A place for food in Australian schools: a socio-historical review of food education

  • Angela Turner
  • Judith Wilks


The historical development of food education in secondary schools in New South Wales Australia is a compelling yet under-researched area of interest. This review starts by exploring how food curricula have evolved since the 1700s to the present day juxtaposed on socio-economic and political factors. This review is interested in the role secondary food education may play in ‘supplying’ people into professional studies towards a career as a food technologist. Accordingly this review compares contemporary secondary food curriculum with related curricula in the higher education sector and establishes a marked dissonance between the two. The implications of this are then put forward. The drive to empower students to be enterprising and innovative twenty first century problem solvers in relation to food design through the interdisciplinary nature of food science is discussed, despite the uncertainty as to what degree Food Technology in schools is currently promoting these life-long and life-wide abilities in students. The authors suggest the lack of a theoretical underpinning may be holding the subject back from becoming a robust discipline. For this reason this review puts forward a conceptual framework for the study of food. The following review is relevant to secondary and higher education food education stakeholders (teachers, academics, curriculum developers, professional food industry) and higher education providers nationally and internationally, as the way in which food education is presented in secondary schooling is not contained to the Australian context alone.


Food education history Food science and technology Food design framework 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationSouthern Cross UniversityCoffs HarbourAustralia

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