Spatiality of Agricultural Education: A Critical Perspective on the Political Economy of Socio-Ecological Knowledge

Authors: Ekaterina Bezborodko*,
Topics: Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Social Geography, Rural Geography
Keywords: political economy, education, GIS, agriculture, Maine, agro-ecological knowledge
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Washington 4, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This paper will present and theorize initial empirical findings of a project tracing the production, distribution, and consumption of agricultural knowledge. Despite the lack of research on the transmission of agro-ecological knowledge within the developed world, I argue that inequality in access to new forms of agricultural knowledge are highly relevant for the economic and especially the political trajectories of rural America. My case-study, the state of Maine, contains a number of educational initiatives for agro-ecological education at the high school and post-secondary level. These initiatives transmit not only agricultural knowledge but also political narratives about American agriculture and the capitalist economy. Preliminary mapping already demonstrates that these initiatives provide highly uneven access to agricultural education to rural youth across the state. This presentation will enrich the preliminary mapping with a more fine-grained analysis of how agricultural knowledge appears, disappears, travels, agglomerates, and dis-accumulates within the state in an iterative process of socio-economic and spatial stratification. Creating such maps poses new questions about the possibilities and limitations of using GIS and spatial analysis to evaluate educational inequality outside of school settings and beyond the standardized curriculum.

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