Ways of Knowing, Sharing, and Translating Agricultural Knowledge and Perspectives: Alternative Epistemologies across Non-formal and Informal Settings

Matthew Mars, Anna Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The mainstream agricultural literacy movement has been mostly focused on school-based learning through formal curricula and standardized non-formal models (e.g., FFA, 4-H). The purpose of the current study is to qualitatively explore through a grounded theory approach, the development, sharing, and translation of diverse forms of agricultural knowledge and perspectives among adult learners within informal and non-formal learning settings. Data collected through interviews with and naturalistic observation of agricultural practitioners with diverse personal and professional backgrounds are used to guide the development of a holistic agricultural epistemology framework. Based on this framework, we argue the scope of the agricultural literacy movement should be expanded to better account for more diverse sets of learners (e.g., adults), worldviews (e.g., local food production and consumption), and curricular models and settings (e.g., informal and non-formal).
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-72
JournalJournal of Agricultural Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • agricultural literacy
  • agricultural epistemology
  • non-formal learning
  • informal learning

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