Farm Education and The Effect of a Farm Visit on Children’s Conception of Agriculture

Pia Smeds, Eila Jeronen, Sirpa Kurppa

APA 6th edition
Smeds, P., Jeronen, E., & Kurppa, S. (2015). Farm Education and The Effect of a Farm Visit on Children’s Conception of Agriculture. European Journal of Educational Research, 4(1), 1-13. doi:10.12973/eu-jer.4.1.1

Smeds P., Jeronen E., and Kurppa S. 2015 'Farm Education and The Effect of a Farm Visit on Children’s Conception of Agriculture', European Journal of Educational Research , vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 1-13. Available from:

Chicago 16th edition
Smeds, Pia , Jeronen, Eila and Kurppa, Sirpa . "Farm Education and The Effect of a Farm Visit on Children’s Conception of Agriculture". (2015)European Journal of Educational Research 4, no. 1(2015): 1-13. doi:10.12973/eu-jer.4.1.1


Personal connections to agriculture have decreased considerably in Finland during the last few decades due to struc-tural changes in agriculture. In this study, we will elucidate the understanding and conception of agriculture amongst urban pupils who have grown up during the 21st century. The research strategy consists of intervention in form of a farm visit, with pre- and post-assessment. The methods for collecting data were drawings for gaining a diversified un-derstanding of how pupils understand, experience and conceptualise agriculture. The drawings were analysed by visual content analysis. In addition, interviews, analysed by inductive content analysis method, were used to clarify the re-sults. Qualities of farms as authentic learning environments are defined and studied The study revealed that many pupils had irrational conceptions of agriculture before the farm visit (38 %), but decreased significantly after the visit. One of the explaining factors for these irrational conceptions was considered to be the influence of media sources. Farms as educational learning environments were able to correct pupils’ false conceptions. A realistic image of agriculture is of significant value for becoming an aware and responsible consumer as well as choosing a career in agriculture.

Keywords: Agriculture, farm visit, media, conception, intervention, drawings, interviews


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