Social Learning Processes in Swiss Soil Protection? The 'From Farmer - To Farmer' Project

Schneider, Flurina; Fry, Patrizia; Ledermann, Thomas; Rist, Stephan (2009). Social Learning Processes in Swiss Soil Protection? The 'From Farmer - To Farmer' Project. Human ecology, 37(4), pp. 475-489. New-York, NY: Springer US; 10.1007/s10745-009-9262-1

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Social learning approaches have become a prominent focus in studies related to sustainable agriculture. In order to better understand the potential of social learning for more sustainable development, the present study assessed the processes, effects and facilitating elements of interaction related to social learning in the context of Swiss soil protection and the innovative ‘From Farmer - To Farmer’ project. The study reveals that social learning contributes to fundamental transformations of patterns of interactions. However, the study also demonstrates that a learning-oriented understanding of sustainable development implies including analysis of the institutional environments in which the organizations of the individual representatives of face-to-face-based social learning processes are operating. This has shown to be a decisive element when face-to-face-based learning processes of the organisations’ representatives are translated into organisational learning. Moreover, the study revealed that this was achieved not directly through formalisation of new lines of institutionalised cooperation but by establishing links in a ‘boundary space’ trying out new forms of collaboration, aiming at social learning and co-production of knowledge. It is argued that further research on social learning processes should give greater emphasis to this intermediary level of ‘boundary spaces’.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > NCCR North-South Management Centre [discontinued]
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Schneider, Flurina, Rist, Stephan


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics




Springer US;




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:21

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:25

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URI: (FactScience: 205308)

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