Thesis of stage boerderijeducatie

Effect van onderwijs op de boerderij voor leerlingen die (tijdelijk) uitvallen in het onderwijs

Er zijn te veel leerlingen die uitvallen in het onderwijs. Het aantal zogeheten ‘thuiszitters’ blijft de afgelopen schooljaren stijgen, in het schooljaar 2018-2019 naar 4790. Om deze leerlingen niet in de steek te laten zijn in het land initiatieven ontwikkeld om op een (zorg)boerderij onderwijs te krijgen. Het aantal leerlingen dat gebruik maakt van het onderwijs op zorgboerderijen neemt toe. Er zijn momenteel ongeveer 50 onderwijsboerderijen. De eerste onderwijsboeren zijn gestart in het jaar 2000. Vanaf 2014 nam het aantal onderwijsboeren substantieel toe. Het afgelopen jaar zijn 409 leerlngen opgevangen op een boerderij. Bij veel van de boerderijen zijn alle leerlingen ingeschreven bij de school waar zij tijdelijk niet meer naartoe gaan. Er worden veel successen gemeld.

Er zijn verschillen in de wijze waarop het onderwijs op de boerderij wordt ingevuld en hoe er wordt omgegaan met de verschillende type leerlingen. Deze leerlingen gaan naar de boerderij omdat het op school niet goed gaat. Veel voorkomende diagnoses en problematieken zijn een Autisme Spectrum Stoornis, ADHD, gedragsproblemen, gescheiden ouders, verlies van een dierbare, gepest worden, hechtingsproblematiek, faalangst en trauma’s. De meeste leerlingen hebben een combinatie van bovengenoemde diagnoses en problemen. De leeftijd van de kinderen die les op de boerderij krijgen varieert van 4 tot en met 20 jaar.

Uit enquêtes en interviews die het afgelopen jaar zijn gehouden blijkt dat de ervaringen positief zijn. Bij meer dan 90% van de leerlingen leidt de plaatsing op de boerderij tot een positieve ontwikkeling. Het aantal leerlingen dat na enige tijd weer naar school gaat ligt boven de 50%.

Persoonlijke begeleiding en aandacht, afwisseling tussen onderwijs en andere activiteiten, de buitenomgeving en contact met dieren komen naar voren als succesvolle onderdelen. Daardoor kunnen leerlingen zich ontspannen, positieve ervaringen opdoen en weer tot leren komen.

Thesis/stage mogelijkheid

Bij een aantal boerderijen wordt de ontwikkeling van de leerlingen en de uitstroom goed gemonitord. Deze zorgboeren willen graag weten hoe het met de leerlingen gaat nadat zij zijn gestopt bij de boerderij en weer naar school gaan. Waar zij benieuwd naar zijn is: hoe hebben de leerlingen en de ouders de boerderijperiode ervaren, wat heeft deze periode voor hen betekend, wat hebben ze geleerd, hoe gaat het nu met de leerlingen en hoe zou het hen zijn vergaan als de boerderij er niet was geweest?

De student wordt gevraagd een aantal leerlingen en hun ouders te benaderen en hen te interviewen en een vragenlijst af te nemen. Meer inzicht in de effecten van onderwijs op de boerderij voor leerlingen die in het onderwijs uitvallen is belangrijk om deze nieuwe sector verder te kunnen ontwikkelen.

Meer informatie: Jan Hassink, Wageningen Plant Research: Jan.hassink@wur.nl (0317 480576)

Stage of afstuderen: Ontwikkeling Voedsellandschap en Moderne Marke Slijpbeek

  • Moderne Marke Slijpbeek – tussen Arnhem en Oosterbeek – is een samenwerkingsverband waarbij de korte keten van lokaal voedsel (van productie tot verwerking, distributie en afzet) het uitgangspunt is. Dit gebeurt in een bio-divers, cultuurhistorisch, hoogwaardig leef- en woongebied. Circulariteit (afvalstromen en mest) en fossielvrije mobiliteit liggen aan de basis en de beleving van de korte voedsel keten staat centraal. Het gebied functioneert als moderne Marke waar men met elkaar en vooral voor elkaar gewas en vee tot wasdom laat komen en waar de buitenruimte optimaal benut wordt om voedsel te produceren. De ruimte is verbonden door een padenstructuur die zowel distributie als beleving van voedsel mogelijk maakt. POP subsidie moet een bijdrage leveren aan het versterken van de samenwerking, de visie- en planvorming en de uitvoering van enkele voedselgebonden experimenten.

