Research in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education focuses on how people learn, apply and create new information in the sciences and technologies of agriculture. This includes inquiry in how to improve teaching and learning within an agricultural context.
Research takes place in a variety of locations. The department maintains on-campus labs to develop new methods and techniques in teaching and learning in agriculture. Faculty members also conduct research in both formal and non-formal educational settings such as schools and communities.
Some of the recent research conducted by faculty and graduate students in Agricultural and Extension Education include the development and testing of new curriculum materials in AgriScience education. Through departmental efforts, new materials and procedures in teaching practical applications of science at the K-12 levels are being developed with aquaculture and hydroponics systems placed in numerous schools.
In another example, the department recently conducted community-based research on barriers to participation in agricultural careers among minority youth in Arkansas. A different study compared hands-on, active learning with more traditional passive learning strategies on secondary school student academic performance and satisfaction toward learning. Yet another study seeks to describe the professional mobility of graduates of agricultural education.
Departmental research in agricultural communications focuses on the popular media's role in public issues related to agriculture, including water quality, food recalls, biotechnology, and the development of the agritourism industry. Recent projects have also focused on the use of new media and social networking media in agricultural communications.
Recent research in agricultural systems technology management has focused on evaluating precision agriculture systems and on engine performance, efficiency, and exhaust emissions with biofuels. More information on this project can be found here: AECT Biodiesel Research Project.
Several faculty members regularly publish their research in refereed journals such as the Journal of Agricultural Education, the Journal of Applied Communications, Applied Engineering in Agriculture, and The Proceedings of the National Agricultural Education Research Meeting. Departmental faculty members have served on the editorial boards of professional journals and have chaired the national professional research meeting.
The Department has direct access to three facilities used for research:
Built in 1927, the Agriculture Building houses several classes. 301A is a large multi-purpose classroom. 332 is a large technology rich, multi-purpose classroom that has distance education video capabilities. 115 is a large technology rich classroom. The TRC is also an asset to the Agriculture Building.
|AFLS Computer Lab
Designed in 2009, the computer classroom in the Agricultural, Food, and Life Sciences building is a state-of-the-art teaching facility. Departmental courses in microcomputers and agricultural communications are taught in this facility, which includes the newest industry-standard design software and up-to-date hardware.
|Abernathy Agri Science & Technology Center
Located on the Experiment Station Farm, the Abernathy Center was built in 2004 to provide students with a hands-on learning facility. The Abernathy center has two classrooms and a large lab.