Pedagogy, place, and food education in Australian schools: lessons from Tropical North Queensland

Walshe, Rachael, Evans, Snowy, and Law, Lisa (2024) Pedagogy, place, and food education in Australian schools: lessons from Tropical North Queensland. Childrens Geographies. (In Press)

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Children today have limited food origin awareness. The further we move away from food production practices, the less exposure children have to them, and the more food vulnerable we become. This is especially true for children growing up in urban areas where there is limited space for food gardens. Schools have developed targeted pedagogical approaches to raise food origin awareness, and this paper examines one such attempt in Cairns, Australia. We compare how students aged 5-6 responded to an activity where they drew their immediate response to the word ‘food'. Comparisons were then made between those learning under explicit instruction and those using a more experiential, place-based pedagogical approach. The findings suggest students in the experiential class who regularly use the garden as a learning space drew significantly higher levels of fresh, place-appropriate fruits and vegetables (U = 61.5, P = 0.002). We discuss the ramifications of exposure to a globalised food system and how experiences at school can nurture children's understanding of food. We interpret the outcomes of the different pedagogical approaches and unravel the importance of ‘place' in a child's food experience. The evidence presented suggests that children’s food knowledge could improve if food education is bolstered with experiential and place-responsive pedagogies.

Item ID: 82921
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1473-3277
Keywords: School gardens, children’s drawings, food gardening, place-responsive pedagogy, placelessness
Copyright Information: © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
Funders: RTP scholarship and stipend
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2024 02:37
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390105 Environmental education curriculum and pedagogy @ 50%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4406 Human geography > 440612 Urban geography @ 25%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4406 Human geography > 440699 Human geography not elsewhere classified @ 25%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1601 Learner and learning > 160103 Primary education @ 50%
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1399 Other culture and society > 139999 Other culture and society not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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