Doelstelling: Doel van het project is de consortiumpartners binnen het gebied rondom de Slijpbeek op professioneel niveau te laten samenwerken zodat er duurzame onderlinge relaties worden opgebouwd en er een duurzame voedselketen ontstaat. Het realiseren en innoveren van de duurzame korte voorzieningenketen gebeurt met een groep korte-keten-partners (niet alleen productie maar ook verwerking, distributie en afzet van lokaal voedsel) in ‘Slijpbeekpark’. De uit deze samenwerking voortkomende voedselproducten zijn met gesloten kringloop geproduceerd, emissievrij gedistribueerd en toereikend voor een zo groot mogelijk aantal afnemers in en om het gebied ‘Slijpbeekpark’. Bewoners van het gebied zijn ‘lid’ van hun eigen voedsellandschap.

Mogelijke opdrachten

Formuleren bedrijfsplan De partners hebben als doel samen te werken om een korte voedselketen te realiseren. De betrokken partijen willen de businesscase verbeteren, door meerwaarde toe te voegen aan de productie. Deze meerwaarde wordt bereikt door een gesloten grondstoffenkringloop en biologische en CO2-neutrale productie, waarbij de voedselproducten van het land zoveel mogelijk binnen het gebied en zonder verspilling worden verwerkt, gedistribueerd en afgezet voor en met bewoners en ondernemers.

Hiervoor wordt onderzocht: 1) Welke producten samen een interessant aanbod vormen als voedselpakket voor lokale bedrijven en bewoners, met oog voor technische eisen (landschappelijke ondergrond, mogelijkheden tot verwerking/houdbaarheid); 2) Hoe er tot een economisch haalbaar, kwalitatief product gekomen kan worden, met een overgang van intensief naar extensief beheer; 3) Welke innovatieve bewaar- en verwerkingsprocessen er zijn om jaarrond hoogwaardig voedsel aan te kunnen bieden en verspilling tegen te gaan; 4) Hoe en hoeveel (nieuwe) bewoners, bedrijven en belangstellenden het product kunnen en zouden willen afnemen (lid worden van een coöperatie, voedselpakketabonnement, etc).  

Formuleren voedsellandschapsplan Door middel van een voedsellandschapsplan krijgt de samenwerking van de korte-keten-partners ook fysiek in het landschap vorm. Hierin worden de locaties aangewezen waar natuur- en landschapsgericht wordt geboerd. In samenspraak met de gebiedseigenaren wordt onderzocht hoe en in hoeverre de korte-keten-partners het landschap kunnen beheren en bewerken ten behoeve van de lokale voedselproductie. 

Zichtbaar maken van lokaal voedsel Door de werkzaamheden in de voedselproductie, -verwerking, -distributie en -afzet beleefbaar te maken ontstaat er meer binding met het product en het landschap en meer bewustwording over voedsel in het algemeen. Hiervoor is behoefte aan een visie op beleving, educatie en burgerparticipatie met betrekking tot lokaal voedsel en een plan van aanpak hoe deze visie is toe te passen in de lokale zorg- en dagbesteding bij Hoeve Klein Mariëndaal en bij de beleving/ bewustwording van het lokale voedselsysteem door bewoners, lokale bedrijven en toeristen voor het gehele projectgebied.

Voor meer informatie: Jan Hassink, Wageningen Research: Jan.hassink@wur.nl en 0317 480576

BSc/MSc Thesis vacancy – Volunteers in Gelderland: does Corona provide new dimensions to an old fashion?

