Towards a better Food Education for our children (Panel)
Dr. Kirstie McAdoo is the Head of Education and Research at Airfield Estate. Responsible for all food education on the estate from pre-school to third level, adult and beyond she has built a unique set of programmes that explore the learner’s relationship and understanding of sustainable food systems. She has worked with the NCCA in designing new Junior Cycle specifications and her research on the Discovery Learning teaching methodology was supported by the Teaching Council, and she has worked with the Dept of Education on creating teacher training modules. Her background in Agriculture (she has a PhD in methane reduction in beef cattle) and her classroom experience has meant that she has a unique ability to see where food can be placed in the curriculum and how it can be connected to their classroom subjects.
Recently she has created a Junior Cycle short course entitled Food: From the Ground Up which asks students to explore the entire food system from the soil all the way through to the marketing of food (whilst also linking to the science, business and HE specifications). Her most recent programme called Farmer Time links farmers directly to the classroom every two weeks with a virtual call. Running across the entire education spectrum from Junior Infants to 6th year in secondary schools, this programme allows farmers to directly connect with future consumers and enables students to not just see how farming progresses through the seasons, but also see how food is produced in Ireland.
Her current research aims are centred in exploring SDG 11 and looking to see how small, practical changes can be made within the home and in businesses to make our cities more sustainable. This research currently includes the food environments for early childhood care settings, food poverty in older people and decreasing food waste within the home.