IFT Education Division Celebrates its 10th Anniversary
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IFT Education Division ........Journal of
IFT Education Division Celebratesits 10th Anniversary
T his year marks the 10th anniversary of IFT Education Division. The Journal of Food Science Education was created toprovide an appropriate outlet for the scholarship of teaching in food science. It is thus appropriate that we dedicate somespace to document the Divisions founding and recap some of the Divisions activities during this period. The history isprovided by Faye Dong. This is followed by reflections of some of the Divisions former chairs on where they see the Division andfood science education going.
Birth of the Education Division Faye M. Dong, Organizing ChairI remember standing in the hallway during the annual IFT meeting in 1994 in Atlanta. I was talking to Wayne Iwaoka and Clark
Brekke; all 3 of us were thinking that what we needed in IFT was an Education Division because there was no venue in IFT forpeople to talk to each other about teaching and learning. That conversation started the ball rolling. We collected names for thepetition process and in February 1995, I sent the petitions to then IFT Executive Director Dan Weber along with a missionstatement and answers to some commonly asked questions (see Appendix A). We received probationary status and were able tohave our first meeting of the probationary Education Division at the annual meeting in June 1995.
The reaction to the idea of forming an Education Division was mixed. Many people supported the proposition withoutreservation. However, the process of initiating the Division presented some challenges and elicited questions from a fewindividuals. How will the Division be different from the Committee on Education? Will the Education Division overlap with theCommittee on Continuing Education? However, my favorite was the question of how abstracts in education would fit the researchcriteria in the call-for-abstracts. I remember Daryl Lund stood up at our first committee meeting in 1995 and said thateducation-related abstracts would fit quite well because the Division would be presenting studies related to the scholarship ofteaching...and to me, that said it all.
The Division received permanent status in 1997 and was given a charter and a banner to display at sessions of the EducationDivision. It has been heartening to watch the Division grow and evolve, to work with committed people, and to participate insessions focused on teaching and learning. Having discussions about teaching and learning is a great equalizer; it provides a venuewhere people from all disciplines can talk to each other, share perspectives and techniques, and support each other as we all striveto be better teachers and learners. If we want to measure impacts, I think that we can review 2 milestones. One is to see the list ofsymposia since 1995.
Table 1Symposia Sponsored or Co-Sponsored by the Education Division
1994 Priorities for instruction of food science in the twenty-first century1996 Food engineering: the learning process versus the recommended course content argument
Innovations in food science education using computers, data base information, and interactive communication1997 Food code acceptance- the opportunity for advancement
Developing critical thinking skillsActive learning: creating excitement in the classroom
1998 Distance learning delivery systems for food science and technologyIFT minimum standards for undergraduate programs: what should the 2002 revision look like?IFT minimum standards 2002; potentials for outcome based education, outcomes assessment and program accreditation
1999 Developing teamwork skills: a necessity in todays changing work place2000 Electronic Education
The School-to-Work Transition2001 Communicating food safety: to the public, students and food handlers
Educating tomorrows food engineers-global perspectivesIFT education standards: evaluation of 3 departmentsEducating electronically: many methods-many modelsIncorporating food science into the high-school science curriculumUndergraduate and graduate education: what are the best practices for success?
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IFT Education Division
2002 Industrial training: enhancing organizational knowledgeGraduate education in food science: where are we going?Food engineering education: impact of the revised IFT curriculum guidelines
2003 Assessment of learning outcomes in food science2004 Politics of obesity: revisited
Assessment continuedNanoscale science, engineering and technology for food safety and qualityMultiple perspectives on food engineering education
2005 Food science education: a question of ethicsConsumer perceptions of microbial food safety and pathogen control measuresTeaching food chemistry: outcomes, assessment and innovation
2006 The cutting edge: innovative ideas to engage students in the classroomWhere are our future food scientists?: Successful programs for recruiting food science majors
2007 Technologies for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of teaching food processingMeeting the learning outcome assessment expectation for IFT program reapproval (panel)Research-based best teaching practices applied to food science undergraduate education
Together, the titles tell a story, and it is up to us to reflect, discuss, and then come to a consensus on the focus of the nextchapter. The other milestone is the creation of the Journal of Science Education (The history of JFSE will be published later).
Creating and sustaining the Division has truly been a team effort, and I thank all of you for participating and being a part of theteam. I know that many of you were there from day one, and you continue to be as enthused about the Division and as passionateabout and committed to your teaching as you were 10 years ago. This 10th anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on what we seeon the agenda for the next 10 years.
Please join me in wishing the Education Division a happy 10th anniversary!
Reflections from former Division Chairs:
What have been the big accomplishments of the Division?The major accomplishments have been to provide support and recognition of teaching and learning in the field of food science
and to establish a network of food science educators. Previously, we were food scientists who taught courses. We now have acommunity of educators in food science and technology.Has the Division fulfilled its original mission?
Yes. Symposia and poster presentations at the IFT annual meeting and the Journal of Food Science Education established venuesfor discussion and publication of classroom innovations, activities, surveys, and techniques that previously had no outlet fordissemination. The integrity of the organizers and the quality of presentations and manuscripts have provided credibility forteaching and learning endeavors.
