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Should food be taught within design technology?

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by meg_button, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. I am a trainee teacher in design and technology and I am doing some research into whether food should be taught as a design technology subject, a science or be a subject in its own right?

    I'm just looking for people thoughts/opinions on the subject and especially if anyone has taught food as a science and seen the subject change through the subject areas.

    Thank you!
  2. I am a trainee teacher in design and technology and I am doing some research into whether food should be taught as a design technology subject, a science or be a subject in its own right?

    I'm just looking for people thoughts/opinions on the subject and especially if anyone has taught food as a science and seen the subject change through the subject areas.

    Thank you!
  3. carmic76

    carmic76 New commenter

    We are about to go through restucturing at my school and food is being moved into the Health facility along with PE and Health and Social Care.
    I am an RM/Graphics teacher and can understand why Food doesn't fit well into DT. It seems that what is taught it food lessons/SOW has been altered to suit the DT NC instead of teaching pupils how to prepare and cook food/meals.
    I am having to teach some food this year due to timetabling and most of my lessons are based on basic food prep and very little food theory, which is what I feel all food lessons should be about.

  4. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    There's masses of food theory (Food & Nutrition) in year 10 & 11. I felt depressed teaching it. Certainly not my cup of tea and I LOVE cooking, it actually put me off wanting to teach food again x
  5. Moomin Troll

    Moomin Troll New commenter

    Hi Meg -

    Food can be effectively from a variety of perspectives; catering, nutritional, science, product development etc.. for example and as such has sufficient content to be a subject in it's own right - without the need to be 'lumped' into any other areas of the curriculum.

    The danger though as I am sure you will discover if you search the history of DT as an area - is that without the back up of colleagues in a larger department / faculty you are very much alone - which is not a good place to be - especially given the current climate.

    I'm worried about the potential decline of textiles - as are a few of my colleagues and we would welcome your thoughts on the subject if you had the time -

    Click here to take survey
  6. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    Things were far simpler when I was a child. Boys did woodwork and metalwork, girls did cooking and sewing. Whether or not it is possible to segregate nowadays, it worked.
    Food Technology?
    Food isn't about technology. It's about understanding how to cook and what you are eating. It's only a virtue for food producers to understand how technology can be used to process a meal at £x.
    In my opinion, the duty of educating kids about food lies in providing the key skills for survival and not knowing that much about how factory food is manufactured, other than awfully.
  7. We teach Food Technology and Catering at GCSE. I see no reason why it needs to stand alone. But less emphasis needs to be placed on designing. In Catering they still do research and they evaluate every practical.
    If like me you teach Textiles and sometimes Resistant Materials as well as Food you would understand why I would not want to work in two different faculties.
  8. It's the best place for it, but not an obvious place. In 2007 when the last govt said food tech at KS3 was compulsory it was the only subject with that status in the D&T stable and as such as was possibly the most high status. It is also in many schools the most popular (along with RM?), but not, for example, Textiles. I'm not sure if the new govt rates Food Tech and would be interested to know if Licence to Cook is still standing.

    I don't think the Technology label helps Food as it has caused a lot of cynicism about 'designing a pizza' and drawing the box which insults the pupils and bores the teachers. Frankly parents are incredulous.

    So I'm happy for it to be in another 'stable', but D&T is a safe house. Without govt backing it is vulnerable.
  9. I'm not sure where Food tec should sit but I do feel that I need to shout up for Food technolgy!
    It is very science based (alot of the FT degree was more engineering and chemistry based than cooking) but also creative so sits well in both areas.
    I am an NQT although I am in my 30's.I have spent the last 10 years working as a product developemnt manager in the food industry (as my kids say doing the job in the real world) and I think hat it is really important that kids not only learn how to cook but how to understand the food they buy in the supermarkets to help thm mak an informed choice. Lets face it we aren't going to create a whole generation of cooks but at least if they remember the basics and what really ges in to theri ready meals we may have done some good.
    From a more personal point of view every food in the supermarket has been through a technologist and when I first looked at it as a career as schooI was told - "oh you need to go to catering college" no one understood what food technology was or even what a food technologist did (i did my school work experience in a food factory in the development lab and got the bug). I may have made the choice to leave the industry for personal reasons but there has always been a desperate need for food technologists in the industry and if I can help some kids in to that as a career then I'm happy.

    Sorry slightly off topic I know but it's a soap box thing! (sorry [​IMG])

  10. Thanks for this Sarah I have a yr 11 desperate to do what you did in industry- we will not run A level Food Tech next year as lack of number and I am retiring not to be replaced (Ebacc cuts) but she will do sciences and I have alreadly given her a list of uni courses to look at!
  11. Thanks Sarah she is going to do Biology and Chemistry A levels
  12. Sorry, pedant alert here but straight from current D & T POS (2008)
    <font size="2" face="Univers-Light" color="#231f20">'The curriculum should include resistant materials, systems and control
    and at least one of food or textiles product areas.'

    To be fair though this document may as well be placed into the nearest recycle bin with the current government now having their twopenneth.</font>
  13. I think food was going to become compulsory at ks3 from sept 2011...... But from what i recall it was for some thing daft like 11 hours over 3 years. Thats why there were loads of courses training non food teachers to be food teachers.

    Don't know if this has changed. Probably. And is likely to change again in 6 minutes.
  14. nat3lee3

    nat3lee3 New commenter

    Replying to your post even though its quite old, someone actually feel the same way I do, I really think food technology is being misunderstood, or rather to say 'people are uninformed about what the subject really entails' its put down to merely 'learning to cook' I did a food science degree which as you mentioned involved alot of chemistry, microbiology, etc. I worked as a food technologist/ development technologist, decided to be a teacher due to having a young family. Totally disheartened by the low regard food technology has been given, in terms of career, the children are totally unaware of the routes they can take with the subject. I am so desperate to get it across to these learners that food tech is just not cooking.

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