08 SES 14, Schooling Food in Contemporary Times: Critical perspectives
In recent years we have witnessed a proliferation and intensification of school food pedagogies that seek to govern food ‘choices’ made by individuals and populations in many countries including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. This has been driven largely by contemporary anxieties related to the perceived threat of rising levels of obesity and the belief that schools are key sites for prevention and intervention (Leahy et al, 2016; Gard & Pluim, 2014). In seeking to address the obesity epidemic, research has revealed that many schools implement a range of curriculum initiatives and programs that monitor, measure, manipulate and scrutinise food practices of students, teachers and families (see Burrows, 2010; Gard & Powell, 2015; Leahy & Wright, 2016; VanderSchee & Gard, 2014; Welch, McMahon & Wright, 2012). With this in mind, the papers that make up this symposium shed light on how both schools and teacher education programs are addressing food and what this means for both the how and what people learn about food. To do this, the papers interrogate policy and how this is translated into various food pedagogies and the subsequent impact this has on people’s knowledge, bodies, behaviours, identities, and everyday lives.
Papers in the symposium draw on a range of theoretical and analytical perspectives to examine how food is ‘schooled’ across different cultural and geographical contexts (e.g. homes, schools and universities in Australia, England and the United States of America). Specifically papers examine how governments seek to regulate food consumption via the production of policy and policy initiatives that then get translated into school and teacher education programs. Drawing on empirical work, the set of papers reveal the various political entanglements of food education and what this means for how people come to understand food choice and make food choices in their everyday lives. Additionally, the papers in this symposium draw on the voices of those who are drawn into ‘healthy eating assemblages’, to examine the disparate ways in which children and adults understand the imperative for them eat in certain healthy, responsible ways, as well as the need to teach others about healthy food, healthy eating, healthy families and healthy bodies.
Overall the suite of papers in this symposium ask a number of critical questions about food pedagogies, including: How has the school food policy terrain shifted over time and how do policy enactments and entanglements take hold, get challenged and shift? ; How can we best prepare teachers with the knowledge and skills to teach about the complexities of food in everyday life, given the dominance of public health and nutrition based perspectives? How do schools navigate between ensuring children are fed, in order to prevent hunger and to allow them to participate in learning; whilst simultaneously educating children about food, and specifically how to eat ‘healthily’ so that they will become responsible and healthy citizens? And finally how do children understand their role as advocates of public health messages about obesity and healthy eating at home and what impact does this have on children and their family?
Burrows, L. (2010). ‘Kiwi kids are Weet-Bix™ kids’ - body matters in childhood. Sport, Education and Society, 15(2), 235-251. doi: 10.1080/13573321003683919. Flowers, R., & Swan, E. (2015). Food pedagogies: Histories, definitions and moralities. Food pedagogies. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate. Gard, M., & Pluim, C. (2014). Schools and public health: Past, present, future. New York, NY: Lexington Books. Powell, D., & Gard, M. (2015). The governmentality of childhood obesity: Coca-Cola, public health and primary schools. Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education, 36 (6), 854-86. Leahy, D., Burrows, L., McCuaig, L., Wright, J. & Penney, D. (2016), School Health Education in Changing Times: Curriculum, Pedagogies and Partnerships, Routledge, London, UK. Leahy, D., & Wright, J. (2016). Governing food choices: a critical analysis of school food pedagogies and young people’s responses in contemporary times. Cambridge Journal of Education, 46(2), 233-246. doi: 10.1080/0305764X.2015.1118440 Vander Schee, C., & Gard. M. (2014) Healthy, happy and ready to teach, or why kids can’t learn from fat teachers: The discursive politics of school reform and teacher health Critical Public Health, 24(2), 210-225. Welch, R., McMahon, S., & Wright, J. (2012). The medicalisation of food pedagogies in primary schools and popular culture: a case for awakening subjugated knowledges. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 33(5), 713-728. doi: 10.1080/01596306.2012.696501.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
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