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close this bookPrimary School Agriculture: Volume I: Pedagogy (GTZ, 1985, 144 p.)
close this folderPart I: Pedagogical foundations of primary school agriculture
close this folder4. A Science-Based approach to primary school agriculture
View the document(introduction...)
View the document4.1 The relationship between agriculture and science
View the document4.2 Environment-Based school agriculture
View the document4.3 The Political dimension: Self-reliant development, social justice, and the link with traditional culture
View the document4.4 Objectives for primary school agriculture

4.4 Objectives for primary school agriculture

Here is a set of potential objectives from which curriculum developers may choose and which could be complemented by other ones.

General Objectives

Knowledge and Skills

1. Pupils should acquire basic facts relevant to agriculture.
2. Pupils shall master basic scientific principles and procedures.
3. Pupils shall be able to apply basic scientific principles and procedures to agricultural problems.


4. Pupils shall accept the need for change and adaptation.
5. Pupils shall develop the self-confidence necessary to survive in a changing environment.
6. Pupils shall develop the motivation to participate actively in the improvement of their environment.
7. Pupils shall develop the social skills and attitudes necessary for co-operation with other members of the community and nation.

Specific Objectives in Science Education Through Agriculture

Most of these objectives deal with study skills. As such, they are valuable beyond their field of application, agriculture. The more they are pursued, the better will pupils be prepared for further education after primary school.

- Basic Scientific Principles

1. Logical thinking.
2. Curiosity and open-mindedness.
3. Intellectual honesty.
4. Acceptance of the fact that knowledge is relative: what is thought to be right today may be proved to be wrong tomorrow.
5. Accuracy in scientific procedure.
6. Insistence on factual evidence.

- Basic Scientific Procedures

7. Pupils will be able to make a simple hypothesis, stating a relationship between two phenomena.
8. Pupils will be able to design a simple way of testing such an hypothesis. "Simple" here means simple apparatus and low or no costs.
9. Pupils will be able to collect information by way of experiment, survey work, direct observation.
10. Pupils will be able to measure properties such as extension, volume, and weight of objects.
11. Pupils will be able to record their observations. Record-keeping may be in written or in graphical form.
12. Pupils will be able to analyse observations. This essentially means grouping of information for comparison, calculating elementary statistics (mean, percentages, simple ratios).
13. Pupils will be able to make systematic comparisons according to initial hypotheses.
14. Pupils will be able to draw conclusions from comparisons.
15. Pupils will be able to report their findings in such a way that the reader can repeat the whole process by himself.

Specific Objectives in the Field of Agriculture

These are objectives which cannot easily be generalized beyond the field of agriculture. The more important they become, the more primary school agriculture becomes pre-vocational training.


- Parts of a plant
- Life cycle of plants
- Crops and their requirements
- Modes of propagation
- Diseases and pests
- Plant improvement: breeding and selection
- Main crop associations
- Sources of improved planting material


- Propagate plants by seeds, suckers, cuttings etc.
- Distinguish suitable and unsuitable patterns of mixed cropping
- Identification of pests and diseases
- Prevention and cure of pests and diseases (elementary)



- Properties of soil
- Conditions of soil fertility
- Dangers to soil fertility
- Improving soil fertility
- Soil types


- Take and analyse a soil sample
- Manuring and mulching
- Simple erosion control
- Compost work, green manure, fallow and cover crops, chemical fertilizer
- Selecting crops adapted to a few soil types



- Common tools
- Maintenance of tools
- Measuring equipment
- Animal-powered equipment
- Main agricultural machines


- Handle some common tools
- Correctly care for tools
- Making and using simple measuring equipment


- Set of operations required for different farm crops
- Sequence of farming operations for different crops
- Time required for different farm operations
- Rejuvenation of tree crop farms

Make a plan for the farming of a given crop

- Laying out a farm plot with right angles
- Doing light tillage as required by the crops farmed
- Preparing nurseries for vegetables (e.g. tomatoes, lettuce), for coffee, cocoa, or oil palms according to area, for Eucalyptus and fruit trees, etc.
- Thinning
- Earthing up
- Weeding
- Harvesting
- Simple methods of drying and storage


- Division of labour by sex and age
- Forms of group work


- Draft the regulations of a mutual help group
- Draft the rules for a contract job


- Notions of profit and loss
- Elements of planning


- Calculate profit and loss of the school farm (the class plot)
- Make a simple time-table for farming a standard crop
- Keep records


- The local market
- Local measures of weight and volume
- The Licensed Buying Agent
- Sale on credit before the harvest
- The Cooperative Society
- The Produce Marketing Board


- Convert local measures into standard measures
- Compare prices
- Use and check a balance
- Establish and check a receipt
- Calculate the interest on a loan


- Agricultural employment
- Information on rural training schemes
- Information on sources of agricultural knowledge