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Principles of Extension Education

Principles are the fundamental laws and rules discovered by educational researches and proven by years of experiences that now serve as guide lines for educational endeavors which necessary for an extension worker.  Some of this related to agricultural extension is given here.

1.  Principle of Interest and Needs:
The rural people should voluntarily participate in the extension work.  Extension work must be based on the needs and interests of the people.  These interest and needs differ form individual to individual, form village to village, form block to block and form state to state and therefore there cannot be one programmes for all people.
To be effective, extension work must begin with the interested and needs of the people.  Many times the interests of the rural people are not the interest of the extension worker.  Even though the sees the needs of the people better than they do themselves, he must begin with the beds and interests as they (the people) see them.

2.  Principle of Cultural Difference:

The educational methods should be in line with the culture of the people in order to make extension education effective.  Extension work is based of the cultural background of the people with whom the work is done.  Improvement can only begin form the level of the extension worker has to know the level of the knowledge and the skills of the people methods and tools used by them, their customs, traditions, beliefs, values etc. before starting the extension programme.
 In’ a vast country, like India different extension methods need to be used for different states, as people in these states differ in their thinking living and culture.  The blueprint of the extension programme developed for one area may not be applicable as such in another area but it can serve as a guide in similar cultural areas.

3.  Principle of Cultural Change:

To change the behaviors of the people through extension education, the extension worker should gain the confidence of the rural people.  It is obvious that the change agent who works personally with the villagers must know what the villagers know and what they think.  They should believe that what the extension worker says has relevance to their daily life.  For example, extension worker shows same demonstrations or trials on the farmer’s field.  He gave the information about positive and negative point of that trial and also discus the about their difficulties with the farmers.  Then the farmers that, he is doing for their welfare only.  Taking the changes in the needs of the rural people into account the extension worker has to change his area of work.  The situation prevailing twenty years ago when the extension service started and today is quite different, and therefore, with growth and development the extension work has to be changed to meet the cultural changes among the people.

4.  Principle of Participation:

 The participation of the people is of fundamental importance of the success of any educational endeavor.  People must share in the development of a programme and must feel that it is their own programme.  Good extension work helps the rural people identifying their problems and then helping them in solving these problems, people will not feel attached to the work if they are given ready-made things.  Extension helps people to help themselves.  Actual participation and experience of people in these programmes creates self-confidence in them and also they learn more by doing.

5.  Principle of Adaptability in the Use of Teaching Methods:

People differ form each other, one group differs form another group and conditions also differ form place to place.  These people differ in their level of understanding and knowledge and therefore, only one extension method will not be of use in providing information to all, An extension programme should be flexible, so that necessary changes can be made whenever needed to meet the varying conditions.
No single extension teaching method is effective under all situations.  Written material will be of use for those who can read it, radio programmes for those who have radio, meetings for those who can attend.  Like these different situations requires difference teaching methods.  New situations also arise where a special combination of method is necessary.  Research show that, the use of more than one extension method carries the message effectively to the people.

Thus the extension methods must have flexibility to be adapted to members of a community who differ in age, education, economic and social status.

6.  The Grass Toots Principle of Organization:

A group of rural people in local community should sponsor extension work.  The programme should fit in with the local conditions.  The aim of organizing the local group is to demonstrate the value of the new practices or programs so that more people would participate.
Different groups work in rural communities.  The extension worker should pay attention to the needs and interests of these groups while planning extension programmes.  In same places the extension programmes are thrust on the people and the imposed innovations; many times have no relevance to the interests of these small groups.  Unless the farmers feel that the ideas coming to them are useful they will not come ahead to adopt them.  As the buildings based on should foundation last long similarly the programmes based on the needs and interests of these small groups would give better results in extension work.

7.  Principle of Leadership:

 It is said that there is one leader in ten persons.  Local leaders are the guardians of local thoughts and action and can be trained and developed to best serve as interpreters of new ideas to the villagers.  They are the representatives of the local situation.  Extension work is based of the full utilization of local leadership.The selection and training of local leaders to enable them to help to carry our extension work is essential to the success of the programme. People have more faith in local leaders and they should be used to put across a new idea so that it is accepted with the last resistance. All communities have leaders or potential leaders Extension workers and specialists should train and orient these voluntary leaders for good extension work.


8.  The Whole-family Principle:

The family is the unit of any society.  All the members have equal importance and they should be developing equally.  Extension work is for the whole family and it should reach all the members of the family.  Extension work will have a better chance of success if the extension workers have whole-family approach, instead of separate and unintegrated approach.  There should be place for the farer, his wife and children in the programmes.  Such programme will be useful and popular.  Any innovation liked by male member of the family but did not like by other, then decision of adoption may affected.

9.  Principle of Satisfaction:

The end product of the efforts of extension teaching is the satisfaction that comes to the farmer hiss wife or youngsters as the result of solving a problem, meeting a need, acquiring a new skill or some other changes in behavior.  If the peoples are not satisfied by participating in democratic societies people cannot be made to move like machines.  They continue the things only when they get satisfaction through these innovations.  Satisfaction is the key to success in extension work.  “A satisfied customer is the best advertisement”.

10.  Principle of Evaluation:

Extension is based upon the methods of science and it needs constant evaluation.  It is necessary to determine the teaching results in an unbiased way.  For this it is necessary to review the development made so far and see whether the extension work is proceeding in the right direction.  If it is not, then it is necessary to take corrective measures.  Extension work is educational in nature and therefore, its effectiveness should be measured by measuring the changes in people resulting form the teaching process.  It is no longer enough to have only plans and methods but it is necessary to determine the teaching results by scientific way.  The results of such evolutions would help the extension workers in improving the quality of the programmes in the future.

11.  Principle of Applied Science and Democracy:

Applied agricultural science is not a one-way process.  The problem of the people is taken to the scientists who do the experimentation necessary to find out the solution.  The extension worker transmits the findings of the laboratories to the farmers, but the farmer has the freedom to decide the adoption or rejection of the innovation.  In democracy, freedom of thought and the unbiased and objective approach of the scientist, establish facts used in the solution of problem.  But farm families can voluntarily adopt these facts to satisfy their own needs.

12.  Principle of Trained Specialists:

Extension is the bridge between scientists and farmers.  It is very difficult for a multipurpose extension worker to keep himself abreast with all the latest findings of research in all the branches of science.  If there are no trained cannot thrive.  These specialists have the responsibility of solving the problems of the extension workers in their subject.  The subject matter specialist should have a broad outlook and he should know other subject matter fields related to family problems thereby concentrating on the welfare of the whole family and making his special.

13.  Principle of Co-operation:        

Extension programmes are for the people by the people. The idea behind the extension work is the coming together of the rural people and the extension workers for social upliftment.  The extension programmes should be the people’s programme with government aid.  Most members of the village community will willingly co-operative in carrying out a project.  All should co-operate and help each other for this task of social upliftment.
Principle of learning by doing
In extension work, farmers should be encouraged to learn new things by doing and buy to believe on innovations or new ideas, until they see the results with their own eyes.  So that extension workers have to develop their faith.
The motive for improvement must come form the people, and they must practice the new ideas by actually doing them.  It is learning by doing, which is most effective in changing people’s behavior and developing the confidence to use the new methods in future.

Current Category » Dimensions of Agricultural Extension