private 88 Horticulture Techniques I Horticulture Private 89 Soils, Sustainable Ecosystems Soil Science Land Grant 95 Agronomy Laboratory Agronomy Public 96 Animal Science Laboratory Livestock Public 97 Agricultural Techniques Agriculture Public 98 Sustainable Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Private 99 The Practice of Sustainable Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Public 103 Introduction to Animal Science Livestock Public 104 Physiology of Farm Animals Livestock Public 105 Agroecology and Tohono O'odham crop production Agroecology Community College 106 Organic Farm Practicum Organic Agriculture Land Grant 79

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80 Syllabus # Course Title Discipline Institution Type 107 Fundamentals of Organic Agriculture Organic Agriculture Land Grant 108 Agriculture Techniques I Agriculture Public 110 Advanced Agroecology Agroecology Land Grant

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Dimitri, C., & Oberholtzer, L. (2009). Marketing U.S. organic foods: Recent trends from farms to consumers. USDA Economic Research Service, Economic Information Bulletin #58. Retrieved from http://www.ers.usda.gov Earles, R. (2005). Sustainable agriculture: An introduction Retrieved from ATTRA website: http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/sustagintro.pdf Food and Agricultural Organization. (2002). Organic agriculture, Environment, and food security Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/DOCR EP/005/Y4137E/y4137e02.htm Gall, M. D., Gall, J. P., & Borg, W. R. (2007). Educational research: An introduction (8th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. Glaser, B. G. (1965). The constant com parative method of qualitative analysis. Social Problem, 12 (4), 436-445. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/798843 Gold, M. V. (1999). Sustainable agriculture: Definitions and terms (Special Reference Briefs Series no. SRB 99-02). Retrieved from http://www.nal.usda.gov Gold, M. V. (2007) Or ganic production and organic food : Information access tools Retrieved from http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/ofp/ofp.shtml Grant, P. M., Field, T. G., Green, R. D., & Rollin, B. E. (2000). The importance of comprehensive agricultural education in l and-grant institutions: A historical perspective. Journal of Animal Science, 78 1684-1689. Retrieved from http://jas.fass.org/cg i/reprint/78/6/1684.pdf Hillison, J. (1996). The origins of agriscience: Or where did all that scientific agriculture come from? Journal of Agriculture Education, 37 (4), 8-13. doi: 10.5032/jae.1996.04008 Joplin, L. (1981). On defin ing experientia l learning. Journal of Experiential Education, 4 (1), 17-20. Juma, C. (2007). Food security, agriculture and econo mic growth: Opportunities for cooperation between the United St ates and Sub-Saharan Africa Testimony to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subc ommittee on Africa and Global Health United States House of Representatives. Retrieved from http://hcfa.house.gov/110/jum071807.pdf Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Leis, A. E. (2008). Student farms at United States colleges and universities: Insights gained from a survey of their managers (Unpublished masters thesis). Columbus, OH. Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social sciences New York, NY: Harper & Row. 82

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Lieblein, G., stergaard, E., & Francis, C. (2004). Becoming an agroecologist through action education. In J. Pretty (Ed.), Sustainable agriculture and food: Policies, processes, and institutions, Vol 4. (pp 290-299). London, UK: Earthscan. Lieblein, G., Salomonsson, L., & Francis, C. (2007). Educational perspective in agroecology: Steps on a duel learning ladder toward responsible action. NACTA Journal, 51 (2), 37-44. Lincoln, Y. S. & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry Newbury Park, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. Marcus, A. I. (1986). The ivory silo: Farmer-agricultural college tensions in the 1870s and 1880s. Agricultural History, 60 (2), 22-36. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/ pdfplus/3743428.pdf?acceptTC=true McMillan, J. H., & Schumacher, S. (2010). Research in education New York, NY: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers. McMullan, W. E., & Cahoon, A. (1979). Inte grating abstract conceptualization with experiential learning. The Academy of Management Review, 4 (3), 453-458. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/257203 Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qual itative research and case st udy applications in education San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Meyer, J. H. (1998). The historical trek of the land grant college of agriculture, past, present, and future Berkeley, CA: The University of California Press. Millenbah, K. F., & Millspaugh, J. J. (2003). Using experiential learning in wildlife courses to improve retention, problem solving, and decision-making. Wildlife society bulletin, 31 (1), 127-137. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3784366 National Research Council. (2009). Transforming agricultural education for a changing world. Washington, D. C.: National Academic Press. Ngouajio, M., Delate, K., Carey, E., Azarenko, A. N., Ferguson, J. J., & Sciarappa, W. J. (2006). Curriculum development for organic horticulture: Introduction. Horttechnology 16(3), 413-417. Retrieved from http://horttech.ashspublications.org/ Parr, D. M. (2009). Student farmer-to-student farmer: Transformational learning in sustainable agriculture and food systems education (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Proquest. (3385713). Univer sity of California, Davis. 83

