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Weiss, Hanna, 2022. Embedding food system education into Swedish public schools – teachers’ perspectives. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of People and Society



Modern, human driven food systems are putting pressure on the earth’s resources, exploiting societies and degrading land. Food security is at risk, while a progressing anthropogenic climate change will presumably reinforce these incidents. Children will be highly threatened by the consequences derived from unsustainable farming practices. This calls for action to educate and empower children to understand and tackle these challenges. In this context food system education (FSE) is a growing field. This study used food literacy as a concept, which if applied, can help children to make personal decisions that are beneficial for themselves in terms of health, but also on a social, environmental, economic and cultural level. Through seven, in-depth interviews with teachers from the compulsory school level in Sweden, the study aimed to explore how teachers perceive, practice, and wish to educate about food systems. According to the findings, the Swedish school curriculum already embeds relevant aspects that can be used to develop a stronger focus on FSE. The freedom of the teachers, to interpret parts of the curriculum individually, can be seen as a benefit to adapt and design interactive lessons. However, teachers are time constrained and sometimes do not have the competence nor availability of relevant teaching material to educate about complex food systems. A cross-curricular approach that integrates FSE throughout the school years and within different disciplines is suggested. In that way children get a holistic picture of food that also incorporates a sustainability dimension. It is furthermore recommended to create networks of people within the food industry who share their knowledge in school lessons, as it is already practiced in post-secondary education. However, future research is needed to examine how teachers could cope with a cross-curricular approach and what kind of training would be needed to make FSE lastingly thriving in Swedish schools.

Main title:Embedding food system education into Swedish public schools – teachers’ perspectives
Authors:Weiss, Hanna
Supervisor:Fernqvist, Fredrik and Mårtensson, Fredrika
Examiner:Jansson, Märit
Series:Molecular Sciences
Volume/Sequential designation:2022:33
Year of Publication:2022
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM028 Sustainable Food Systems - Master's Programme, 120.0hp
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of People and Society
Keywords:Food system education, System thinking, Experienced-based learning, Swedish school curriculum, Food education, Food literacy, Pedagogical approaches with children
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Education
Food science and technology
Deposited On:11 Jul 2022 08:04
Metadata Last Modified:11 Jul 2023 01:15

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