October 2013 Newsletter: Commission Education, Research Training and Consultancy

ISHS Secretariat
October 2013 Newsletter (#10): Commission Education, Research Training and Consultancy
1. Welcome

With the 29th International Horticultural Congress just over a year away and abstracts closing off on November 1 2013 we thought it best to bring out the newsletter a little earlier to remind all members of the Commission and ISHS that abstracts for IHC2014 are now open. When submitting your abstract please follow the procedure outlined on the IHC website (http://www.ihc2014.org/) that will enable you to access the presenter' portal and download the abstract template.
This year we have been fortunate in attracting a number of international and national keynote speakers to speak at the 7th International Symposium on Horticultural Education, Research Training and Consultancy. These authorities include Professor Dr. Geoffrey R. Dixon, who is owner of the consultancy company, Green Gene International and Visiting Professor in the School of Agriculture, Reading University, United Kingdom, Professor Dr. David W. Reed who is a Professor of Horticulture and Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Faculty Development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University in the United States, and Professor Dr Jim Pratley who is Research Professor of Agriculture at Charles Stuart University and Secretary of the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture, in NSW, Australia. Their profiles are presented further on in the newsletter.
In addition there will be a workshop entitled "Horticultural Programming for the Lifelong Education and Training" which is to be conducted by Prof. Dr Silvana Nicola from the University of Torino, Italy and colleagues. This workshop will discuss specific EU programs where a number of examples will be used as a base to discuss larger joint ventures in horticulture for the future: a discussion planning future collaboration between nations. This workshop is a must for people working in life-long education and training.
With a theme like "Horticultural Education, Research Training and Extension in Changing Times" topics can range from new innovative approaches to education, research training and extension in developed and developing countries, vocational training and learning for the workforce, undergraduate and postgraduate training strategies for the workforce, managing knowledge and student learning, and visionary papers on the future of horticultural education, research training and extension. See the home webpage http://www.ihc2014.org/symposium_20.html). We are keen for you to present papers and posters on areas where people, programs, and places have made a difference to horticultural education, research training and consultancy. If that work expresses something innovative in education and training let's hear about it. Get your abstract in by November 1 2013. Hope to see you in Brisbane, Australia in August 2014.

Sincerely, David Aldous and Alan Hunter, Chair and Vice-Chair, Commission Education, Research Training and Consultancy. Email: dealdous@gmail.com or alan.hunter@ucd.ie respectively.

2. News and Views

Keynote Speaker Profiles for the 7th International Symposium on Horticultural Education, Research Training and Consultancy, International Horticultural Congress, Brisbane, 17-22 August, 2014.

  • Professor Dr. Geoffrey R. Dixon - Professor Dixon has extended experience in the provision of integrated systems which combine undergraduate and postgraduate education with research relevant to industrial, environmental and social needs and consultancy which delivers technological solutions. Specialist in sustainable soil microbiology. The title of his presentation is Making 21st Century European Horticultural Knowledge Transfer Fit-for-Purpose.
  • Professor Dr. David W. Reed - Professor Reed has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate courses, both at Texas A&M and internationally. Primarily, Professor Reed has taught the same introductory horticulture course for 34 years to over 16,000 students and covering three generations of students, culminating with the current millennial student. He will discuss changing student expectations at the undergraduate and graduate level, enrollment trends, departmental mergers, degree consolidations/eliminations, and the impact of research funding on graduate education in the U.S. These trends paint a changing picture of U.S. horticultural education in the future. The title of his presentation is Challenges of Higher Education in the U.S.- What will Horticulture of the Future Look Like?
  • Professor Dr Jim Pratley - Professor Pratley graduated with BSc and PhD degrees from the University of NSW and took up an academic position at Wagga Wagga where he has been since 1972. He was Foundation Dean of Science and Agriculture at Charles Sturt University from 1990 until 2006. Jim has taught courses in agronomy and related areas and has published widely in conservation farming, weed management, herbicide resistance and allelopathy. He is a former President of the Australian Society of Agronomy and former Vice President of the International Allelopathy Society. He has served on the Boards of the Cooperative Research Centres of Viticulture, Sustainable Rice Production, Weed Management Systems and Plant Based Management of Dryland Salinity. He is a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Australian Farm Institute, and the NSW Primary Industries Minister's Ministerial Advisory Council. He is currently undertaking a Ministerial Review into Agricultural Education and Training in NSW. The title of his presentation is The Workforce Challenge in Australian Agriculture and Horticulture.