The Corona crisis brings about many social initiatives, lots of them along the lines of ‘helping out in the neighborhood’. This might appear innovative, but volunteer organizations are central to social life in Dutch countryside already for decades. From sports clubs to village centers (Dorpshuizen) and local public transport (buurtbus), many small-town-services are supported by volunteers. Yet, volunteer organizations in small villages heavily struggle with a lack of volunteers and an increasing workload, as their (local) governments ‘decentralized’ many tasks over time. This Science Shop research project is commissioned by ‘Vereniging DKK Gelderland’ and looks into the dynamics of local volunteer organizations in the context of austerity and decentralization. How do volunteers organize themselves? What can organizations do to attract new and young volunteers? What critical issues with regard to livability and social services are signaled by volunteers?

We are looking for students that are interested to study volunteer supported (social) services in Dutch countryside (Gelderland) through a literature review and (Skype) interviews, and/or to perform an online (inter)national QuickScan of inspiring examples of volunteer work. Should we learn from festivals (f.ex. Zwarte Cross) about the commitment of young adults to volunteer work? Or is activism and financial support the answer to overstressed volunteer services? In addition, we are keen to understand how an abundance of temporary Corona-initiatives relate to existing issues with permanent/long-term volunteer efforts.

The project runs from May to November, you can start any time from now. Research can be adapted to the Corona guidelines. Both suitable for bachelor and master students. Please contact dieuwertje.vanmuijden@wur.nl for more information. See also: https://www.gelderlandhelpt.nl/corona-hulp

MSc thesis opportunity: Environmental versus/and political ecology explanations of civil war

There is a fierce debate about the origins of the civil war in Syria.

Some argue that the civil war was caused by environmental induced scarcity (climate change). Key environmental factors identified are water-scarcity and climate variability. Drought is said to have contributed to the displacement of rural populations to urban centers, unemployment and the occurrence of food insecurity with subsequent effects on political stability (Gleick 2014).

Others have argued that the relation between drought, migration and conflict is not so clear-cut (Eklund & Thompson 2017). They content that the central causes of the war were the Syrian regime’s agrarian policy and the rural poverty it produced (political ecology). The regime’s social and economic reforms cut the peasantry from subsidies, resulted in a loss of livelihood and brought large parts of the population out of the social reach of the state (Daoudy 2020).  

For this thesis you will evaluate and assess climate change and political ecology centered explanation of the causes of the civil war in Syria. Based on this reading, you are challenged to 1) develop an approach beyond the climate change – political ecology controversy or 2) assess the policy implications of both approaches. For this study, you will analyze scientific articles, reports by international organizations and NGOs, but also consider datasets of FAO and WB.

More info: joost.jongerden@wur.nl

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Thesis opportunity: developing a framework for business models that enhance soil quality

The Rural Sociology Group and Business Economics Group jointly offer thesis opportunities on developing business models that enhance soil quality.

Developing a theoretical framework for business models that enhance soil quality in crop and dairy production.

Soil quality is (rapidly) decreasing in The Netherlands, and thereby endangering future income perspectives of farmers. Moreover, reduced soil quality provokes all kind of negative externalities, such as reduced biodiversity, increased climate-change related risks, etc.. Hence, increasing and maintaining soil quality is a prerequisite for sustainable soil use.

This issue affects a multitude of stakeholders, each with different positions and preferences.

Business models, including various stakeholders and aimed at increasing and maintaining soil quality, are essential to enable farmers taking appropriate measures focused on these aims.

Currently, various initiatives have been taken to develop business models, mostly at a smaller scale. However, for mainstream agriculture to getting involved in improved soil management, a thorough theoretical framework, based on scientific analysis and rooted in (at least) economic and sociological theory, is essential. Only then, essentials of balanced business models can be developed which have the pursuit for larger-scale adoption in practice.

Being a pilot study, the aims of this MSc Thesis research are:

  • Qualitative analysis of real costs of soil management (i.e. monetary and non-monetary costs, such as costs for society) through the application of basic economic (cost) concepts;
  • Qualitative analysis of the stakeholder structure;
  • Definition of business cases and performance of a qualitative SWOT-analysis;
  • Evaluation of several existing business cases against the developed framework.

We are looking for a MSc-thesis student with an interest in the topic and a background in (business-)economics and/or rural/agrarian sociology.

Searching for a master thesis topic? Write your master thesis about community fridges in The Hague!

