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Book of Abstracts

11th IFOAM
Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996
Copenhagen, Denmark

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Subject index
Athor index


Higher Education in Ecological Agriculture and New Teaching S9

Mittelstrass, Holger

Department of Organic Animal Husbandry, Faculty of Agriculture,International Rural Development and Environmental Protection, D -37213 Witzenhausen, Nordbahnhofstr. 1a

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Since 1993 the agricultural students at the University of Kassel have the opportunity to specialize in Ecological Agriculture during their last year of study. The establishment of the course was intensively prepared and accompanied by the students themselves. Their contribution included political engagement as well as protracted headwork to develop the curriculum. The curriculum is buildt up as a module system with the main subjects soil, plants, animals and man.

To a broad extent the conventional teaching and learning methods have been replaced by a much more modern model, where students hold short lectures, organize conferences or excursions, work together with farmers and write reports. Also the common methods of examination in form of written tests have been abolished in favour of more active forms. Furthermore, a regular exchange with the representatives of the labour market for Ecological Agriculture takes place. By those methods of theoretical and practical more or less self determinated learning the students acquire not only a solid knowledge but also a holistic view of Ecological Agriculture. In addition, social key qualifications, such as communication, organisation and pedagogic skills are achieved.

The thorough evaluation of the old and new learning system shows, that the students as well as the lecturers appreciate the more open and diverse curriculum. This successful process started in 1981 when the first professorship of organic farming in Europe was established in Witzenhausen. Now in the year 1996 we have reached the provisional end of this development. It consists of a brand new curriculum concept and of the foundation of a new Faculty of organic Farming or Ecological Agriculture respectively.

Mittelstrass, Holger 1993: Studienschwerpunkt Ökologischer Landbau-neueAkzente in der Lehre. In: Ökologie und Landbau , 87, S. 20-21, Bad Dürkheim

Mittelstrass, Holger 1994: Studienschwerpunkt Ökologischer Landbau-erste Erfahrungen. In: Ökologie und Landbau, 92, S. 13-14, Bad Dürkheim