A Philosophical Review of Science and Society within Agricultural Education


  • Aaron J. McKim Michigan State University
  • Jonathan J. Velez Oregon State University
  • Misty D. Lambert Oregon State University
  • Mark A. Balschweid University of Nebraska-Lincoln




science, society, science illuminators, illumination attempters, vocational pursuits


We utilized philosophical and historical perspectives to analyze the interconnectedness between agricultural education, science, and society. Using historical evidence, the adaptive role of agricultural education was discussed and recommendations for future adaptability were described. Additionally, connections between agricultural education, science, and society were evaluated in light of the call for agricultural educators to illuminate the links between science and society. In our exploration, the feasibility of linking science and society within school-based agricultural education was considered as well as the motivation and competence of current agriculture teachers to link science and society. Three types of secondary agriculture teachers emerged: (a) science illuminators, (b) illumination attempters, and (c) vocational purists. Recommendations are made for research exploring how identified classifications of teachers meet the science and social learning needs of students. Additionally, recommendations include methods for operationalizing agriculture, science, and society connections to enhance student learning and the positive impact of school-based agricultural education.


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How to Cite

McKim, A. J., Velez, J. J., Lambert, M. D., & Balschweid, M. A. (2017). A Philosophical Review of Science and Society within Agricultural Education. Journal of Agricultural Education, 58(2), 98–110. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2017.02098




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