Turner, A & Seemann, KW 2010, 'The teaching of food technology in secondary schools', paper presented to Creating the future of food: 43rd Annual Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology Convention, 'Creating the Future of Food', Albert Park, Vic., 25-29 July.
This paper presents a summary of findings from a recent Australian study that investigated perceptions of ‘food technology’ as viewed by teachers in secondary schools compared to a wider professional view. Maintaining and fostering a coherent and accurate perception throughout the food technology career, from school leaver to professional undergraduate studies, is critical for both the evolution of the field of knowledge and the need to keep up with increasing world demand for food technologists and food innovation. While ‘food technology’ has been well established in most secondary school curriculum offerings, a contradiction has emerged between the ‘school view’ of the Food Technology label, and the ‘professional view’ of the same. A point for debate is that career pathways are confused because of the use of identical language to describe different approaches causing a significant problem for the food profession. The research reported here draws on an emerging framework known as ‘Technacy Genre Theory’. It offers an index that defines the nature of the degree of agreement between two forms of technological practice. The research confirmed that the label of ‘Food Technology’ is perceived significantly and substantially differently between schoolteachers and the wider relevant food profession. The paper concludes with the proposition that Technacy Genre Theory offers a new method for comparing and clarifying many combinations of technological typologies of practice.