Food in the School Curriculum: A Discussion of Alternative Approaches
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This chapter examines the historical background to the teaching of food in England and the current situation with its removal from technology education (D&T) for pupils aged 14–18 years. Specific reference will be made to what children should know, understand, and learn about food and how, and where, it could be taught in schools.
The concept of food technology within D&T is explored as an intellectually challenging subject based on an understanding of the properties of food in order to design and make food products. This approach ensures that pupils develop basic practical cooking skills underpinned by a scientific, technological, and nutritional understanding of food. Increasing concern regarding obesity in England has highlighted cooking as a necessary “life skill,” resulting in the introduction by the government of a new examination for 16 year olds outside D&T focused on learning “cooking skills” and the elimination of food from D&T for pupils aged 14–18 years.
It is suggested that food teaching has an important role in the school curriculum and concludes that, due to its complex and broad nature and varying aims and objectives, a range of professional people and organizations should be involved in deciding how and where the various elements should be taught in schools and the world outside school. The chapter questions the approach of addressing all agendas for food in one curriculum area, if it is to achieve its full potential as a significant and major contributor to our children’s preparation for their life in the twenty-first century. It advocates considering the relevance to the situation currently found in England and exploring an international perspective on food education in the school curriculum.
KeywordsFood School curriculum Food technology Cooking Life skills Employment
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