Volume 51 - Number 1 - 2010 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2010.01001



This manuscript provides the expanded text that formed the basis for the 2009 Distinguished Lecture presented at the annual conference of the American Association for Agricultural Education. Commons have existed in various forms as long as humankind has struggled for survival. In a very real sense, our hunter–gather ancestors stepped into a common every time they went forth so seek sustenance. As civilization developed, governments established more formal commons for public gatherings and for trading. Adam Smith's vision of a free market economy is effectively that of an economic common unfettered by excessive regulation. In the past few decades, the Internet has developed into a massive and pervasive cyber–common. In the past few years the concept of the academic or intellectual common has started to develop. The author examines the concept of the common from historical and modern perspectives and proposes an intellectual common for university–level agricultural education under the management of AAAE.

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