Thesis: Are we going against the grain in training? Developing an adult education framework for the rural community
This project will develop and evaluate effective knowledge transfer strategies and best practices for teaching growers and agronomists in the Australian farming community. Current training will be evaluated to identify effective knowledge strategies. The project will also explore the use of online applications (apps), their role in knowledge transfer and their potential as an information resource in the field. The results will be used to further develop the theoretical framework foundation that can be used when teaching growers and agronomists. This framework will then be tested and assessed using plant disease identification training as the case study.
The use of plant disease identification training as the case study will have an immediate impact on the current skill level in growers and agronomists in the identification of plant diseases in grain crops. The improved disease identification skills and increased awareness of what is “unusual” in their crop will lead to increased awareness the threats posed to the industry with the introduction of exotic diseases.
Whilst this work will focus on agriculture there is no reason why the theoretical framework developed would not be appropriate to use in other rural situations, such as environmental education, nutrition and health programs.
Why my research is important
This research is important as it will determine how we can train growers and agronomists in a better way. As communication strategies have changed with technology, and farms have become larger it is harder for growers and agronomists to attend training, and keep up with important information. Some of the outcomes from the research will include: Increased knowledge for growers and agronomists on plant diseases and integrated management techniques
A more targeted approach to use of fungicides from correct identification of plant diseases and improved understanding of disease management.
Earlier identification of potential exotic pathogens and pests to improve containment / eradication outcomes by increasing awareness and ability to identify threats.