Fall 1987 // Volume 25 // Number 3 // Tools of the Trade // 3TOT1

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Working with Our Publics


Edgar J. Boone
Assistant Director
Agricultural Extension Service
North Carolina State University-Raleigh

Working with Our Publics: In-Service Education for Cooperative Extension. Edgar J. Boone, Project Director. Raleigh: North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service, 1987. National training project consists of eight multimedia modules funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

The values, social structures, and very fabric of American life are facing changes unimaginable a decade ago. It has fallen to the Extension system to take the lead in exploring answers to these problems, and to our state and territorial Extension Services to develop the most important resource needed in this quest - the men and women of the Extension system. Working with Our Publics is an eight-module training series intended to help both new and experienced Extension professionals in assuming an expanded and timely role in working with a changing clientele under changing societal conditions.

The modules, which will be formally introduced to all state and territorial Extension Services at train-the-trainer workshops in the spring of 1988, are designed to stand alone as individual products as well as to comprise a coordinated series. The eight modules, comprising a total of 117 contact hours of training, range in length from nine to 24 contact hours. Briefly, here are the module topics, content, and developers:

Module 1: Understanding the Land-Grant University and Its Mission in Contemporary Society. Intended chiefly for a university audience, this module is designed to socialize faculty to the functions, structure, and unique role of land-grant institutions in American education. Developed by G. L. Carter and George Hyatt, North Carolina State University; 12 contact hours.

Module 2: Understanding Cooperative Extension. Introduces new Extension staff members to the history, mission, values, and networks that distinguish the Cooperative Extension system and system of land-grant institutions. Developed by David Sanderson, University of Maine; 9 contact hours.

Module 3: The Extension Education Process. Introduction to and guided practice in the principles, concepts, and processes of nonformal Extension education. Developed by Richard T. Liles and R. David Mustian, North Carolina State University; 24 contact hours.

Module 4: Developing Leadership. How to gain and exercise leadership skills and identify, recruit, develop, and work with volunteer leaders. Developed by Lee J. Cary, University of Missouri; 12 contact hours.

Module 5: Situational Analysis. How to determine the need for an Extension educator's involvement in a situation and understand the multiple relevant contexts in planning and implementing programs in the Extension education effort. Developed by Laverne Forest, University of Wisconsin; 12 contact hours.

Module 6: Working with Groups and Organizations. Intended to develop skills in working with and through groups and understanding the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations. Developed by Betty Wells, Iowa State University; 18 contact hours.

Module 7: Education for Public Decisions. Education in analyzing public issues, anticipating the potential consequences to Extension of its involvement in these issues, and developing community education programs in public policy. Developed by Verne W. House, Montana State University, and Ardis A. Young, Washington State University; 18 contact hours.

Module 8: Analytic Techniques for Future Programming. Information on and exercise in projecting future conditions, analyzing trends, inventing futures, and generally enabling clients to assume a proactive stance towards change. Developed by J. David Deshler, Cornell University; 12 contact hours.

Working with Our Publics has the potential to revitalize the Extension system. The eight training modules represent well-designed, professionally produced materials that should be welcome resources to anyone with the responsibility for in-service education. Much of the content can serve a double purpose in that it's appropriate for use by Extension staff members in conducting educational programs for their clientele.