The Rural Education and Agriculture Program (REAP): Belize's new approach to rural primary education

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The Rural Education and Agriculture Program (REAP) was initiated in response to perceived deficiencies in the rural primary schools of Belize. From its inception in 1976, REAP moved through two of its anticipated three phases (Pilot Phase, July 1976-June 1979; District-Level Phase, July 1979-June 1982). REAP integrates academic subjects with nine rural life-related areas of study. Practical applications of both are made on REAP school farms, which have Outdoor Education Centres with gardens, coops, hutches, and so on. Evaluations were conducted in 1979, 1980, and 1981. Criterion-referenced measures were used to evaluate programme objectives in curriculum development; inservice training; academic achievement; attitudes of parents, students, and teachers; agricultural knowledge and skills; community involvement; and teacher training. Programme criteria were reached or exceeded in all but agricultural knowledge, where insufficient data made conclusions impossible. During the anticipated National-Level Phase (July 1982 to June 1985), REAP will be expanded to cover approximately half the rural primary schools in Belize, and the support role will be transferred from international to Belizean organizations

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Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York, 19-23 Mar., 1982

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