About Kitchen Pedagogy

Kitchen pedagogy is a phrase a came up with many years ago to suggest the importance of immediate experience, including intuition, practice, apprenticeship, precision, as well as study and reflection, to learning. One only learns to navigate a kitchen to the extent one finds meaning in what the kitchen offers. If your goal is make toast, then making toast will guide your interest and define your effort. For you, that may be enough. For better or worse, however, you won’t be able to say much more or do much more beyond that, which if that is truly only what you want then kudos to you.

If your goal is greater, then your experience and everything needed to create relevancy of experience will become more complex and complicated depending on interest and effort. It will take different types and degrees of effort and your interests will manifest in different ways. Relatedly, the rewards will be proportional (as will the struggles and prospects of failure), and most likely, the effect on others will follow suit–be proportional and possibly more profound and potentially more disturbing (which in and of itself comes with an upside).

Thus, kitchen pedagogy is about what we want from our experience and what we, in turn, need to do with experience (and what we want to experience), including considering what others have to offer to our efforts and what we can offer others through the process and product of those efforts.

As for me, I am a teacher still trying to figure out how to teach nearly 25 years into teaching. I am convinced, however, that more than ever  teaching is the act of listening and responding as sympathetically acutely as possible to others. We–you, me, others, past and present–create the content of learning. The materials we use–the traditional content and its wrapping as disciplinary knowledge–are simply stuff to elicit human interaction and support experience.

This blog offers nothing extraordinary–its content is only of value to the extent that it speaks to the readers’ experiences, for good or ill. Collectively, everything here is but myriad thoughts that hopefully are definitive of who I am (however partially) even as inconsistency and ambiguity sometimes rule the day. I write about topics and events that are important to me and about which I feel I have something to say. I don’t claim originality. Mostly, I write about education, social issues, including politics, running, literature and other arts, and odd and ends that capture my attention one day but could be easilty forgotten or ignored the next.

I also write about food–notably what I do in the kitchen–in Food Study because it fits with the blog title.


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