Educating for adoption : understanding long-term outcomes of the Agroforestry Academy
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Agroforestry adoption remains low in temperate regions despite academic acceptance of diverse benefits. And while education is often cited as a tool for empowering adoption, researchers have struggled to identify generalizable factors regarding agroforestry education that lead to successful adoption. As such, there is a need for investigation into the relationship between educational programming and agroforestry adoption within particular, program-specific contexts. One such context is the Agroforestry Academy at the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry, an annual week-long temperate agroforestry training program. This study represents the first long term follow-up with participants since the program's inception in 2013, and utilizes a 'learning for sustainability' framework to ask Who learns? Why is it learned? How is it learned? and What is learned? with the purpose of developing a richer understanding of the role that educational programming plays in relation to agroforestry adoption processes, as well as how that role might be leveraged to enhance such processes moving forward. In addition to potential programmatic adjustments, findings reveal the importance of instrumental, experiential, and social learning orientations within adult agroforestry education. Further research into methods of enhancing agroforestry instructors' capacity for social learning and network facilitation is recommended.
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