Learning Agroecology Online During COVID-19

Georges F. Félix, Andre Sanfiorenzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic propelled the “stay-at-home” policy worldwide under public health uncertainty, resulting in increased individualization, as well as an increased reliance or dependency on digital communication technology. Based on a review of existing literature alongside a reflection on personal fieldwork experiences, we aim to: (1) describe major elements of agroecological pedagogy, (2) explore adaptation pathways to combine digitalization and participatory action-learning, and (3) briefly discuss opportunities and challenges for agroecologists beyond COVID-19. Agroecological pedagogy is deeply embedded in the praxis, the scientific knowledge and ways of knowing (academic or not), and in the politics and agency of food movements. In line with Freire's liberation pedagogy, seeing what already exists (e.g., in: ecosystems, home-gardens, fields, farms, and watersheds) through participation and volunteering. Alongside a critical analysis to explain and explore certain phenomena, causes and consequences will likely result in the act leading to the implementation of transformative practices and novel designs that improve the state of any situation being addressed. Participatory action research/learning methods are strategic in agroecological pedagogy. Overall, the lockdown period led to increased societal digitalization of human interactions. During lockdown, however, the implementation of strategies for remote agroecology participatory action-learning were hampered, but not vanquished. Key changes to agroecology education projects “before” and “during” lockdown include an increased reliance on digital and remote strategies. Creative adaptations in the virtual classrooms were designed to nurture, deepen, and foster alternatives in favor of diverse knowledges and ways of knowing for food system transformations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number821514
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
Volume6
Early online date22 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Keywords

  • agroecological pedagogy
  • digitalization
  • remote education
  • distance learning
  • self-isolation
  • actionable knowledge
  • decolonial agronomy
  • Sustainable Food Systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture
  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology

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