LifeLab Food and health. Innovative teaching for the school of the future
The teaching in the Food and health subject aims to contribute to promote a healthy lifestyle, gain insight and skills in critically choosing and reflecting on food and meals and stimulate the students to prepare food. When looking into the structure of today's food and health lessons, it mainly consists of practical work with cooking. Comparing this to the aim of the subject, what seems like a common challenge, is to nourish the student's creative abilities and foster critical thinking. Another challenge is to provide children training in making conscious decisions and to motivate them to comply to a healthy lifestyle.
LifeLab- Food and health is a three-year long project (2017-2020). The objective of LifeLab is to develop and evaluate different student active activities for the Food and health subject with the aim at increasing children's knowledge and understanding of the correlation between food and health.
The study uses multiple methods. First, a questionnaire was developed and distributed to all primary and lower secondary schools in Norway. 1170 food and health teachers completed the questionnaire regarding different aspects of the subject. The results showed that most teachers (71%) reported using learning activities where students were encouraged to use their senses, followed by exploratory/experimental activities (65%), digital tools (56%) and flipped classroom (14%). Lack of equipment, non-optimal premises and economic factors were most important barriers to good teaching in FH. All teachers highlighted engaged teachers as most important for learning.
were prioritised. Three key themes were identified; students and teachers value cooking and limited time, which both explain this mismatch from the perspectives of students and teachers, and pedagogical solutions to resolve the mismatch, which summarises novel learning activities suggested by students and teachers as a solution for this mismatch.
Project leader: Frøydis N. Vik
PhD student: Cecilie Beinert (disputation April 2021)
PhD supervisors: Frøydis N. Vik, Nina C. Øverby, Gun Åbacka, Paivi Palojoki
Project start: 2017. Project end 2020.
Funding: University of Agder
The ProDiG project (Professional digital competence for students and teacher educators in elementary teacher education, 2018-2020)
The aim of the ProDiG project (Professional digital competence for students and teacher educators in elementary teacher education, 2018-2020) in the subject Food and Health, is to develop and strengthen the professional digital skills of both university teachers and students in this subject. In their studies of Food and Health, both at the university and in their practice at schools, teacher students will try different digital solutions that promote learning in Food and Health. In this way, newly qualified teachers will be better able to meet both the curriculum and the school's requirements and expectations for professional digital competence.
LEAD (Learning and digitalisation in home economics education)
The LEAD-project (2018-2021) is a project funded by Erasmus+ and consist of a group of teacher educators and researchers in home economics from 4 Nordic-Baltic universities (Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Norway). The LEAD-project has two intertwined intentions. First, to find methods how to implement ICT purposefully in home economics lessons. The innovation lies in a novel understanding of how to effectively use digital technologies in home economics education to promote students learning in a real way. Today, there are few existing pedagogical solutions for home economics teachers to apply in subject teaching. Therefore, LEAD is interested in finding solutions that would give students help during the learning process when constructing knowledge individually or in the group. Second, we are interested in finding innovative ideas for novel learning tasks, where students are experimenting and constructing knowledge. Putting school-learned knowledge into action helps students to transfer their knowledge into practice in everyday situations.
Early efforts in food and health (2018-2020)
The Norwegian Association for teachers in food and health applied to the Gjensidige Foundation for financial support to carry out a study to gain insight into how food and health was organized and taught in grade 1-4. The aim of the study was to reveal the competence of those who teach, organization of the teaching and what challenges the teachers have. The findings from this study will be used to develop an in-service training course for teachers, primarily for teachers without formal education in food and health teaching in grade 1-4. A total of 24 interviews were conducted at 12 randomly selected schools from different parts of Norway. Both principals and teachers were interviewed. The study showed that it is quite random who teaches and how the teaching in food and health is carried out at each school.
Food and health for the school of the future 2
The research project Food and health for the school of the future 2 received LU funds for 2021/2022 and in that regard, we want to evaluate subject didactics videos made earlier at the University of Agder. The videos are interdisciplinary and are about food and chemistry. Further, we would like to investigate how these digital teaching aids work in practice in food and health, and science. Three schools are involved in the project two in the east and one in the west of Agder county. Those included in the study are students and teachers in 6th and 9th grade in food and health, and science subjects.
The interdisciplinary focus has become even clearer in the new curriculum (LK20), which makes the films even more relevant. LK20 states that students develop competence related to interdisciplinary topics by working with issues from various subjects (Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, 2020). Therefore, there is a need to evaluate the videos which are made for different age groups, to find out about the video experiences, if the videos fit, and which school level they are best suited for. We would like to evaluate the usefulness of the self-produced subject didactic videos in food and health/science in primary and lower secondary education and examine the significance of such interdisciplinary educational videos for students learning.
The project group includes Dagrun Engeset, Tormod Bjørkkjær, Margrethe Røed, Mona Linge Omholt, Hanne Andersen Dversnes, Päivi Palojoki and Vigdis Guttormsen (project manager). In addition, we have Camilla Bjornes as a research assistant. Two master students write their master´s theses on part of the project.
Competence needs in food and health (KOMAH)
In the research project Competence needs in food and health (COFAH) we would like to gain further systematic knowledge about the need for competence in food and health in primary school. This study will be extended over several years so we can follow both the competence development and the need for competence over time.
There are only three campuses (UiA, USN, and HVL) today that offer food and health through Competence for Quality (KFK). Every student that takes food and health 1 through continuing education (both EVU and KFK) have been invited to participate in the survey.
This study includes two parts.
1) In the first part of the study, the students at EVU/KFK will answer a questionnaire while they’re at UiA, USN, or HVL. The first part is mainly about understanding why teachers apply for continuing education in food and health.
2) In the second part of the study, we will follow the same students when their back to work.
The teachers will be sent a questionnaire every harvest over several years. This part of the study is mainly about investigating how their acquired competence is used and taken care of in school or at their workplace.
The project group includes Tormod Bjørkkjær, Anne Selvik Ask, Eli Kristin Aadland (HVL) and Vigdis Guttormsen (project manager).