Scholarship in Extension: It's What We Do
In the simplest of terms, scholarship is sharing knowledge. It is material we create to inform others about what we know. It is the practical application of what we know or what we have learned.
We have an abundance of opportunities for Extension scholarship. Our various program efforts are informed by knowledge. These efforts involve materials. Whether factsheets, handouts, or videos, for example, the materials provide opportunity for scholarship. What we learn about our program effectiveness is knowledge. We have a responsibility to share this knowledge with others so that they might benefit from what we have learned. Such efforts can involve sharing with others via a conference presentation, peer-reviewed journal publication, poster or abstract, for example.
Federal Smith-Lever funding for Extension work includes the expectation for Extension scholarship. It is a key dimension of our work and really does include a wide range of Extension outputs that we need to create for a wide range of audiences (e.g. youth, adults, colleagues, program partners, general public, etc). Extension scholarship supports and advances our individual and collective efforts as part of the larger organizational mission. See a post on this subject from last summer here.
Finally, our scholarly efforts are made better when our outputs are reviewed by others (see Extension Scholarship and Review Process for Department of Extension Educational Materials here). We are in the business of collaborating with others in the creation of knowledge that can be readily applied to make life better.
Can you imagine a more wonderful place to be?