 

fridge foto hagueWhat are community fridges?

Community fridges are refrigerators located in a public space, for example in a neighborhood or community centre. These refrigerators enable food to be shared within a community. In The Hague, community fridges are utilized primarily to share left-overs from restaurants with people facing hardship, with the goal of offering easy access to fresh, nutritious food. The initiative aims to simultaneously reduce poverty and food waste. To read more about the specific case in The Hague, visit their website: https://www.versenvrij.nl/

vers frij hague

Interested in writing your master thesis about this initiative?

In cooperation with LUMC (Leiden University Medical Center – Campus The Hague), we are searching for a master student who wants to do a thesis research about community fridges in The Hague.

Topic 1: To explore user experiences and the role of these fridges in addressing food insecurity.

Topic 2: To explore how users manage risk and safety in the distribution of surplus food, and the care of community fridges.

We will encourage you to actively design your own research and hope you are eager to use various methods.

You are :

  • interested in the issues of food insecurity and food waste
  • willing to engage actively in designing a research about community fridges
  • willing to conduct research in The Hague (think about travel-costs)
  • experienced in doing qualitative research; e.g. participant observation, semi-structured interviews, the photo-voice method, focus groups
  • interested in mixed methods; combining qualitative with quantitative data (e.g. surveys or questionnaires)
  • a native Dutch speaker and willing to write your thesis in English
  • able to start this spring (possible to start immediately)

 

If you are enthusiastic about this research topic, please send an e-mail to thirza.andriessen@wur.nl , L.A.van_der_Velde@lumc.nl , & oona.morrow@wur.nl

Master thesis opportunity – Regenerative food systems and the changing interfaces of food production and consumption in Taranaki, New Zealand

An exciting, funded thesis opportunity for students interested in regenerative food systems in New Zealand

Introduction

Regenerative agriculture has gained momentum as increasing groups of farmers become preoccupied by ‘soil health’ and attentive to the practices required to augment and sustain soil biodiversity. Regenerative agriculture builds on the principles of circular farming, enhances biodiversity as ‘nature-inclusive’ farming, mitigates climate change, adopts ‘a true costs’ approach towards the impact of (diverse modes) of food provisioning, and includes more sustainable, inclusive business models. It has been identified as a major solution for carbon sequestration and a response to destructive environmental consequences of conventional or industrial agriculture on the planet and climate.

Farm Next Door, is an entrepreneurial initiative from the Taranaki region that applies precision tools to small-scale ‘hyper-localised, backyard’ urban, community supported farming/horticulture. Farm Next Door intend to nurture and facilitate the support structure for a new urban farming community. This network of local producers will farm regeneratively, earn income from their own land, and supply local, values-based produce for local consumption.

Exploring innovative and sustainable food systems, Like Farm Next Door requires attention to both production (regenerative agriculture) and consumption (the conscious and responsible consumer). What is required is a more holistic approach to how business is conducted – one that is inclusive of social good (Vishwanathan, Seth, Gau and Chaturvedi, 2009). A focus that is inclusive of consumption allows us to understand how more sustainable patterns of consumption might be co-created through an in-depth understanding of what, how and where we choose to onsume. Engaging with the forces required to alter consumption enables a greater transformative societal shift (Fuchs and Boll, 2018).

Research project and thesis opportunity

Within this context, Massey University and Wageningen University have set up a research project that allows for 2-3 Master thesis students to conduct their research on regenerative farming. Four broad research questions provide a framework for the overall project, with smaller subsets of emergent questions guiding the focus of each individual student thesis:

  1. How can regenerative, circular, zero-waste systems be embedded within the Farm Next Door initiative and multiplied across all urban farming practitioners that will be part of this operation? What are the challenges, constraints and opportunities presented by such a holistic approach?
  2. What innovative 21 st century economic and business models provide the basis for sustainable livelihoods and thriving communities? What lessons can be drawn from initiatives across various global contexts?
  3. How are changing food production-consumption interfaces and the increasing demand for traceable, environmentally sustainable, nutritious foods promoting co-creation of common or public goods or positive externalities of innovative food systems? How are these forms of value demonstrated?
  4. How can issues of equity, ethics and responsibility be integrated within agrifood transformations and changing land use practices to secure sustainable livelihoods and promote flourishing communities in Taranaki?

