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Knowledge and values youngsters can trust: Nutrition and food practices in French life science teaching since 1945

Abstract : We investigate trends in food education in French secondary schools through a diachronic study of school biology curricula and textbooks produced over the past 50 years as they convey a sense of “danger” or “trust” in the foods pupils eat and the foods and food systems they learn about. Our results show that a vision of “sanitized” man and the implicit valorization of industrial and medical progress characterize the life sciences curricula after 1945, leading to progressively fewer incursions into food safety issues and greater emphasis on the encouragement of nutritional responsibility on the part of youngsters. Our analysis of school textbooks suggests a concurrent trend, apparent since the 1980s, toward decontextualized depictions of food and food practices, and simplification of issues relating to food risks. This trend is reinforced by the introduction of educational approaches to health in schools in the early 2000s. Reductionist visions of nutrition within educational approaches to health, which accentuate and promote the role of individual self governance, have led to an emphasis, in school curricula and biology textbooks, on encouraging rational behavior at the expense of in-depth, systemic and complex explorations of food practice and risk factors to health and biological functions.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02899032
Contributor : Laboratoire Geriico <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 4:50:10 PM
Last modification on : Monday, December 14, 2020 - 10:56:02 AM

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Susan Kovacs, Denise Ravachol. Knowledge and values youngsters can trust: Nutrition and food practices in French life science teaching since 1945. Food and Foodways, Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles, 2019, 27 (1-2), pp.123-143. ⟨10.1080/07409710.2019.1570046⟩. ⟨hal-02899032⟩

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