Developing a vocational pedagogy for Agribusiness Education

MQF Level: 7

ECTS Value: 5 ECTS

Self Study Hours: 90

Contact Hours: 25

Assessment Hours: 10


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This study unit will allow the student to analyse teaching and learning strategies and methods in vocational education, and to examine their application in agribusiness vocational education setting. Different teaching strategies will be identified and their application and effectiveness in the context of agribusiness and vocational education discussed. Learning theories underpinning teaching and learning in vocational education will also be analysed. This analysis of the teaching and learning approaches in an applied setting will be used to evaluate teaching and learning methods used in agribusiness vocational education teaching programmes, while this unit will also identify and evaluate educational methods for adult education and extension services in agriculture. Finally, this unit will use different forms of teaching and learning in order to shape practice in an agribusiness vocational setting.


By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Assess the use of teaching and learning approaches for adult education and agricultural extension;

b. Recognise the nature of learning and the conditions which maximise and impede learning in agribusiness education;

c. Analyse theoretical concepts of learning in the light of own educational practice;

d. Analyse the potential implementation of learning approaches in agribusiness education.


a. Identify different instructional strategies that may be implemented in agribusiness education;

b. Understand the theories underpinning theories of learning;

c. Understand the importance of the context in shaping our learning;

d. Distinguish between different types of problem-based, contextual and work-based learning.


a. Adapt and apply theoretical principles to an own agribusiness educational practice;

b. Design a personal vocational education pedagogy for a secondary school agribusiness education programme;

c. Design an adult vocational educational programme to foster the implementation of good agricultural practices in a real-world scenario;

d. Analyse how teaching and learning approaches are context dependent.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Portfolio; Presentation.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
  1. Dyer, J & Osborne, E., 1996. Effects of teaching approach on problem solving ability of agricultural education students with varying learning needs. Journal of Agricultural Education, 37(4), pp. 38-45.
  2. Mikkonen, S. et al., 2017. Guiding workplace learning in vocational education and training: a literature review. Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training, Volume 9, p. 9.
  3. Parr, B. & Edwards, M., 2004. Inquiry-based instruction in secondary agricultural education: problem-solving – an old friend revisited. Journal of Agricultural Education, 45(4), pp. 106-116.
  4. Parr, D., Trexler, C., Khanna, N. & Battisti, B., 2007. Designing sustainable agriculture education: Academics’ suggestions for an undergraduate curriculum at a land grant university. Agriculture and Human Values, Volume 24, pp. 523-533.
  5. Roberts, T., 2006. A philosophical examination of experiential learning theory for agricultural educators. Journal of Agricultural Education, 47(1), pp. 17-29.
  6. Tóth, P., 2012. Learning Strategies and Styles in Vocational Education. Acta Polytechnica Hungarica, 9(3), pp. 195-216.
  7. Poortman, C.L., Illeris, K., Nieuwenhuis, L., 2011. Apprenticeship: from learning theory to practice. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 63(3), pp. 267-287.
  8. Pankhurst, K.V. 2010. Learning by experience, work and productivity: theory and empirical evidence. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 62(2), pp. 103–122.
  9. Schaap, H., Baartman, L. & de Bruijn, E., 2012. Students’ Learning Processes during School-Based Learning and Workplace Learning in Vocational Education: A Review. Vocations and Learning, Volume 5, pp. 99-117.
  10. Talbert, B.A., Vaughn, R., Croom, B., Lee, J.S. (2014) Foundations of agricultural education. Pearson.
  11. National Research Council of the National Academies, 2009. Transforming Agricultural Education for a Changing World. Washington: The National Academies Press.
Supplementary Reading List
  1. Rao, A., 1987. Food, Agriculture and Education. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
  2. Vocations and Learning: Studies in Vocational and Professional Education. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 10 02 2018].
  3. Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 10 02 2018].
  4. Journal of Vocational Education & Training [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 10 02 2018].
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