disciplines is widely recognized as a highly desirable and effective teaching model that engenders holistic thinking and breaks down disciplinary boundaries. The interdisciplinary interaction of the LA/Hort programs for this project was critical to achieving
Baldev Lamba and Grace Chapman
Sonja M. Skelly and Jayne M. Zajicek
supported by a grant awarded by the Interdisciplinary Research Initiatives Program sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Associate Provost for Graduate Studies at Texas A&M University.
James A. Chatfield, Joseph F. Boggs and David J. Shetlar
The Buckeye Yard and Garden Line (BYGL) is a user-friendly, interdisciplinary, timely avenue on the information superhighway developed in Ohio and applicable as a model for horticultural information delivery throughout the United States.
J.P. Mueller, M. E. Barbercheck, M. Bell, C. Brownie, N.G. Creamer, A. Hitt, S. Hu, L. King, H.M. Linker, F.J. Louws, S. Marlow, M. Marra, C.W. Raczkowski, D.J. Susko and M.G. Wagger
-term interdisciplinary research at CEFS. Finally, without the hard work and dedication of the CEFS superintendent Eddie Pitzer, assistant superintendent Jeff Chandler, and farm crew (Rodney Mozingo, Toby Grimes, Tim Matthews, and many others), technicians (Ken Fager
If we want our students to engage in complex intellectual tasks to interrogate the insights of different disciplines, then let's join them in the task, modeling it and sharing the difficulties and richness of its possibilities. Interdisciplinary study is not rejection of the disciplines. It is firmly rooted in them, but offers a corrective to the dominance of disciplinary ways of knowing and speculation. We need the depth and focus of disciplinary ways of knowing, but we also need interdisciplinarity to broaden the context and establish links to other ways of constructing knowledge. It is this dialogue between analysis and synthesis that provides the creative tension from which we will all benefit in a world in which crossing intellectual boundaries is increasingly the norm.
By examining the ways that societies have raised and prepared their predominant food crops, students can gain insights into horticultural methods and origins of food, and develop an awareness of and appreciation for diverse cultural heritage. An interdisciplinary approach to the subject permits young people to synthesize information form diverse sources and to understand the important historic relationship between humans and plants.
M.S. Schroeder, N.G. Creamer, H.M Linker, J.P. Mueller and P. Rzewnicki
There is an increasing demand for education in organic and sustainable agriculture from undergraduates, graduate students and extension agents. In this paper, we discuss highlights and evaluations of a multilevel approach to education currently being developed at North Carolina State University (NCSU) that integrates interdisciplinary training in organic and sustainable agriculture and the related discipline of agroecology through a variety of programs for undergraduate students, graduate students, and extension agents. These educational programs are possible because of a committed interdisciplinary faculty team and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, a facility dedicated to sustainable and organic agriculture research, education, and outreach. Undergraduate programs include an inquiry-based sustainable agriculture summer internship program, a sustainable agriculture apprenticeship program, and an interdisciplinary agroecology minor that includes two newly developed courses in agroecology and a web-based agroecology course. Research projects and a diversity of courses focusing on aspects of sustainable and organic agriculture are available at NCSU for graduate students and a PhD sustainable agriculture minor is under development. A series of workshops on organic systems training offered as a graduate-level course at NCSU for extension agents is also described. Connecting experiential training to a strong interdisciplinary academic curriculum in organic and sustainable agriculture was a primary objective and a common element across all programs. We believe the NCSU educational approach and programs described here may offer insights for other land grant universities considering developing multilevel sustainable agriculture educational programs.
Damian M. Parr and Mark Van Horn
In the mid-1970s, University of California, Davis, students concerned about the environmental and social consequences of modern agriculture were interested in exploring the practice and theory of “alternative” agriculture. These students organized to create new educational opportunities to address needs that were not being met by the existing curricula. These student-initiated opportunities emphasized interdisciplinary analyses of agriculture and field-based experiential learning; they included student-organized courses and the development of the Student Experimental Farm (SEF) as a site for student education, research, demonstration, and extension projects. Over the next three decades, the SEF developed diverse experiential educational projects, classroom and field-based courses focusing on sustainable and organic agriculture, and several departments and programs offered additional, related courses and curricula. In 2004, an interdisciplinary curriculum committee within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences began to develop an undergraduate major in sustainable agriculture. A team of faculty and students within the committee conducted a broad stakeholder survey of agricultural practitioners, academics, students, and alumni to help inform decisions regarding what content, skills, and experiences to include in the curriculum. The survey findings reinforced the original curricular and pedagogical themes articulated and acted upon by students 30 years prior. The proposed curriculum is aimed at integrating disciplinary and interdisciplinary coursework in natural and social sciences, significant on- and off-campus experiential learning, and an emphasis on professional and interpersonal problem-solving and communication skills. Educational theory supports these diverse educational approaches and is useful in helping design courses and curricula in organic and sustainable agriculture.
Michael S. Uchneat and Cheryl Capezzuti
Education of future consumers is a frequently discussed objective to improve consumer relations with the horticulture industry. We have developed a program which addresses this objective. The program provides examples of art projects that can be combined with simple horticultural experiences. We are presenting this program as a model to be used by horticultural professionals for the instruction of child care providers, or for direct presentation to children. Our intent is to create a greater awareness of horticulture. Often, child care providers plan educational experiences for young people based on disciplines that have been established by tradition and that are considered essential to childrens' educational development. For example, teachers might plan a nature lesson, a simple math lesson or an art lesson. This interdisciplinary plan helps children feel the connectedness of the world in which they live rather than seeing it as a series of unrelated events. Traditional motor skills are taught, along with an appreciation for seeds, plants, and the environment. Teachers may adapt the information presented here to a wide variety of activities. This approach can serve as an example of how interdisciplinary programs involving horticulture might be structured. It offers a timeline to teachers who desire to duplicate such a program, and presents many ideas, along with detailed information on how to conduct individual projects. Hopefully, this integration of art and horticulture inspires those who work with children to creatively consider the possibilities of interdisciplinary planning.
James J. Ferguson, Elizabeth Lamb and Mickie Swisher
With funding to increase support for organic farming research at land grant universities, organic growers have collaborated with faculty and administrators to develop an undergraduate, interdisciplinary minor at the University of Florida. Required introductory courses focus on general concepts of organic and sustainable farming, alternative cropping systems, production programs, handling, and marketing issues. An advanced horticulture course requires intensive examination of certification procedures, farm plans, soil fertility, and crop management, all of which are integrated into a required field project. Extension faculty have also fostered development of this new curriculum by coordinating regional workshops and field days in collaboration with organic growers and by developing educational materials on organic certification and related issues.