Research will entail immersion in the Taranaki region at different junctures by all the researchers, to enable the development of context-based understanding in addressing the broad research questions outlined above. It will also enable the practical action research derived from the series of targeted inquiries identified by Farm Next Door listed below:

  • To identify the emerging decentralised small scale organic farm movement in Taranaki – what? when? where? how?
  • To explore how precision horticultural practices and the latest AgTech solutions can be adapted and applied to the emerging decentralised small scale organic farm movement in Taranaki
  • Understand producer and consumer dynamics – motivations to engage and co-create a new way of producing and consuming food and how behavioural change in ethical purchasing behaviour is encouraged to a wider demographic than the current “local ethical consumer”

In consultation with their identified thesis supervisor(s), students will select one of the 4 broad questions listed above for their thesis topic and develop subsets of smaller, more focused research questions to guide their field work in Taranaki. Alongside this more academically-oriented focus, they will apply appropriate methodological approaches to integrate key action research components based on the targeted areas of inquiry developed by Farm Next Door. This dual aspect to the research undertaken in this project will provide academic rigour whilst retaining direct and practical relevance to the Farm Next Door initiative and its wider purview in Taranaki.

Planning

Expected start of the thesis: between January/February 2020.

Expected fieldwork period: April – July 2020 (4 months)

Requirements and procedure

Interested students can apply for this possibility by sending and email to Dirk Roep/Jessica de Koning/Mark Vicol to express their interest in this exciting opportunity. In order to be considered, students must meet the following criteria.

  • Students are enrolled at the Wageningen University
  • Students are preferably part of one of the following programmes:
    • MID programme, specialisation Sociology of Development
    • MOA programme, specialisation Sustainable Food Systems
  • Students preferably have completed RSO-31806 Sociology of Food and Place and/or RSO-30806 The Sociology of Farming and Rural Life
  • Students must be willing to work in a team led by Massey University
  • Students must be willing to stay in New Zealand for a period of 4 months
  • Students meet the criteria of entering New Zealand set by New Zealand immigration.

Final selection of candidates will be made by Dirk Roep, Jessica de Koning and/or Mark Vicol.

In return we offer

  • Relevant work experience in a research collaboration between Massey University and Wageningen University
  • Reimbursement of costs of travel, housing and transport (incl. return flight Netherlands-New Zealand).

Contact

Dirk Roep (dirk.roep@wur.nl), Jessica de Koning (jessica.dekoning@wur.nl) Mark Vicol (mark.vicol@wur.nl).

Thesis Opportunities “Circular economy for agri-food systems”

Thesis Opportunities “Circular economy for agri-food systems”

The following thesis opportunities are co-supervised by Dr. Vivian Valencia (Farming Systems Ecology) and Dr. Oona Morrow (Rural Sociology Group)

The circular economy is a hot topic these days, with innovations coming from the grassroots, public, and private sector. But the governance of the circular economy is lagging behind, and we lack a systemic and regional view that bridges the gap between innovation and policy, rural and urban, and the social, economic, and environmental. Taking a systems view can help us to identify where policy interventions would make the most impact, by for example focusing on producers instead of consumer waste streams. We advertise three interlinked projects on the circular economy, that will feed into a multi-stage four year project.

Our approach to the circular economy that takes a food systems perspective to map all of the flows, benefits, and burdens of our current agri-food and waste system in the Amsterdam city-region, as well as the governance structures and policy levers that keep this system in place, and have the potential to change it. Importantly, our approach proposes to capture not only environmental and economic impacts, but also social impacts in the AMA city-region, including for example quality of life, social inclusion, food security, and transitions potential.

We take a geographic, sectoral, and sustainability perspective on circularity, to ensure that not only are materials reused – but that they find their highest and best use in the local food economy. For example, surplus food is redistributed to people rather than bio-digesters, organic waste is composted or converted to animal feed rather being burned for home heating or converted to jet fuel. These re-generative loops are depicted in the diagram below by Feedback Global.  

feedback global

Furthermore, we take seriously the role of urban design in reproducing or disrupting our current agri-food-waste system through the (re)design of green space, logistics, waste, and waste water infrastructure. Approaching urban design and infrastructure as vital components of agri-food systems offers opportunities for crafting shorter and more regenerative loops at every stage in the agri-food system, including the “end of pipe” recovery of nutrients.