Where do you see the Division going in the next 5-10 years? How can we get there?We need to continue to offer relevant symposia and high-quality posters at IFT and to publish pedagogically sound JFSE
manuscripts. We need to continue to connect with colleagues who reside outside the U.S. and to generate enthusiasm for teachingamong graduate students and assistant professors. We should strengthen the scientific writing competition (and maybe offer astudent poster competition?) to increase visibility of the Education Division.
What have been the big accomplishments of the Division?One of the accomplishments of the Education Division has been to make IFT members more aware that education is not
something that is out there and carried out in grades K16. Hopefully, we are more aware that learning is something that wemust do and keep up with throughout our lives, and that the education division is just as important as disciplinary specificdivisions, like microbiology, chemistry, and engineering.
Has the Division fulfilled its original mission?I believe it has, but not to the fullest extent possible. The importance of education is slowly becoming more prominent in
peoples minds, not necessarily from Education Division activities, but because university accrediting agencies are expecting moreteaching and learning accountability from each degree program at these institutions. What the Education Division has done is toprovide a mechanism for interested individuals to sponsor symposia, workshops, and oral presentations under the Ed Divisionumbrella without having to do it as unaffiliated individuals. This has allowed us to invite individuals prominent in the educationfield as well as others in the human relationship and interaction skills arena to provide a different perspective than what we haveas food scientists.
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JFSE: Journal of Food Science Education
Where do you see the Division going in the next 5-10 years? How can we get there?Unless universities incorporate the scholarship of teaching and learning into promotion and tenure documentation and have it
weigh just as much as research activities, there wont be too much the Education Division can do to get individuals to change theway they do things in the classroom. However, there will always be a small handful of committed individuals who believe theycan make a difference for students and new employees, and we need to make sure that there is a home in IFT for them. I believewe need to continue to present new and different ideas on how we can help students develop into critical thinkers, problemsolvers, and involved community members. We need to help educators move away from having students just learn the technicalsubject matter of the discipline, and encourage them to help students develop skills needed to be successful in the food sciencefield, or any other field for that matter. With the enormous amount of information being generated from every sector, we to be atthe forefront of helping students and employees deal with 1) searching for and processing information rather than memorizingfacts, 2) refining their analytical thinking skills to sort out quality information from erroneous ones, and 3) providing situationswhere individuals or work groups can practice making decisions, evaluating outcomes, and where individuals can learn from theirmistakes. I believe there is much the members of the Education Division can do to provide innovative perspectives on how we canhelp develop the next generation of leaders and decision makers in the food science field.
Faye M. Dong
What have been the big accomplishmentsof the Division?
I think that we have built a community of teachers and many teacher scholars by having the Education Division. A big impacthas been the elevation of the scholarship of teaching and learning in food science. We have succeeded in going public with ourwork, allowing our work to be reviewed and scrutinized by others, and we have made our teaching techniques usable by others.The start of the Journal of Food Science Education was a huge accomplishment, and we have Grady and Wayne to thank for that!
Has the Division fulfilled its original mission?I believe that it has. The Education Division has provided a forum to share, excite, disseminate, interact, and discuss, and
overall, it has served as a resource. The presentation of technical sessions and forums, and the sponsorship of about 3 symposia peryear have elevated the disciplines of teaching and learning, and have openly shared innovations in food science education.
Where do you see the Division going in the next 5-10 years? How can we get there?As far as the Division goes, we need to continue to build the Division membership by recruiting new members from industry,
academia, and government, and we should invite more students to join, since some of them will become teachers in the future.Building the diversity (in the broadest sense) of our Division will further improve its excellence. We need to be creative and takerisks in thinking of topics for future symposia and forums. New styles of delivery will present opportunities to discuss the balanceof, for example, face-to-face/hands-on and virtual education. We should also continue to invite non-food science educators toshare their perspectives. In the next several years, we should make deliberate effort to mentor the junior members, and to work onteams to accomplish our goals at the IFT Annual meeting.
Grady ChismThe Division has provided a forum and an impressive array of learning opportunities for food science educators. With the
establishment of JFSE, it has expanded this influence well beyond the core group to include K-12 educators and an increasingnumber of educators outside the US. Clearly, it is difficult to predict where food science education will move in the next 10 yearsand few, if any, of the changes will be uniform across the spectrum of departments. It is my opinion that the most substantialchanges will come from a shift of teaching responsibilities from researcher-educators to full-time and part-time non-tenuredteachers. Some programs already rely heavily upon non-tenure track faculty (they may be called staff in some places), while otherare just beginning to go down this road. This trend is driven by economics and is accelerated in places that establish a budgetingsystem where money follows the credit hours. The impact of this shift will vary from institution to institution based on the budgetmodel that is implemented and the people in the departments. On the positive side, this shift will provide teaching positions for anumber of highly motivated teachers who do not wish to have traditional food science research as a major focus of their position.This influx of teachers should help to drive innovation in Food Science instruction in the next 10 years. Some science departmentshave evolved to the point where they have a significant group of science educators who study learning and earn tenure based onthis educational research. I do not foresee any Food Science department being large enough to support this. The challenge side ofthis trend will be dealing with the teaching as a cash cow approach where teaching becomes less valued and moreunder-resourced. (You might find historical precedents in departments with 2 programs- one having the prestige and influence andthe other having lots of students and few, if any, tenure track faculty.) This trend will likely further erode resource-intensivelaboratory courses.
If the changes I have predicted occur, the Education Division could become the focal point within IFT for this new class of FoodScience faculty.
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IFT Education Division
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