“Vegan Teachers Make Students Feel Really Bad”: Is Teaching Sustainable Nutrition Indoctrinating?

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Title: “Vegan Teachers Make Students Feel Really Bad”: Is Teaching Sustainable Nutrition Indoctrinating?
Authors: Weber, Alina
Linkemeyer, Laura
Szczepanski, Lena
Fiebelkorn, Florian
ORCID of the author: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7972-6925
Abstract: The transformation toward more sustainable food choices may be supported by an education for sustainable nutrition. In schools, biology teachers play a key role in educating students as sustainability change makers, as biology lessons provide various opportunities to deal with ESD-topics such as sustainable nutrition. Teachers’ classroom practices may be influenced by their personal choices regarding sustainable nutrition. Additionally, students may see their teachers as role models for sustainable behavior. This presents the risk of students adopting teachers’ beliefs and behaviors without reflection. Teaching sustainable nutrition is therefore in potential conflict with indoctrinating young people toward sustainable diets. To date, no studies have addressed the perceived risk of indoctrination in the context of teaching sustainable nutrition in relation to teachers’ personal beliefs, behaviors, and teaching practices. Therefore, this study explored whether biology teachers themselves perceive a risk of indoctrination when teaching sustainable nutrition, and what methods they use for teaching it in a non-indoctrinating way. For this purpose, we conducted semi-structured interviews with seven in-service biology teachers from high schools in Germany. Data for this explorative qualitative study were collected from July to October 2021 using convenience sampling. These were analyzed by qualitative coding and content analysis. The preliminary results of this study show that participants recognize a high risk of indoctrination when teaching sustainable nutrition, primarily due to their own teaching actions, such as deciding whether to reveal their own dietary choices to students. While some participants believed teachers must be restrained, others thought that open communication about personal choices could benefit student decision-making skills. In terms of avoiding indoctrination when teaching sustainable nutrition, participants advocated for student-centered and multi-perspective teaching approaches. Based on the findings, initial implications for further research and teacher training are discussed.
Citations: Weber A, Linkemeyer L, Szczepanski L, Fiebelkorn F.: “Vegan Teachers Make Students Feel Really Bad”: Is Teaching Sustainable Nutrition Indoctrinating? Foods. 2022; 11(6):887
URL: https://doi.org/10.48693/251
Subject Keywords: education for sustainable development (ESD); sustainable nutrition; biology teachers; teacher training; indoctrination; dietary choices
Issue Date: 21-Mar-2022
License name: Attribution 4.0 International
License url: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Type of publication: Einzelbeitrag in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift [Article]
Appears in Collections:FB08 - Hochschulschriften

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