PAE302 Agroecology: Action Learning in Farming and Food Systems
Showing course contents for the educational year 2016 - 2017 .
Course responsible: Geir Hofgaard Lieblein
Teachers: Anna Marie Nicolaysen, Charles Andrew Francis, Tor Arvid Breland, Charles Andrew Francis
ECTS credits: 30
Faculty: Faculty of Biosciences
Teaching language: EN
Limits of class size:
Minimum 5 and maximum 22 students.
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in August block. This course has teaching/evaluation in August block, Autumn parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2011-2012
Master´s degree students in Agroecology. Others must be approved by teacher and manually signed up by SIT
The course consists of two interlinked parts: a group-based real-life project work and an individual reflection on the project work. The real-life project work includes description, analysis and redesign of farming and food systems. Lectures and seminars deal with agroecology, ecological (organic) agriculture, local and global food systems, systems thinking, learning, action research methodology, interview techniques, visionary thinking, creative problem solving, group dynamics, facilitation, agroecosystems structure and functioning from farm to global scales, sustainability in production, environmental, economic and social perspectives, ecological principles of farming and food systems design, systems ecology, food distribution, consumer issues on food, and food security. Students write one group report for their farmer clients and one for their food system clients. They also write an individual report where they reflect on agroecological issues of the project work as well as their own learning during the course and while preparing the group reports.
After completing the course, the students should know how to: - Describe and analyse farming and food systems, - link theoretical knowledge and concrete action, - acquire knowledge about their own learning. Further, the students should acquire: - Knowledge of structure and functioning of conventional and alternative (e.g., organic and local) farming and food systems, - knowledge of links between disciplinary (sub-system) knowledge and systemic (holistic) approaches, - experience with methods for systems analysis and improvement, including assessment of sustainability within a methodology of participatory action research, - the ability to handle complexity and change, - the ability to link theory to real-life situations, - the ability to communicate and facilitate, - the ability to learn autonomously and life long, - experience in dealing with attitudes as part of the agroecosystem and the learning community. Through real-life case studies with focus on change processes, attitudes of both students and actors in the farming and food systems will be made explicit. The students will learn how to deal critically and constructively with attitudes and value-based choices. Desirable attitudes of the students: open-minded, critical, spirited, determined, approachable, exploring and communicative.
Basis is experiential (inductiv) learning with concrete situations in the field as the starting point for the learning process. Students do project work in groups dealing with such cases. Lectures and seminars are linked with the project work, that ends with the preparation of to group reports ("client documents"). In addition, the students are expected to write an individual report where they explore their learning process during the course, in relation to key agroecological topics.
Literature will be presented in class.
Bachelor´s degree or equivalent in agriculture, economics, natural resources, human nutrition or other relevant social or natural sciences.
Field excursions, workshops in class and group work.
Basis for the evaluation are two written group reports (´client documents´), a written individual paper (´learner document´), an oral presentation and discussion of their individual paper (oral examination), and the students´ overall contribution to the course process. The weighting is: group reports 40%, individual report 20%, oral exam 20%, and course contribution 20%. All parts have to be passed.
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway
Type of course:
Details will be given at course start.
The external examiner participates in the major parts of the evaluation process.
Examination details: Continuous exam: A - E / Ikke bestått