Philosophy is a body of general principles or laws of a field of knowledge; it provides guidelines for performing the activities in life in a particular way. Different individuals have different philosophies of life, e.g. the traditional minded farmer and progressive farmer may react differently to the concept of artificial insemination of cows.
Philosophy of extension education includes the principles or guidelines with which to shape or mould the developmental programmes relating to that field. It provides to extension worker the basis for working out the programmes and the policies to be adopted in extension work. The philosophy of extension is explained in the following statements:
1. Extension has a philosophy of culture:
a. It respects culture of people.
b. It brings about cultural change through cultural development.
2. Extension has philosophy of social progress:
a. Its works is based on needs and desires of the people
b. It facilitates change and help people to adjust with them.
3. Extension has philosophy of education for all:
a. Disseminates useful knowledge to all people.
b. Regardless of personal, social and economic characteristics.
4. Extension has philosophy concerning teaching:
a. It teaches by doing:
i) Hearing – doubtful
ii) Seeing – possibly doubtful
iii) Do – believe
b. It reaches people to practice themselves.
c. Teaching is inadequate till the knowledge is put into practice.
5. Extension has philosophy of leadership:
a. Teaches, educates, and stimulates people through local leaders.
b. Utilizes assistance of voluntary leaders.
c. Locates, trains and uses functional leaders.
d. Extension trusts in what it can get others to do.
6. Extension has philosophy of local responsibility:
a. Encourages people to contribute increasingly in their own affairs.
b. Prepares suitable leaders to determine programmes and plans.
7. Extension has philosophy about truth:
a. Sells only proven facts.
b. Realise that going beyond truth will loose people’s faith in extension.
c. Continuously seeks new truth as today’s whole truth may be tomorrow’s partial truth.
8. Extension has philosophy of democracy:
a. Functions only with voluntary co-operation of the people.
b. Co-operation with the individuals, groups and institutions interested in common welfare.
c. Selects and solves the problems based on the felt needs through group action.
d. Democratic in organization.
9. Extension has philosophy of a dignity of individual and his profession:
a. Believes that each individual is endowed certain inalienable rights.
b. Dignifies the farm, home and family.
c. Holds that changed man is more important than the changed practice.
10. Extension personnel have philosophical characteristics:
a. Extension personnel have the right attitude, integrity and high sense of service.
b. Extension personnel have deep faith that man does not alive with bread alone.
1. To provide the farmers the knowledge and help that will enable him to farm more efficiently and to increase his income.
2. To help in planning and implementing the family and village plans for increasing production in various occupations.
3. To provide facilities for better family living.
4. To encourage the farmer to grow his own food. Eat well and living well.
5. To promote better social, natural, recreational, intellectual and spiritual life among the people.
6. To open up new opportunities for rural people so that they may develop all their talent and leadership.
7. To help the member of the farm family to a larger appreciation of the opportunities the beauty and the privilege of the rural life and to know more about the world in which they live.
8. To build rural citizens who are proud of their occupation, independent in their thinking, constructive in their outlook, capable efficient and self reliant in character and have a love of home and country in their heart.
9. To develop feeling of patriotism and love for society by developing civil civic sense among rural people.
10. To train rural people youth for development works.
The term extension was first used in the United States of America in the first decade of this century to connote the extension of knowledge from the Land Grant Colleges to the farmers through the process of informal education. In India, the terms community development & extension education became more popular with the launching of Community Development Projects in 1952 & with the establishment of the National Extension Service in 1953. Since then, Community development has been regarded as a programme for an all-round development of the rural people, & extension education as the means to achieve this objective.
Extension education is an applied behavioural science, the knowledge of which is applied to bring about desirable changes in the behavioural complex of human beings usually through various strategies & programmes of change & by applying the latest scientific & technological innovations.
Extension education has now developed as a full-fledged discipline, having its own philosophy, objectives, principles, methods & techniques which must be understood by every extension worker & others connected with the rural development. It might be mentioned here that extension education, its principles, methods & techniques are applicable not only to agriculture but also to veterinary & animal husbandry, dairying, home science, health, family planning, etc. Based upon its application & use, various nomenclatures have been given to it, such as agricultural extension, veterinary & animal husbandry extension, dairy extension, home science extension, public health extension, & family planning extension.
Principles of extension education: The extension work is based upon some working principles & the knowledge of these principles is necessary for an extension worker. Some of these principles, as related to agricultural extension, are mentioned below.
Principle of interest & need: Extension work must be based on the needs & interests of the people. These needs & interests differ from individual to individual, from village to village, from block to block, & from state to state &, therefore, there cannot be one programme for all people.
Principle of cultural difference: Extension work is based on the cultural background of the people with whom the work is done. Improvement can only begin from the level of the people where they are. This means that the extension worker has to know the level of the knowledge, & the skills of the people, methods & tools used by them, their customs, traditions, beliefs, values, etc. before starting the extension programme.
Principle of participation: Extension helps people to help themselves. Good extension work is directed towards assisting rural families to work out their own problems rather than giving them ready-made solutions. Actual participation & experience of people in these programmes creates self-confidence in them & also they learn more by doing.
Principle of adaptability: People differ from each other, one group differs from another group & conditions also differ from place to place. An extension programme should be flexible, so that necessary changes can be made whenever needed, to meet the varying conditions.
The grass roots principle of organisation: A group of rural people in local community should sponsor extension work. The programme should fit in with the local conditions. The aim of organising the local group is to demonstrate the value of the new practices or programmes so that more & more people would participate.
The leadership principle: Extension work is based on the full utilisation of local leadership. The selection & training of local leaders to enable them to help to carry out extension work is essential to the success of the programme. People have more faith in local leaders & they should be used to put across a new idea so that it is accepted with the least resistance.
The whole-family principle: Extension work will have a better chance of sucess if the extension workers have a whole-family approach instead of piecemeal approach or seperate & unintegrated approach. Extension work is, therefore, for the whole family, i.e. for male, female & the youth.
Principle of co-operation: Extension is a co-operative venture. It is a joint democratic enterprise in which rural people co-operate with their village, block & state officials to pursue a common cause.
Principle of satisfaction: The end-product of the effort of extension teaching is the satisfaction that comes to the farmer, his wife or youngsters as the result of solving a problem, meeting a need, acquiring a new skill or some other changes in behaviour. Satisfaction is the key to sucess in extension work. “A satisfied customer is the best advertisement.”
The evaluation principle: Extension is based upon the methods of science, & it needs constant evaluation. The effectiveness of the work is measured in terms of the changes brought about in the knowledge, skill, attitude & adoption behaviour of the people but not merely in terms of achievement of physical targets.