Authors

1 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Global Extension Programs & Department of Agricultural Education and Studies,Iowa State University, Ames, IA – 50011.

2 Professor, Department of Agricultural Education and Studies, Iowa State University, Ames, IA – 50011

Abstract

One of the ways to ensure food safety is to educate the public. Of the organizations providing food safety education in the United States (U.S.), the Cooperative Extension System (CES) is one of the most reliable. The effectiveness CES programs depends not only on what is being taught but also on how it is taught. Both a needs-based curriculum and how that curriculum is delivered are equally important. This descriptive cross-sectional study using a disproportional stratified random sample identified the teaching methods and tools being used by food safety extension educators of the CES of North Central Region (NCR). A Likert-type scale administered to extension educators revealed that they were adopting a balanced use of teaching methods and tools, and using learner-centered teaching methods in their programs. However, distance education, case studies and podcasts, which are commonly used in education programs, were not being used extensively. We recommend that food safety extension educators of NCR should increase the use of these two teaching methods and tool while continuing to use the current ones. This study has implications for improving food safety education delivery to clients in the NCR and for designing inservice education for food safety extension educators.

Keywords

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