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Parr, D. M., Trexler, C. J., Khanna, N. R., & Battisti, B. T. (2007). Designing sustainable agriculture education: Academics suggesti ons for an undergraduate curriculum at a land grand university. Agriculture and Human Values, 24 523-533. doi 10.1007/s10460-007-9084-y Parr, D. M., & Van Horn, M. (2006). Devel opment of organic and su stainable agricultural education at the University of California Davis: A closer look at practice and theory. HortTechnology,16(3), 426-431. Perez, J., Parr, D., & Beckett, L. (2010). Achieving program goals? An evaluation of two decades of the Apprenticeship in Ecologica l Horticulture at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 1 (1), 107-124. Petkus, Jr., E. (2000). A theor etical and practical framewor k for service-learning in marketing: Kolbs expe riential learning cycle. Journal of Marketing Education, 22(1), 64-70. Retrieved from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdlink?did= 52570575&Fmt=6&cli entId=20179&RQT=309 &VName=PQD Piaget, J. (1970). Genetic epistemology New York, NY: Columbia University Press. Rasmussen, W. D. (1989). Taking the university to the peopl e: Seventy-five years of Cooperative Extension Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press. Redden, E. (2009). Green revolution Retrieved from Insi de Higher Ed website: http://www.insidehighered.co m/news/2009/04/23/agriculture Reiling, B.A., Marshall, T. T., Brendemuhl, J. H., McQuagge, J. A., & Umphrey, J. E. (2003). Experiential lear ning in the animal sciences: Development of a multispecies large-animal managem ent and production practicum. Journal of Animal Science, 81 (12), 3202-3210. Retrieved from http://jas.fass.org/cgi/content/full/81/12/3202 Richter, J. (1962). The origin and development of the landgrant college in the United States. The Journal of Negro Education, 31 (3), 230-239. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/ stable/pdfplus/2293861.pdf Roberts, T. G. (2006). A philoso phical examination of exper iential learning theory for agricultural educators. Journal of Agricult ural Education, 47 (1),17-29. doi: 10.5032/jae.2006.01017 Sayre, L. (2005). The NEWFARM: A directory of student farms Retrieved from http://newfarm.rodaleinsti tute.org/features/0104/stud entfarms/studentfarms.shtml Schroeder, M. S., Creamer, N. G., Linker, H. M. Mueller, J. P., & Rz ewnicki, P. (2006). Interdisciplinary and multilevel approach to organic and sustainable agriculture at North Carolina State University. HortTechnology, 16 (3), 418426. 84

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85 Thompson, B. (2009). Educational and training opportunities in sustainable agriculture, 19th ed. Retrieved from http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/edtr/EDTR2009.shtml Trede, L. D., & Andreasen, R. J. (2000). An analysis of expe riential learning and instructional techniques in AgEd S450 at Iowa State University. NACTA Journal, 44(4), 35-40. Trede, L. D., Soomro, F. M ., & Williams, D. L. (1992). Laboratory farm-based course meets content and teaching procedures. NACTA Journal, 36 (4), 21-24. Trexler, C. J., Parr, D. M. & Khanna, N. (2006). A Del phi study of agricultural practioners opinions: Necessary experiences for inclusion in an undergraduate sustainable agricultural major. Journal of Agricultural Education, 47 (4), 15-25. Doi: 10.5032/jae.2006.04015 United Nation Development Programme. (2010). Millenium development goals Retrieved from http://www.undp.org/ mdg/basics.shtml United States Department of Agriculture. (2009). Sustainable agriculture Retrieved from http://www.csrees.usda.gov/nea/ag_systems/ in_focus/sustain_ag_if_organic.html Zamorano University. (2005). Philosophy Retrieved from http://www.zamorano.edu/ingles/aprender _haciendo_eng/filosofia_eng.htm Zhao, X. (2010). Educating and training future farmers, researchers and extension personnel in sustainable agriculture (SARE Project LS10-233).

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Melissa Mazurkewicz had an interest in plants from a young age. She studied environmental science and biology at Messiah Co llege for two years before transferring to Penn State University to study horticulture. Melissa wa s able to get experience many aspects of horticulture from native plant preservation, horti cultural extension, tropical agriculture, and organic agriculture. After graduation Melissa was able to gai n experience working for the Penn State research farm learning about extended cr op production using high tunnels, apple cultivation, and row crop cult ivation. After gaining many experiences working with Cooperative Extension faculty Melissa rea lized she wanted to be able to educate people better about horticultural practices. She also gained a growing intere st in international and tropical agriculture. Melissa decided to pursue a masters degr ee at the University of Florida in Extension Education. During her time at the University of Florida Melissa was able to travel to Costa Rica and visit EARTH University. Melissa received her Master of Science at the University of Florida in the spring of 2011. She plans to seek a career in agricultural extension and developm ent in an international setting. 86