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Climate change curricula for adult audiences in agriculture and forestry: a review

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Schattman, Rachel E. (main author), Kaplan, Marjorie (author), Aitken, Hannah M (author), Helminski, Jennifer (author)
Online journal article
Publication Date:
SAGE Journals
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
adult education, educators, environmental communication, extension, forestry, natural resource management, teaching methods, agriculture, knowledge sharing, climate change, interdisciplinary communication
21 pages., via online journal., Agricultural and forestry advisers and other technical service providers play an important role in supporting farmers and foresters to adapt to climate change. However, not all agricultural and forestry advisers are comfortable talking about climate change with land managers. While there is a demonstrated interest related to climate-related professional development, few examples of curricula developed with the express purpose of serving this audience and a systematic review of these curricula has not been conducted. To address this gap, we reviewed 12 curricula which were developed and implemented between 2001 and 2017. The goal of this review is to apply the lessons learned from a range of climate change-focused curricula to new, regionally or sector-specific educational programs targeting both agricultural advisers and innovative farmers. Our findings suggest that developers of future educational programs consider the following: (a) the specific needs of their audience, including topical interests and learning needs; (b) the use of interdisciplinary teams for curricula development; (c) trade-offs associated with inclusivity and depth of course content; and (d) the advantages of project-based education approaches suited for adult learning audiences. By applying these concepts to future curricula, these curricula are likely to have the greatest level of impact.