Seeking Convenorship for the 8th International Symposium on Education, Research Training and Consultancy in 2016

In 2016 the Commission wishes to hold its 8th International Symposium on Education, Research Training and Consultancy. We are currency seeking interested individuals or parties, who are members of ISHS, have had experience in organizing symposiums, and would be willing to act as conveners to organize this significant international event. Interested parties should contact the Chair David Aldous or Vice-Chair Alan Hunter, Email: dealdous@gmail.com or alan.hunter@ucd.ie respectively before the end of the year.

National and International Commission Partnerships

The Commissions Urban and Landscape Horticulture and Education, Research Training and Consultancy are proud to be working together on the following conferences/symposiums. Information on these conferences/symposiums can be obtained from their respective web-pages.

  • 4th International Conference on Landscape and Urban Horticulture: Impact of Landscape Horticulture on Development of Urban Economy with Green Environment, Kolkata (India) - 12-14 September 2013 (home webpage: http://www.icluh.in/)
  • 5th International Symposium on Landscape and Urban Horticulture - 17-22 August 2014 (home webpage: http://www.ihc2014.org/symposium_28.html). The call for abstracts opens 1 April 2013.
  • 3rd International Symposium on Turfgrass Management & Science for Sports Fields - 17-22 August 2014 (home webpage: http://www.ihc2014.org/symposium_29.html. The call for abstracts opens 1 April 2013.
  • Sustainable Management in the Urban Forest - 17-22 August 2014 (home webpage: http://www.ihc2014.org/symposium_33.html). The call for abstracts opens 1 April 2013.
3. Recent Reports, Articles, WebPages and Forums on Horticultural Education

This is a selection on reports and reference sources taken from the web, or contributed by members on horticultural education and sourced for your information.

MacKay, B.R., M. B. MacKay, K. A. Funnell and T. E. Welsh (1999). Challenging the Pedagogy of Tertiary Level Horticulture. HortTechnology, April-June vol. 9 no. 2 272-276.
Summary. Major reform of the undergraduate degree program in the Faculty of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences at Massey University has resulted in greater emphasis being placed on developing attributes of lifelong learning in our students. Translating this particular goal into transparent educational practice in the horticulture courses required us to overturn the existing teaching paradigm. The traditional content-focused, principles first, integration second strategy of the existing horticulture curriculum was replaced at the 100 level by a new course that melded the discipline of horticulture with attributes needed for lifelong learning. Using action learning strategies, principles of horticulture were presented in context, with students encouraged to apply and analyze them in the wholeness of the discipline. Students critically reflected on their experiences through writing-to-learn exercises, class or group discussion, oral presentations, and experientially through their laboratories. By incorporating our students' experiences with these strategies, we successfully achieved our goal of the students' learning and relating the principles of horticulture to the whole discipline. Although the students understood our goals in engaging them in writing-to-learn and group activities, they did not appear to recognize the educational processes in which they participated throughout the course. It seems that in forming the foundation for lifelong learning in applied science, greater attention must be given to making our mental models of the education process more transparent to the students.

Silva, E.M and G. Muller (2013.) Experimental Learning Through Partnership: A case study of a collaborative, Hands-on Program to Teach high School Students Organic Farming. HortTechnology June 2-13 23(3) 376-381.
Summary. In 2008, a collaborative project was initiated between the La Farge School District (La Farge, WI), University of Wisconsin–Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Organic Valley Cooperative Regions Organic Producers Pools (La Farge, WI), and Kickapoo Valley Reserve (La Farge, WI). The overarching mission of the program is to build a sustainable, hands-on educational farm and corresponding curriculum to teach organic agriculture principles to high school students and increase the number of students entering agriculture-related professional fields. Secondary goals of the project include delivering locally grown organic produce and related organic agriculture educational opportunities to the broader community. To achieve these goals, a multifaceted student internship program was created that includes a range of experiential learning opportunities for students. With the participation of each of the project partners, about ten students per year engage in the field production of certified organic vegetables, participate in field trips to sites related to organic agriculture, and distribute the produce to the school and the broader community. Through the integration of these activities, students are taught key principles of successful organic management, including ecologically based disease, weed, and insect management, development of a soil fertility plan, market analysis and its implications of crop selection, and determination of costs of production. In the face of both successes and challenges, through informal evaluation of students and the project team, the program continues to develop each year.

