Summer 1985 // Volume 23 // Number 2 // Tools of the Trade // 2TOT4

Previous Article Issue Contents Previous Article

Adult and Continuing Education Through the Cooperative Extension Service


Roland H. Abraham
Professor Emeritus and Former Director
Agricultural Extension Service
University of Minnesota - St. Paul

Adult and Continuing Education Through the Cooperative Extension Service. Warren Prawl, Roger Medlin, and John Gross. Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri, Extension Division, 1984. 280 pp. $11.95, softcover. Available from: University of Missouri Extension Publications, 222 S. Fifth St., Columbia, Missouri 65211 (Missouri residents add 6 1/8% Missouri sales tax).

This new book will be instructive to the student of Extension and a profitable review for the Extension practitioner. Likewise, it will be informative to anyone trying to better understand the complex institution of Cooperative Extension in the United States.

The authors have successfully combined historical perspective, relevant principles of management and program delivery, and an insight into contemporary issues in Extension education. Written in nontechnical language, the book is easy to read and the concepts easy to comprehend. The impact of legislation relevant to Extension is woven throughout the book.

Early chapters trace the development of Extension education and the Cooperative Extension Service from historical, philosophical, organizational, and programmatic perspectives. A second group of chapters discuss professional and volunteer leadership and the concepts involved in effective program development and delivery. In a third set of chapters, the authors describe Extension programs of the last 40 years in agriculture, home economics, youth development, and community resource development, comparing them with program trends of the 1980's.

In the next 2 chapters, the authors outline the development of Extension work by the 1890 landgrant colleges and Tuskegee Institute and describe the organization and status of Extension education in other countries.

The concluding chapters discuss evaluation in Extension and outline contemporary issues and considerations important to future roles and functions of Extension education.

Graphs, charts, and models are used generously to show concepts and add clarity to the discussion. A comprehensive appendix includes the Smith-Lever law, a chronology of federal legislation about Cooperative Extension, and samples of management and program statement documents. The text is wellfootnoted and a comprehensive bibliography is provided. Students of Extension education will find the book eminently useful and Extension workers will find it an excellent refresher.