Towards Critical Food Systems Education: Lessons from Brazil and Beyond

@ATREE auditorium at 3.45 pm on 6th June 2016

Food systems education can help individuals and communities transition to more sustainable food systems. Despite the growing scholarship on food systems education, there is a paucity of critical perspectives on its pedagogical methods, learning outcomes, and overarching objectives. This presentation addresses this gap by integrating insights from critical pedagogy, food justice, food sovereignty, and agroecology, developing a new synthetic area of study and research entitled critical food systems education (CFSE). CFSE is composed of a tripartite perspective, consisting of praxis, policy, and pedagogy. This framework is guided by the following overarching question: How can food systems education prepare individuals and teachers to transform the food system, and help communities attain food sovereignty? Examples from longitudinal research with Brazil's Landless Workers' Movement (MST) are drawn upon to evidence this framework.

About the speaker
Professor David Meek (PhD University of Georgia, 2014) is an environmental anthropologist, critical geographer, food systems education scholar with an area specialization in Brazil. Professor Meek theoretically grounds his research in a synthesis of political ecology, critical pedagogy, and agrarian studies. His interests include: sustainable agriculture, social movements, and environmental education.

In a series of recent publications, Meek has begun advancing a theoretical framework of the political ecology of education. This perspective illuminates how the reciprocal relations between political economic forces and pedagogical opportunities—from tacit to formal learning—affect the production, dissemination, and contestation of environmental knowledge at various interconnected scales. The various research projects that Professor Meek is involved with provide empirical data to support the advancement of the political ecology of education framework.