Case Location: Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Chile (UCH)
Main stakeholders involved: Undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. UCH teachers, farmers, agronomists, extensionists (teaching staff), anthropologists (teaching staff).
Multi-actor approach in case: Students, social actors linked to agroecology (farmers, agronomists) and teachers, seeking the linkage between students and stakeholders in agroecological systems through participatory research, team, and interdisciplinary work.
Main outcomes: During the development of the course, virtual sessions, field visits, and group work among the students were employed. The sessions highlighted the importance of addressing the problems we face today in agri-food systems, through an inter- and transdisciplinary approach. Also, considering the importance of forming interdisciplinary work teams. Students are more conscious of recognizing and valuing different types of knowledge and the dialogue of knowledge as a tool to understand the reality of the field.
Students realized the importance of making a good diagnosis when carrying out field work, using the skills of observation, dialogue, and participation. The importance of reflection was reinforced, perceiving it as a process in which experiences are linked with content.
The teaching staff are aware of the importance of conducting courses in which work is done directly and continuously with stakeholders. During the development of the case study reports, students became more engaged and wanted to lead the process, because they have the responsibility of identifying opportunities and gaps through the diagnosis, but also in order to give stakeholders feasible recommendations.
The UCH MSc-program in Agroecology was included as a Case Study in the project in 2020. The MSc in Agroecology has not commenced yet because it is still in the process of being approved. This is why the idea of running the pilot course “Linking Agroecology with Society”, during the second semester 2021 (August-December), was born. This course is part of the proposed MSc study program, and it is a mandatory course.