Fall 1990 // Volume 28 // Number 3 // Tools of the Trade // 3TOT1

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Foundations and Changing Practices in Extensi


Kenneth E. Barber
Extension Family Life Specialist
Department of Child, Consumer, and Family Studies
Washington State University-Pullman

Foundations and Changing Practices. Donald J. Blackburn. Guelph, Ontario: University of Guelph, 1989. 159 pp. $20 (hardcover).

Foundations and Changing Practices in Extension is a 159-page book with 17 chapters. It's available in both soft- and hardcover editions.

This book provides sound theory and practical guidance to Extension practitioners. It can also be used as a text for university courses.

The 17 chapters were written by 28 people representing a wide variety of expertise and experience.

Chapter One, "Philosophical Foundations of Extension" sets the tone for the book by defining Extension and its distinguishing characteristics, articulating its need for a philosophy, presenting four Extension models, and comparing the U.S. and Canadian Extension Systems. Chapters Two through Five explain the fields of sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics, and political science and how they're integrated with Extension.

Chapters Six through Eight discuss the linkage of Extension with community development, organizational development, and social work. The concept of change is primary to these chapters.

Others chapters include discussions of adult learning and developmental theories, counseling, volunteers and partnering, technology transfer, coordination with research, accountability, and strategic management. Each is soundly written and covers many of the significant ideas being discussed and dealt with in Extension.

The chapters are written in an easy-to-read style, basically free of professional/technical jargon. They're well-organized with bold block-type headings and topic or conceptual word keys. Each chapter ends with a listing of references for further reading with an index that's organized alphabetically for authors/contributors, citations, words, and concepts addressed in the book.

Although it's concerned with the traditional foundations and basic practices of Extension more than with new practices causing Extension to rethink and grow, Foundations and Changing Practices in Extension will be a valuable resource for Extension professionals and others with similar interests.