This book explores the potential of school dining halls as spaces of social learning through interactions between students and teachers.
Schools, Food and Social Learning highlights the neglect of school dining halls in sociological research and the fact how so much can be gained from fostering interpersonal relations with other students and the school staff over meals. The book focuses primarily on social and life skills that students develop during lunch-hour meetings, modelling behaviors while eating and conversing in the school space known as the ‘restaurant’. With case studies based in the UK, the book takes a social constructivist approach to dealing with the tensions and challenges between the aims of the school - creating an eating space that promotes social values encouraging the development of social skills, and the activities of teachers and catering assistants of managing and providing food for several students daily.
The book carries snippets of interviews with children, dining hall attendants, teachers, parents and the school leadership team, offering a new way of thinking about social learning for both scholars and students of Social Anthropology, Sociology, Social Policy, Food Policy, Education Studies and Childhood Studies.
1. Introduction; 2. Social Learning and the ‘The Pedagogic Meal’; 3. ‘You are what you eat’: Learning through School Meals 4. ‘Come dine with me’: Surveillance mechanism or Community forum?; 5. ‘Food for thought’: Conclusion; Index