Pritts, M.P., Park, T. (2013). Proposed learning outcomes for four-year horticulture programs in the United States. HortTechnology 23 (2):237-240
Summary: Most institutions that offer a degree in horticulture have established a set of learning outcomes for the major or are in the process of doing so. Because horticulture programs are being subsumed into larger entities, and because there is not process for providing consistency of expectations for horticulture majors, a group of horticulture administrators from across the United States initiated an effort to develop a common set of learning outcomes that would be appropriate for any four-year horticulture program. The intent was to identify learning outcomes that could be made more specific for an institution's local conditions and capacities , or expanded to accommodate broader plant science type majors. Five outcomes with specific outcomes were identified. An increasing level of higher order thinking skills is associated with later learning outcomes. The outcomes are knowledge acquisition; knowledge integration; synthesis, creativity. and problem solving; communications; and demonstration of professionalism and proficiency. Adopting these learning outcomes can provide students with guidance in choice of major, faculty for a tool for curriculum development and program assessment, and employers with expectations for new horticulture graduates.

Fulcher, A., Juang-Horng Chong, S. A. White, J. C. Neal, J. L. Williams-Woodward, C. R. Adkins, S. K. Braman, M. R. Chappell, J. F. Derr, W. C. Dunwell, S. D. Frank, S. A. Gill, F. A. Hale, W. E. Klingeman, A. V. LeBude, K. Rane, and Alan S. Windham. (2013). Developing a Mobile Application as an Extension Education Tool: A Case Study Using IPMPro. HortTechnology August 2013 23:402-406.
Summary: With increased mobile device usage, mobile applications (apps) are emerging as an extension medium, well suited to "place-less" knowledge transfer. Conceptualizing, designing, and developing an app can be a daunting process. This article summarises the considerations and steps that must be taken to successfully develop an app and is based on the authors' experience developing two horticultural apps. IPMPro and IPMLite. These apps provide information for major pests and plant care tasks and prompt users to take action on time-sensitive tasks with push notifications scheduled specifically for their location. Topics such as selecting between a web app and a native app, choosing the platform(s) for native apps, and designing the user interface are covered. Whether to charge to download the app or have free access, and navigating the intra and interinstitutional agreements and programming contracts are also discussed. Lastly, the nonprogramming costs such as creating, editing, and uploading contents, as well as ongoing app management and updates are discussed.

Development of Working Groups
There has been continued interest in developing a number of working groups within the Commission Education, Research Training and Consultancy. Suggestions have been made on teaching strategies in horticultural education and training, nanotechnology in horticultural education and training, and consultancy in horticultural education. We are keen to appoint chairpersons to a range of working groups. Workshop responsibilities may be found on http://www.ishs.org/faq/what-working-group-ishs Interested people should initially contact the Chair and/or Vice-Chair of the Commission.

4. Future Activities
  • 17-22 August, 2014 - 7th International Symposium on Education, Research Training and Consultancy, IHC 2014, Brisbane, Australia. Conveners: Dr Alan Turner and Prof. Dr David Aldous. Symposium sponsored by the Commission Education, Research Training & Consultancy.
  • 17-22 August 2014 - 12th International People Plant Symposium: Horticulture and Human Communities IHC 2014, Brisbane, Australia.. Conveners: Prof. Dr Candice Shoemaker, Prof. Dr. Francesco Di Iacovo and Dr Erja Rappe. Collaborative Symposium co-sponsored by the Commissions of Landscape & Urban Horticulture & Education, Research Training & Consultancy.
  • 17-22 August 2014 - 3rd International Conference on Turf grass Management & Science for Sports Fields, IHC 2014, Brisbane, Australia. Conveners: Prof. Dr. Panayiotis Nektarios, and Mr. Keith McAuliffe. Collaborative Symposium co-sponsored by the Commissions of Landscape & Urban Horticulture & Education, Research Training & Consultancy.
  • 17-22 August 2014 - 4th International Conference on Landscape & Urban Horticulture, IHC 2014, Brisbane, Australia. Conveners: Prof. Dr. Gert Groening and Prof. Dr David Aldous. Collaborative Symposium co-sponsored by the Commissions of Landscape & Urban Horticulture & Education, Research Training & Consultancy.
5. Future Newsletters

We would really appreciate fresh comment and contributions that make for relevant reading to other members of the Commission. If there are other significant horticultural education and training resources and/or issues that you wish to share with members we can include their source in this newsletter. Please forward to either the Chair or Vice-Chair of the Commission for inclusion.

Sincerely,

David Aldous
Chairman, Commission Education, Research Training and Consultancy
International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS). Email: dealdous@gmail.com
and
Alan Hunter
Vice-Chairman, Commission Education, Research Training and Consultancy
International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS). Email: alan.hunter@ucd.ie

 

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