Teaching Food Systems: Community of Practice (CoP)

Overview

Initiated in 2016, this CoP convenes academics and practitioners focused on food systems education to share knowledge, create space for exchange, and problem-solve. We host events, gather at associated conferences, and are working to build an online collaborative network through a Listserv, a Google Group, and a shared Google folder for teaching materials. If you teach or want to teach about food systems using cross-disciplinary systems thinking at the graduate or undergraduate level, we invite you to join our Community of Practice. 

Goals

  • Support and grow a community of practice of people who are developing and implementing curricula in food systems courses
  • Develop, review, and share materials using systems-thinking frameworks to teach about food systems
  • Develop, review, and share assessment tools on student learning in systems thinking 

Events

All events are sponsored by the Institute of Human Nutrition (IHN) in collaboration with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History. Events are open to educators at the graduate or undergraduate level who are interested in developing curricular materials to teach about food systems using cross-disciplinary systems of thinking. All materials developed, reviewed, and shared by the CoP are and will be available to the CoP once they are finalized. 

We held two successful events in NYC in 2016 and 2017 and two gatherings of the CoP at the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) conference in Hawai’i in July 2018 and at the AFHVS/ASFS conference in Alaska in June 2019. 

We are planning to hold our next CoP event in 2022.

Overview of Past Events

Sandbox Webinar Series for Higher Education

Teaching Sustainable Food Systems in Our Times

Flyer describing the Sandbox Webinar series. It is the same text that is typed on the website. Includes a photo of an orange grove, and two women harvesting grain.

This sandbox webinar series for Sustainable Food Systems educators provides professional development opportunities to gain, enhance, and share knowledge and skills regarding two pedagogical issues of this time: (1) Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) and, (2) Online teaching.

Guest speakers and field experts will share pedagogical innovations for integrating Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Sustainable Food Systems programs and classrooms. Sandbox sessions focused on strategies for online teaching during times of COVID-19 and beyond will facilitate brainstorming, ideation, and sharing of practices. 

View the series flyer. 

View webinar recordings.

This sandbox series is a collaboration between the Sustainable Food Systems Consortium of Montana State University, University of British Columbia, and the University of Minnesota and the Teaching Food Systems: Community of Practice (CoP) of Columbia University and the American Museum of Natural History. Support is provided by a USDA Higher Education Challenge Grant (2018-70003-27649; Advancing an Inclusive Food Systems Curriculum based on a Signature Pedagogy)

Series Webinars

Event Details and Registration links will be posted when available.

The Sharing of Indigenous Knowledge Through Academic Means by Implementing Self-reflection and Story

Developing an Equity Competency in Sustainable Food Systems Education: Exploring a New Model and Sharing Teaching Activities

  • October 9, 2020 @1:00pm ET
  • Speakers: Will Valley (University of British Columbia), Sharon Akabas (Columbia University), Pamela Koch (Columbia University), Joanne Burke (University of New Hampshire), Nicole Tichenor Blackstone (Tufts University)
  • Event Details and Registration
  • This event will begin with a 'sandbox series' review of our previous webinar at 12:30pm ET. 

Diversiform Storytelling: An Indigenous Pedagogical Model That Invites Diverse Voices Into Learning​

Critical Food Literacy through Multicultural Texts

  • November 5, 2020 @1:00pm ET
  • Speaker: Lina Yamashita (VIA)
  • Event Details and Registration
  • This event will begin with a 'sandbox series' review of previous webinars at 12:30pm ET. 

Pedagogy and Pandemic: How the Contemplative Technopedagogy Framework can Enrich Teaching and Learning During Covid-19

Just Sustainabilities in Policy, Planning, and Practice

  • January 26, 2021 @4:00pm ET
  • Speaker: Julian Agyeman (Tufts University)

21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge

  • February 25, 2021 @1:00pm ET
  • Speaker: Karen Spiller (University of New Hampshire)

Community Partnerships in Co-Design of Sustainable Food Systems Curricula

  • March 26, 2021 @4:00pm ET
  • Speakers: Kamuela Enos, Daniel Lipe, and Albie Miles (University of Hawai’i West O’ahu)
  • Event Details and Registration

Decolonial Futures, Higher Education and Sustainable Food Systems Education

Reflecting on the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge

Shared Materials

The Community of Practice maintains a shared Google folder hosting materials from past meetings and curricular elements; these are meant to be shared across the CoP.

We also have a Google group for intra-CoP communication about upcoming events, resources to suggest, etc. If you are not already a member and would like to be, contact Erin Betley (ebetley@amnh.org) or Sarah Bergren (sb3008@cumc.columbia.edu) to request an invitation. We encourage CoP members to use this group as a resource to maintain momentum for our active community in between our gatherings.

Organizers

 

  • Sharon Akabas, PhD

    Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University

  • Sarah Bergren, MS

    Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University

  • Eleanor Sterling, PhD

    Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History

    A photo of Eleanor Stearling
  • Erin Betley, MA

    Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History

    A photo of Erin Betley

Contact

Email teachfoodsystems@gmail.com with inquiries.