Date of Award
Doctor of Education
I undertook this action research to study my facilitation of a new approach to helping farmers learn about alternative agricultural practices. This approach involved farmers engaging in three types of teaching and learning (Peters and Armstrong, 1998) with an emphasis on collaborative learning. I served as facilitator and participant in workshops held once per month over a period of eleven months. I used individual interviews, field notes and reflective journaling to obtain descriptions of farmers' learning experiences and of my role as facilitator/participant. I then analyzed the data using domain analysis and coding methods. The results were expressed in terms of four categories of themes that described the farmers' learning experiences: Multiple Approaches, Environment, Community, and Creating Knowledge. Two additional categories of data described farmers' perceptions of my facilitation of the meetings and their assessment of the three types of teaching and learning. Engagement in collaborative learning within the framework of the three types of teaching and learning enhanced the learning experience of the participating farmers and led to changes in my own practice as an agricultural educator. The findings also led to recommendations for further research in the area of collaborative learning and alternative agricultural education.
Fazio, Robin Antony, "Collaborative learning among farmers as an approach to alternative agriculture education. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 2003.