Professional and Personal Transformation of Extension Workers through Nonformal Agricultural Education Reform

Esbern Friis-Hansen, Edward Taylor, Deborah Duveskog


The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of agricultural extension non-formal education reforms (1998-2013) in Uganda among extension workers, who were required them to change from a top-down to more participatory educational approach with farmers. While extension reform has been subject to several studies, little is known about the professional and personal transformative effects of such reforms on staff. A major challenge for the extension staff to adapt to is the shift as their role and actions became more accountable to farmers. Extension workers were found to experience disorientating dilemma in terms of being both accountable to and sharing decision-making with farmers. At the personal level, the study found that the change in the relationship between extension workers and farmers also had an impact on the household gender relations of the extension workers.


Agricultural extension reforms, Uganda, teacher development, transformative learning.


Asante, M. K. (1998a), Afocentricity: A Theory of Social Change. Revised edition. (Trenton, NJ: Africa World


Cranton, P. & Taylor, E. W. (2012). Transformative learning theory: Seeking a more unified theory. In E. W. Taylor & P. Cranton (Eds.) Handbook of transformative learning theory: Theory, research and practice (pp. 3-20). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Duveskog, D., Friis-Hansen, E. & Taylor, E. (2011). Farmer Field Schools in Kenya: A Transformative Experience. Journal of Development Studies, 47(10), 1529-1544.

Friis-Hansen, Aben, Ameu, & Okoth (2004). Smallholder agricultural technology development in Soroti district: Synergy between NAADS and farmer field schools. Uganda Journal of Agricultural Uganda Sciences, 9,250-256.

Lincoln & Guba. (1985). Naturalistic Inquiry. New York: Sage.

Merriam & Associates (2002). Qualitative research in practice. Examples for discussion and analysis. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.

Merriam, S. B. & Ntseane, G. P. (2008), Transformational learning in Botswana: how culture shapes the process Adult Education Quarterly, 58, 183-197.

Mezirow, J. (2000). Learning to think like an adult: Core concepts of transformation theory. In J. Mezirow & Associates (Eds.). Learning as transformation (pp. 3-35). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Netsance, P. G. (2011), Culturally sensitive transformational learning: incorporating the Afrocentric paradigm and African feminism. Adult Education Quarterly, 61, 307- 323.

Robertson, D. L. (1999). Professors’ perspectives on their teaching: A new construct and developmental model. Innovative Higher Education, 23(4), 271-294.

Taylor, E. W. & Cranton, P. (2012) (Eds). Handbook of transformative learning: Theory, research and practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Van den Berg & Jiggins (2007. Investing in farmers—the impacts of farmer field schools in relation to integrated pest management. World Development, 35, 4, 663–686.

Williams, S. H. (2003) Black mama sauce: Integrating the theatre of the oppressed and afrocentricity in transformative learning. In C. A. Wiessner, S. R. Meyer, N. L. Pfhal, & P. G. Neaman (Eds). Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Transformative learning (pp. 463-468), Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Full Text: PDF XPS


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Esbern Friis-Hansen, Edward Taylor, Deborah Duveskog

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.