#AgChatIRL: Ag and education, farmers in the classroom

Each week #AgChatIRL will review its debates on social media with AgriLand. Those involved and interested in agriculture and food actively participate in #AgChatIRL discussions on social media each week. It has been up and running for over a year.

#AgChatIRL recent discussion was all about something close to many people’s heart, education. This topic was suggested as a lead on from the previous week’s topic on fighting misinformation about farming.

Q1. Should agri be expanded in home-econ or be a subsection of science? If split between them, which ag topics in which subject?

@agchatirl Hard to be included in another subject when it’s such a big subject itself. #agchatirl

— FarmersFeedFamilies (@loveirishfarms) August 7, 2013

@karlachameleon @AgChatIRL @loveirishfarms Son doing Ag Science & Ag Economics. Ag Ec not being updated & fewer doing it

— Avril Allshire-Howe (@RosscarberyReci) August 7, 2013

We didn’t even know there was an Ag Economics subject in secondary school! According to Carol Cronin only 70 students do it each year

@JoAnnMcComish @AgChatIRL it’s changing rapidly. Loads of schools offering ag science now. #agchatirl

— Carol Cronin (@karlachameleon) August 7, 2013

@AgChatIRL where Im from none of the schools offered agri sci! It was such a shame!! #agchatirl

— Jo-Ann McComish (@JoAnnMcComish) August 7, 2013

Seems schools not offering Ag Science is definitely not uncommon but thankfully that seems to be changing

Q2. Do you think there’s a straight divide in terms of resources spent on agri subjects in school between urban and rural schools

@AgChatIRL rural students have better access to farms for practical experience. Urban students often just go on 1 farm trip #agchatirl

— Carol Cronin (@karlachameleon) August 7, 2013

@AgChatIRL would hope there is more spent in urban schools as students wouldn’t have the same level of access #agchatirl

— Agriland (@AgrilandIreland) August 7, 2013

It is a lot easier as Carol says to teach Ag science to children but it seems to be expanding all over the country with more students taking Ag sci than physics!

Q3. Is there an attitude of snobbery towards teaching of ag-science in secondary schools?

@AgChatIRL but it was seen as a less academic subject when I was in school, many moons ago A3 #agchatirl

— Lorna Sixsmith (@IrishFarmerette) August 7, 2013

@IrishFarmerette @AgChatIRL the eldest did said it was the worst subject he studied text from 1970’s he had to do all work himself

— Elaine hall (@newfarmerette) August 7, 2013

@loveirishfarms @AgChatIRL @karlachameleon As a teacher of Ag science syllabus needs serious updating. Also should include health & Safety

— Damien Tiernan (@damien_tiernan) August 7, 2013

Seems to be major agreement that the syllabus for Ag Science needs a serious update to keep up with the rapid movement in modern agriculture.

@AgChatIRL: Ag seen as old-fashioned ‘sunset’ industry by av Aus teacher & uni lecturer #agchatirl @heatherbray6 @LClaessen

— Fiona Lake (@FionaLakeAus) August 8, 2013

Seems to be an international attitude problem!

That rounded up #AgChatIRL’s discussion. This lead to a lively debate over need to update Ag Science and all of this information can be found under the #agchatirl tag on twitter. Remember to check out all the replies!

This week our discussion topic is “Improving your local show”. Don’t be shy about giving your opinion of what you think your local shows, festival or fair day needs. What you’d like to see more of and maybe what you’d like to see less of? How can shows fit into modern agriculture without being left behind?

Be sure to drop in at 8pm tonight, Wednesday.

Yours #agchatirl