Thirty-one years ago I was a student in a Highschool Foods Class. My friend Becky who teaches at our local Mennonite High School recently invited me to be the "expert" at a Professional Development day teachers learning class. I jumped at the opportunity to see how Foods is now being taught in high schools.
The school staff became the class of students in learning how to teach project based learning. The class I attended happened all in a few hours and moved very quickly to understand the full approach. The high school students will do similar projects over the course of several days.
The class was divided into teams and were assigned mystery boxes holding ingredients to make a soup.
Instead of teaching only how to follow a recipe, students are taught to think how the ingredients in their box are best used to make a product that is pleasing to the palate and also to the eye.
It was fun to peek into their boxes and see how they worked together as a team, brainstorming on which methods should be used as they created their recipes.
As they completed their recipes on chart paper, they were encouraged to move around the room to offer encouragement or observations on how certain methods of preparation might not have the desired effect. There was time given for feedback and more team thinking.
After the recipes were developed, one from each team moved to the computers to work out and print the Nutritional Facts and their recipe while the rest of the team went to the Food Labs and began to prepare the soup that they would later share with each other for lunch.
As they worked, there were times that the class was paused to hear about Food Safe tips and also they were asked to stop what they were doing to watch a teaching video of how to properly use a sharp knife.
The teaching staff essentially practiced how to teach project based learning by participating in a project based class.
I have often thought of how I was taught the love of cooking by my high school food teachers. If the energy and enthusiasm that I witnessed in the project learning class is any indication, there will be great foodies coming out of highschool equipped to provide nutritious and delicious meals in their own kitchens.
I'd love to hear your experience of learning how to cook. Let's get a conversation going. To celebrate the love of teaching others to cook, I'll select one name from the comments on today's post and send one of our cookbooks out to the winner.
Winner will be selected on Sunday and will be announced on Monday's recipe post.