Dalton, S. and Brereton, C. (2020) THE POSITION OF CULINARY HIGHER EDUCATION AS AN ACADEMIC DISCIPLINE IN EUROPE. 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED). pp. 6380-6384.


The late twentieth century brought about the dawn of a revolution in culinary education. This effort saw the progression of culinary arts into third-level institutes and universities as an academic discipline. The traditional approach to training limited culinary students to manual and technical learning, which focused on the narrow skill requirements for the industry. The introduction of a blended liberal and vocational approach to education created new opportunities which provide culinary practitioners with a holistic and modern education. Third-level culinary education is at an early stage of development and is insufficiently recognised by many European countries as an academic discipline. The research represents the first attempt to synthesise the discipline and to address the lack of a recognised core curriculum in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). Students are often restricted to qualifications at levels five or six on the European Framework of Qualifications (EFQ), while others can avail of qualifications to doctorate level. Thus, there exists significant pedagogical dissonance across Europe. Consequently, there is a need for a consensus-based Europe-wide standardised curriculum model to support higher education for culinary arts. Culinary institutions face obstacles regarding the comparability and recognition of cross-border qualifications. This impacts the opportunities for the utilisation of Erasmus programmes which are challenged by the diverse range of learning outcomes and pedagogies in the field. This paper will introduce the ongoing research into the exploration of European culinary education, curricula, and qualifications. The research will explore the scope of the discipline through an examination of modern curricula and of historical practices. A multi-country case study method will be utilised to examine the curricula of several EHEA countries which are leading the culinary higher education revolution. The results will be used to develop a new integrated, discipline-specific framework. The proposed framework will comprise a core curriculum and also pedagogical and assessment standards. The development of this next iteration of culinary education will consider the role of assessment design, objectives, and constructs, as well as meaningful grading, and standards setting. This paper will present discussions and interim contextualisation findings on the position of culinary arts education within the macro-education systems in European countries. The framework will enable and support future educators in the development of curricula that support culinarians to become critical thinkers, with the opportunities and tools to contribute to the industry, through their creativity and innovation. The improvement of culinary education and the standing of culinary knowledge will support the enrichment of the food and beverage industry, the recognition of qualifications, and the elevation of culinary arts to a modern academic discipline.

View Item