If you wish to pursue this as a thesis opportunity you will receive supervision in the development of a research proposal on the governance of the circular economy.  The following topics are possible:

  1. Mapping Circular Economy Innovations in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area

We seek a motivated student to conduct a scoping study and stakeholder mapping of circular food innovations in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. We take a broad view of circularity, to include traditional and emerging innovations, and social, economic, and environmental impacts.

2. Governing the Circular Economy

We week a motivated student to conduct a scoping study, media analysis, and literature review on the governance of circular urban and regional governance for the circular economy practices that are being tested and developed in city-regions across the globe, while focusing in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. We seek to learn from inspiring examples, best practices, as well as failures.

3. Methods for Visioning the Circular Economy in Place

You will research visioning and futuring methods that are well suited for stimulating creative out of the box thinking on the governance of the circular economy, develop a workshop design, and test your methods. There are already many existing participatory methodologies for visioning the future and co-creating transformation pathways for the future. Which may work best when it comes to transitioning to a circular economy?

Questions: contact oona.morrow@wur.nl

 

 

Internship or Thesis Opportunity: Allotment and Community Gardens in Warsaw and Berlin

 

person wearing black lace up sneakers standing on green grass with fallen leaves

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Are you interested in the politics and governance of community and allotment gardening ? How these gardens can become more inclusive? And what lessons gardeners in Berlin and Warsaw can exchange?

The research project “Integration von Kleingärten und Gemeinschaftsgärten in Warschau und Berlin” seeks a German speaking research assistant.

We are looking for a person with:

– German language (spoken and written).

– Research interest in the topic of urban gardening;

– Training and experience with qualitative research methods

– Knowledge about Berlin allotment and community gardens’ and/or administrative situation and structure;

 
Project duration December 2019 – March 2021
  • November/December 2019 – Kick off. Interviewing gardeners, the city administration, city dwellers and other persons related to the topic – in Berlin (December and January)
  • May 2020 – Focus Groups in Warsaw and Berlin, a visit of Berliners to Warsaw
  • September 2020 – VISIS workshops on challenges and opportunities of this integration.
  • March 2021 – final meeting in Warsaw

The rest of the time is for research, reading, meeting with the project team, writing and meetings in gardens (action research).

The project is a cooperation with Humboldt University and Łódź University in Poland. With funding from the Deutsch Polnische Wissenschaft Stiftung.

Deadline: Please send expressions of interest to oona.morrow@wur.nl  by October 14

RSO supervisor: Oona Morrow oona.morrow@wur.nl

Field Research supervisors: Agnieszka Dragon and Anna Dańkowska

Thesis opportunity: Brewing Social, Economic and Ecological Change in the Global Hops Industry

With the rapid expansion of the craft beer sector globally, the organization of hop production is changing in producing countries. We seek one or two MSc students to conduct a primarily qualitative study on how interrelated social, economic and ecological dynamics shape sustainability outcomes (broadly conceived) in a rapidly expanding and changing industry. Potential topics of focus include the role of plant breeding and new varieties, trade-offs between cooperative vs competitive relationships, and how changing beer markets are influencing how people produce, sell and use hops. Potential frameworks include STS, Assemblage Theory, Global Value Chain Analysis and Political Economy. Students may choose to complete fieldwork and data collection in one of the target countries of New Zealand, UK, Belgium, US, and Germany.

low angle photo of green leaves

Photo by ELEVATE on Pexels.com

Pre-requisites:

  • You have some training in qualitative methods and critical social theory
  • You have a keen interest in the sociology of agriculture, food systems, sustainability, food politics and/or foodscapes
  • You are willing to develop fieldwork-based methodologies
  • You have completed at least two social sciences courses, preferably with RSO
  • You are eligible to do your thesis with RSO

Questions? More information? Email mark.vicol@wur.nl