Formalising perception of the concept of agroecology

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We addressed this in the section presenting the theoretical frameworks mobilised : agroecological knowledge is related to a ‘special’ epistemology which renders the exclusively transmissive pedagogical approach relatively inefficient.

Indeed, the situated, contextualised and incorporated nature and the high presence of values surrounding such knowledge, implies the use of an adapted educative strategy.

Further to its studies and exchanges, our work group agreed that the socio-constructivist approach represents a pertinent method for addressing this type of knowledge.

This requires initial consideration of representations that learners may make of the notion, the concept and object of the knowledge in the educational exchange. We therefore consider that evoking the knowledge and ideas that each learner already possesses is an essential preliminary phase for establishing dialogue relative to the fields of knowledge being studied. It would be counterproductive to try to impose a vision, guidelines or a unique approach with regards to knowledge that is ‘uncertain’, complex and very much transdisciplinary.

Counterproductive because it may introduce improper hierarchies between fields of knowledge (some promoted through training, others left to one side) which would impact, by knock-on effect, the participants in a training course.

Counterproductive again because, as studies on teaching of disciplines has shown, it is not sufficient to declare a ‘truth’ for representations to be cast aside, but it is necessary to carry out in-depth work of deconstruction / reconstruction to ‘make do in order to go against’ according to the famous formula given by André Giordan (2001).

Counterproductive also because, as shown by social issues and educational studies, the use of dialogue and debate on skills and the social sharing of different representations within a group represents a powerful and fertile lever for accompanying open mindedness with regards to other cognitive perspectives (socio-constructivism).

The different documents in this section propose tools and approaches that promote expression and formalisation of the diversity of representations that each of the participants in a training course has regarding agroecology. These documents also propose ideas for an educative inclusion of these representations and the use of these throughout the training course.


@ Photolangage ®
From participants choice of pictures, following by discusions about reason of their choices and eventualy by a formatting in little groups, learners can exchange their representations on agroecology and on agroecological knowledge.

@ Moving debate
Based on debate with possibility to change sides after participants arguments, this tool is used to to collect participants representations and also to be a support for exchanges on in-depth subject

@ Developping a Q-sort for training (Qualitative selection)
This tool makes it possible to collect the subjective assessments and the personal reflections of the participants and to exchange on their representations.
@ Examples of Q-sort about agroecology

@ Reading landscapes

@ Post-it wall

@ Nominal group technique

@ Case studies from filmed examples :
- How herders learn their herder skills and knowledge?
Interview with Hungarian herders who have different background. It is very interesting to learn how non-scientific approach plays an important role in agroecological knowledge transfer. The film is in Hungarian with English subtitle.
- Rendek farm in Hungary - traditional knowledge in practice
In Farm Rendek students make interview with the wife of the farmer who prepares soap, compote, herb tees and carpet in traditional way.
- What have you got in your bag?
You are what you eat! Interview with consumers: what do they think about food quality? Why is it important to be a member of an initiative that based on local food production? The short film is in Hungarian.
- Traditional strudel making
Training about traditional strudel making. Participants had theoratical and practical course how to prepare the famous Hungarian traditional strudel. Old knowledge must be transferred to younger generation!
- "Lavender Spice and Herb Garden" shortfilm
Selection of photos that presents the Lavender Spice and Herb Garden. You can see old traditional knowledge related to herb and spice production and produce process. This shortfilm allows attunement to the topic of agroecology.

@ Permaculture video in Galicia : a way of transmission of permaculture practices
Tradition of hops growing in Galicia : recovery of an old audiovisual documentary on the production of hops demonstrating the tradition of this crop in a region of Galicia, where the hops was the main economic activity for many families

@ Silent walk - exploring the spirit of place (Genius loci)
Stimulating individual question formulation by walking in silent. That method helps us to make our senses open and receptive to the nature that surrounds us.

@ Questionnaire for consumers
This serie of issues help us to collect consumers representations about agroecology and their relations ship with food.

@ Questionnaire for students
Questionnaire designed for students allows to measure the knowledge of them on selected topic (e.g. agroecology; sustainable development; organic farming, etc.).

Furthering your discovery of training itinerary :
@ How changing its own position and its view for spotting, observing and collecting agroecological knowledge or how Preparing yourself to receive agroecological knowledge

@ Which procedures and techniques to investigate agroecological knowledge or how Investigate

@ Pedagogical Approaches and positions for Promoting integration of agroecological knowledge