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Shaping the future of farming: the International Labour Organization and agricultural education, 1920s to 1950s

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In the interwar years agricultural education emerged as a pivotal issue in international debates about agricultural modernization and rural development. Against the backdrop of scientific and technological changes, reformers and experts viewed the professionalization of people working in agriculture as necessary for securing a viable rural economy whilst preserving its agricultural identity. International organizations and associations debated about practical versus theory-based education, the ruralization of the curriculum and the amount of knowledge that would be needed to create the modern farmer. As this article argues, the interwar international call for more widespread and systematic agricultural education catered for a variety of political, economic and social concerns. The article discusses international efforts to promote better agricultural education in the 1920s, the emergence of new organizations in the 1930s and how these efforts foreshadowed the rural development strategies of development agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization after the Second World War.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2017

More about this publication?
  • Agricultural History Review is the leading journal for the publication of original research in all aspects of agricultural and rural history. First published in 1952, the Review reflects the diversity of approaches which are possible in rural history. Its editors welcome submissions in any aspect of the history of agriculture, rural society and rural economy over the past millennium. Whilst it is not concerned with current policy debates, it is interested in considering discussions of the historical dimensions of current problems in rural society and food supply. The Review is especially strong in British rural history, but actively seeks submissions in European and American rural history and has no bar on submissions concerning the remainder of the world. It is also the journal of record for book reviews in the discipline.

    Agricultural History Review has an international editorial board. The current editors are Professor R. W. Hoyle, University of Reading, UK who is responsible for articles, and Professor H. R. French, University of Exeter who serves as editor for book reviews. The Review is fully peer-refereed.

    Agricultural History Review is published by the British Agricultural History Society from whom personal subscriptions may be obtained.
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