Extension Education in Agricultural field to bring desirable changes [Part 1]

June 15, 2012
By Krishiworld

The term extension was first used in the United States of America in the first decade of this century to connote the extension of knowledge from the Land Grant Colleges to the farmers through the process of informal education.In India, the terms community development & extension education became more popular with the launching of Community Development Projects in 1952 & with the establishment of the National Extension Service in 1953. Since then, Community development has been regarded as a programme for an all-round development of the rural people, & extension education as the means to achieve this objective.

Extension education is an applied behavioural science, the knowledge of which is applied to bring about desirable changes in the behavioural complex of human beings usually through various strategies & programmes of change & by applying the latest scientific & technological innovations.
Extension education has now developed as a full-fledged discipline, having its own philosophy, objectives, principles, methods & techniques which must be understood by every extension worker & others connected with the rural development. It might be mentioned here that extension education, its principles, methods & techniques are applicable not only to agriculture but also to veterinary & animal husbandry, dairying, home science, health, family planning, etc. Based upon its application & use, various nomenclatures have been given to it, such as agricultural extension, veterinary & animal husbandry extension, dairy extension, home science extension, public health extension, & family planning extension.


It may, however, be mentioned here that when extension education is put into action for educating the rural people, it does not remain formal education. In that sense, there are several differences between the two. Some of these differnces are:

Formal education Extension education
1. The teacher starts with theory & works up to practicals. 1. The teacher (extension worker) starts with practicals & may take up theory later on.
2. Students study subjects. 2. Farmers study problems.
3. Students must adapt themselves to the fixed curriculum offered. 3. It has no fixed curriculum or course of study & the farmers help to formulate the curriculum.
4. Authority rests with the teacher. 4. Authority rests with the farmers.
5. Class attendance is compulsory. 5. Participation is voluntary.
6. Teacher instructs the students. 6. Teacher teaches & also learns from the farmers.
7. Teaching is only through instructors. 7. Teaching is also through local leaders.
8. Teaching is mainly vertical. 8. Teaching is mainly horizontal.
9. The teacher has more or less homogeneous audience. 9. The teacher has a large & heterogeneous audience.
10. It is rigid. 10. It is flexible.
11. It has all pre-planned & pre-decided programmes. 11. It has freedom to develop programmes locally & they are based on the needs & expressed desires of the people.
12. It is more theoretical. 12. It is more practical & intended for immediate application in the solution of problems.


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