January 1984 // Volume 22 // Number 1

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Editor's Page


Is the Journal for All Extension Staff Members?

We get letters from readers, sometimes direct and sometimes forwarded through the liaison representatives in the states. Some letters are complimentary some offer suggestions. Some ask questions. The compliments boost our ego. Suggestions help us improve our product. Questions give us an opportunity to communicate the policies and priorities of the Board of Directors of the Extension Journal, Inc., and the editor. A local disk jockey tells his audience to "keep those cards and letters coming." We do the same.

Frequently asked questions relate to the content of the Journal-why so much on some subjects and so little on others; why focus on research or why so much emphasis on application and so little on research; why not more articles of interest to specialists; why not some technical articles, etc.?

The focus of the Journalis on the Extension staff member who's directly involved in programming with clientele- regardless of the content of the educational program. Given the wide variety of subject matter being taught, it would be impossible to focus on content Therefore, the Journal doesn't print articles more appropriate for animal production, human nutrition, community development, or other subject matter journals.

Two essentials each staff member must possess are content and process abilities. We must be competent in the subjects we teach This is necessary, but not enough. We also need to be competent in planning, implementing, ecd evaluating learning teaching opportunities where our target audiences can learn and we can teach.

While this Joumal focuses on the processes rather than the content, these two can't be completely separated. It's impossible to teach without teaching something. Therefore, articles include content but this isn t the focus. For example, a casual glance at the first article in this issue. might suggest that it is only for home economists who teach nutrition. Closer examination reveals that the real message here is a review of the steps in the evaluation process, illustrated with an example. The. fact that the. content used in the example is a phase of human nutrition and that the teaching tool used is a series of news stories is secondary to the primary purpose of the article. Therefore, this article should be as relevant to the farm management specialist who is preparing written material to extend information to part-time farmers as it is to the county youth staff member developing plans for a 4-H leader-training workshop.

Is the Journalfor all Extension staff members? Yes, because the primary mission of Extension is education and education involves facilitating learning. The content of the learning-teaching isn't common among all staff. The, processes used have much more in common and these are the foci of this Journal. Our goal is to produce a product that will give each staff member at least one useful idea an

Roger L. Lawrence