The state of post-secondary food studies pedagogy in Canada
An exploration of philosophical and normative underpinnings
Keywords:Food studies, Food studies pedagogy, Critical pedagogy
To date, there has been little empirical research on how food studies pedagogy has developed in Canada. Yet, across Canada, more and more postsecondary institutions are offering food studies in formalized programs and individual courses to undergraduate students. This paper contributes to the literature on food studies pedagogy by gathering insights from interviews with key faculty in food studies undergraduate programs at Canadian higher education institutions, and other food studies scholars in Canada. The purpose of this empirical research is to provide clarity regarding the ways that food studies programs are conceptualized and taught to better understand the evolution and future course of food studies pedagogy. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken to explore the normative commitments and philosophical underpinnings of food studies programs; various ways that scholars scope food studies; and challenges faced by food studies programs. We found that food studies programs in higher education in Canada and their associated pedagogy do not have a set of fixed attributes, but they do share common threads. Transformation is a defining characteristic of food studies and its pedagogy and puts critical thinking at the core of how food studies are taught in Canada at the undergraduate level. Interviewees also emphasized the importance of moving beyond critique towards solutions in their teaching to facilitate a transition towards more socially and ecologically just food systems.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Phoebe Stephens, Lucy Hinton
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