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Teaching and learning cooking skills in Home Economics: What do teachers for students with mild intellectual disabilities consider important to learn?

Albina Granberg (Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics, Uppsala Universitet , Uppsala, Sweden) (Food and Meal Science, Department of Learning and Environment, Kristianstad University , Kristianstad, Sweden)
Viktoria Olsson (Food and Meal Science, School of Learning and Environment, Kristianstad University , Kristianstad, Sweden)
Ylva Mattsson Sydner (Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics, Uppsala University , Uppsala, Sweden)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 2 May 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore which elements of cooking skills Home Economics (HE) teachers in schools for students with mild intellectual disability (ID) consider important for their students to learn.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 22 qualitative interviews with HE teachers of students with mild ID were conducted. The transcripts were analyzed thematically using the sociocultural approach on learning and knowledge as a theoretical framework.

Findings

The elements of cooking skills that were emphasized included mastering the language of cooking, measuring, following recipes, representing an instrumental and task-centered – knowledge on cooking.

Practical implications

The results of this study provide an insight into cooking lessons in HE in schools, not only regarding the focus that teachers give to cooking skills, but also to how cooking skills can be understood on a theoretical level. This has implications for both regular schools and schools for students with mild IDs since the elements that teachers consider important then guide what the students are given to learn. Teachers should be conscious that the planning of lessons should also be based on the students’ specific circumstances and context.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that provides knowledge about how HE teachers reason regarding which cooking skills they consider important for students to learn. HE is taught to both children and adolescents, and it is important to investigate teachers’ perceptions about the subject and how the teaching is organized, including cooking skills.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study is a part of The National Swedish Research School for Home and Consumer Studies (Home Economics) and partially financed by the The Swedish Research Council. The authors would like to thank the teachers in the study for their participation.

Citation

Granberg, A., Olsson, V. and Mattsson Sydner, Y. (2017), "Teaching and learning cooking skills in Home Economics: What do teachers for students with mild intellectual disabilities consider important to learn?", British Food Journal, Vol. 119 No. 5, pp. 1067-1078. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-09-2016-0435

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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