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Karen Wistoft

Teaching taste and design - A trend in Danish food education

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Over the past decade, there has been a trend in Danish food education where taste and design has become central elements in teaching activities. Concretely in the form of a movement from recipe based teaching approaches, strongly characterized by direct instruction, toward a teaching taste approach based upon students taste experiments, with a high degree of collaboration in order to design and develop new dishes (Wistoft & Qvortrup, 2017, 2018). This trend is especially prominent in Danish food development projects, but the teaching taste approach is also finding its way into everyday school activities, such as home economics cooking classes all over Danish schools. We derive the above point from the work of our research unit, which focuses on food, taste and learning. In this research unit we have carried out follow up research upon a wide range of educational food development projects with topics such as children cookbooks (Wistoft & Qvortrup, 2018), food camps, cooking contests (Christensen & Wistoft, 2016), outdoor taste education related to school garden teaching (Wistoft, Nielsen, & Dyg, 2019), home economics teaching (Christensen, 2019) and school meal improvement (Stovgaard et al, 2017). Across this research, we utilize mixed methods approaches designed to investigate the effectiveness of each educational programme. Hence, we have established a database consisting of survey-, test- , interview- and observational data produced and gathered from more than 20,000 Danish students in primary and upper secondary schools. A pervasive approach in our research is to analyse statistical correlations between teaching methods and student outcomes, complemented by qualitative inquiries designed to derive plausible explanations for statistical results and gaining explorative knowledge before and after quantitative analysis. Our data indicates that teaching taste approaches focusing on food design are effective in regards of a wide range of student outcomes. For instance, when students experiment and collaborate in being innovative it has the potential to raise students’: learning outcome, motivation, engagement in cooking, and joy of food. In continuation, a very interesting finding is that the degree to which students activate different taste dimensions during such design-based teaching appears to be the didactical element with the highest impact (Christensen & Wistoft, 2016). Furthermore using the sense of taste actively is often what guides students in their decision making in order to develop new dishes in a way that the final food product matches their own preferences (Christensen, 2019). Paradoxically students’ taste experiences are very often pacified in food educational teaching activities, unless the teacher deliberately reflects didactically upon how to incorporate taste and tasting as part of the teaching. References Christensen, J., & Wistoft, K. (2016). Taste as a didactic approach: Enabling students to achieve learning goals. International Journal of Home Economics, 9(1), 20-34. Christensen, J. H. (2019). Taste as a constitutive element of meaning in food education. International Journal of Home Economics, 12(1), 9-19. Leer, J., & Wistoft, K. (2018). Taste in food education: A critical review essay. Food and Foodways, 26(4), 329-349. Stovgaard, M., Thorborg, M. M., Bjerge, H. H., Andersen, B. V., & Wistoft, K. (2017). Rammer for mad og måltider i skolen: en systematisk forskningskortlægning. Wistoft, K., Nielsen, M. K., & Dyg, P. M. (2019). Perspectives from the Danish school garden movement : - with outdoor taste education as an example. Food, Culture and Society [in print] Wistoft, K., & Qvortrup, L. (2017). Smagens didaktik: Akademisk Forlag. Wistoft, K., & Qvortrup, L. (2018). When the kids conquered the kitchen : Danish taste education and the New Nordic Kitchen. Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, 18(4), 82-93. Wistoft, K., & Qvortrup, L. (2019). Teaching Taste. Illinois, USA: Common Ground Research Networks.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year14 Nov 2019
Publication statusSubmitted - 14 Nov 2019
EventCreative tastebuds: How can our sense of taste save the planet? -
Duration: 11 May 202012 May 2020

Conference

ConferenceCreative tastebuds
Period11/05/202012/05/2020

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