Food Technology, Innovation and Teacher Education Summary of survey findings
This executive summary presents an overview of the findings from data collected during 2009 as part of a doctoral thesis entitled: A Critique of Food Technology, Innovation and Teacher Education. The survey instrument collected information that sought to establish contemporary perceptions about the study of Food Technology in Australia and the role secondary education may play in ‘supplying’ people into professional studies towards a career as a food technologist. In this arrangement, the industry and profession of food technologists represent the ‘demand’ side of the process that starts with receiving students ‘supplied’ by the schools sector into undergraduate food science and technology courses. The survey questions aimed to compare the degree of alignment between the ‘supply’ side (secondary teacher perceptions) with the ‘demand’ side (food profession perceptions) of what is meant by the label ‘Food Technology’ and its practical manifestation. The areas being compared included: academic culture and knowledge in food technology and innovation; technical systems and equipment used, and relevant material ingredients involved in food technology practice. The study also aimed to gauge relative attention given to goals concerning sustainability, economic trends and innovation capacity building as these areas remain topical in the wider context of the field of food technology research and emerging world concerns. The study was not based on a critical analysis of New South Wales Food Technology syllabi, although syllabi are referred to where responses or comment are relevant. The key question this study sought to clarify is: Do state secondary education providers and teachers share the national vision of knowledge and innovation with the wider profession of Food Science and Technologists?
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