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Karen Wistoft

Taste as didactic element in food education

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This paper focus on how taste is used in contemporary food education. Furthermore the focus is how taste is used in a specific food education program in Danish schools. By critically discussing a sample of academic studies that design and evaluate taste education programs for children, the paper argues that most of the research literature on taste education has a very reductive understanding of taste and is essentially totally distrustful concerning children’s taste. Taste is seen as a barrier for ‘correct’ eating habits and not as an important sense, a source to pleasure or happiness or a central way of sensually understanding and approaching the world. In other words, taste literacy in general becomes a tool to push children towards ‘hegemonic nutrition’. In addition the paper presents results of a new quantitative study that investigates school students’ work with taste in relation to their own expected learning, viewed in the light of three didactic elements: motivation, student participation and innovation in school. The method is a survey based on questionnaire among students (N= 769) who have participated a cooking competition that forms part of the subject Food Knowledge in the national Danish school. The connection between taste and learning is a relatively unexplored field, and the analysis indicates that student’s experience of working with taste have an impact on students’ learning that is equally positive – or even more so – as that of known didactic elements like student participation and innovation. The paper conclude that food education building on ‘hegemonic nutrition’ and traditional didactic elements do not necessarily condition the best learning outcome; food education that balance between traditional didactic elements and incorporate taste as a didactic approach enable students to achieve new competencies of cooking and food knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2016
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventXXIII IFHE World Congres 2016 - Deojeon, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 31 Jul 20166 Aug 2016
Conference number: 23


ConferenceXXIII IFHE World Congres 2016
CountryKorea, Republic of

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