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Education and training futures in horticulture and horticultural science

Aldous, D., Dixon, G. R., Darnell, R., L. and Pratley, J., E. (2014) Education and training futures in horticulture and horticultural science. In: Dixon, G. R. and Aldous, D. (eds.) Horticulture: plants for people and places. Springer Science + Business Media, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp. 1087-1115. ISBN 9789401785594

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-8560-0_6


Horticultural knowledge and skills training have been with humankind for some 10,000 to 20,000 years. With permanent settlement and rising wealth and trade, horticulture products and services became a source of fresh food for daily consumption, and a source of plant material in developing a quality environment and lifestyle. The knowledge of horticulture and the skills of its practitioners have been demonstrated through the advancing civilizations in both eastern and western countries. With the rise of the Agricultural Revolutions in Great Britain, and more widely across Continental Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as the move towards colonisation and early migration to the New Worlds, many westernised countries established the early institutions that would provide education and training in agriculture and horticulture. Today many of these colleges and universities provide undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational and technical training that specifically targets horticulture and/or horticultural science with some research and teaching institutions also providing extension and advisory services to industry. The objective of this chapter is to describe the wider pedagogic and educational context in which those concerned with horticulture operate, the institutional structures that target horticulture and horticultural science education and training internationally; examine changing educational formats, especially distance education; and consider strategies for attracting and retaining young people in the delivery of world-class horticultural education. In this chapter we set the context by investigating the horticultural education and training options available, the constraints that prevent young people entering horticulture, and suggest strategies that would attract and retain these students. We suggest that effective strategies and partnerships be put in place by the institution, the government and most importantly the industry to provide for undergraduate and postgraduate education in horticulture and horticultural science; that educational and vocational training institutions, government, and industry need to work more effectively together to improve communication about horticulture and horticultural science in order to attract enrolments of more and talented students; and that the horticulture curriculum be continuously evaluated and revised so that it remains relevant to future challenges facing the industries of horticulture in the production, environmental and social spheres. These strategies can be used as a means to develop successful programs and case studies that would provide better information to high school career counsellors, improve the image of horticulture and encourage greater involvement from alumni and the industries in recruitment, provide opportunities to improve career aspirations, ensure improved levels of remuneration, and promote the social features of the profession and greater awareness and recognition of the profession in the wider community. A successful career in horticulture demands intellectual capacities which are capable of drawing knowledge from a wide field of basic sciences, economics and the humanities and integrating this into academic scholarship and practical technologies.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Crop Science
ID Code:56770
Publisher:Springer Science + Business Media

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