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APEN 2001 International Conference

Toowoomba, 4th-5th October 2001

Hot Topic No


Final Title of Topic

Better understanding, use and development of theory relevant to extension.

Name of Leader

Lucia Boxelaar

Names of Participants

Katie Bowman, Kathryn Galea, Ed Connors, Fiona Johnson, John Petheram, Jess Jennings, Maria Rose, Andrew Craig, Dan Armstrong, Ian Tarbotton, Tim Lewis, Trish Cameron, Karen George, Vale Laywell, Peter Wegener, Rob Chataway.

The Desired Outcome

  • Getting wider theory and practice relevant to extension back into the education system.
  • Making available and explicit the basic level of theory that sits behind extension activity.
  • Helping people realise there is theory behind what we do, including the history of this theory.
  • Graduate diploma on extension, to include broader philosophy than does anything currently.
  • Making access to relevant theory easier, sharing information, identifying where it is available.
  • Developing language that enables understanding/dialogue/sharing.
  • Creating an understanding of meta theory as well as practice theory.
  • Helping people to ask ‘why’ practices have worked/not worked.
  • Find out more about issues, hurdles practitioners need to overcome.
  • Create a forum (eg. Journal) to share information/knowledge about theory, drawing from material from other disciplines.
  • Ask questions and develop theory as well as use it.
  • Co-authorship of ‘theorists’ and ‘practitioners’.
  • Diverse teams

Full Action Plan to achieve that Outcome

What needs to be done

By When

By Whom

  • Document the theories relevant to extension practice.

John Petheram

  • Creating spaces where theory can be presented/shared: - Extension net theory page

Lucia Boxelaar

  • -Forums – call for papers to include summary of theory that has informed practice, asking people to describe ‘why’ as well as ‘what’ they did.

Heather Shaw

  • -Extension practitioners working on projects with people who understand theory.
    Including joint papers, referees to bring people together.

Heather Shaw

  • -Write letter to be endorsed by APEN to communicate with education institutions to endorse importance of theory in courses.

Ian Tarbotton and others

  • -Create learning groups, possibly through APEN chapters, eg. Virtual book clubs

Heather Shaw

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