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Is our Culinary Curriculum Accurate?



Evaluation of a Culinary Arts CurriculumChef Jennifer M. Denlinger M.Ed., CCC, CHEPDEL612 Program EvaluationTrident University OnlineMarch 11, 2015

Evaluation of a Culinary Arts CurriculumCulinary Arts curriculum is a cumulative education that requires lecture, demo, and then hands on learning. Students are introduced into the world of culinary arts by immersion learning. Culinary Arts is a very kinesthetic art, so most learning must be done by doing. Rules, theories, concepts, and techniques are taught and lectured on, but most of the learning comes through the practice of doing. Culinary Arts is very closely related to Baking and Pastry Arts, so the concepts, ideas, and values that are important to one, are also important to the other. The difference is the medium that is worked with.Literature Review Since food, and culinary arts can be such a heartfelt association, there are many different opinions on what to be taught, and how to teach it. If the program is to be accredited, it is important that several different approaches of evaluation be looked at. Evaluating Quality in Associate Degree Culinary Arts Programs a national sample of culinary arts educators and industry chefs rated the importance of 50 potential quality indicators of Associate Degree Culinary Arts Programs (ADCAP). ADCAP do not fit into the same package as academic categories. There are a lot of terms, and the perception of quality varies amongst individuals (Hertzman, & Ackerman, 2010). Identifying the characteristics of and quality indicators for associate degree culinary arts programs: A survey of educators and industry looked at and analyzed 232 associate degree culinary arts program requirements. After surveying Chef Educators, and members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), the determination was the most important professional courses were sanitation, basic cooking/hot foods- lab, food and beverage cost control, menu development, and saucier (Hertzman, 2006). Developing a core competency model of innovative culinary development indicated the most important creative competencies. These include: creative power, idea development, divergent thinking, problem solving (highest rated), positive attitude towards experimenting ideas (second highest rated), the ability to integrate differential thinking, the analogical transfer of ideas, hypothesis testing, finding attributes, illumination of ideas, context shifting, functional interference, conceptual interpretation, synthesis and transformation. The ability to identify the core competencies for chef leaders is the ability for them to remain competitive (Hu, 2010). The popular competence of hospitality education in Taiwan: Constructing a baking curriculum model is about a redeveloped curriculum that emphasized: a more diverse baking knowledge, more integrated baking process skill, learn soft skills such as communication/coordination/ stress and crisis management, etc., and develop forward looking creativity. Rethinking baking education is indicated that students have an increased need for more hands-on, less lecture based method of learning. It was indicated that the reconstruction of the courses should emphasize hands on lab, and that the lecture components should be re-written to emphasize activities that apply principles of the baking process. Culinary Arts ClassesEvaluating Culinary Arts Curriculum is based on hands on, kinesthetic knowledge of all senses. Students who want to pursue a Culinary Arts education may do so by completing a Diploma in Culinary Arts or an Associates of Science in Culinary Arts. Looking at the curriculum, which is demoed by a Chef Instructor in each class, and then what the students actually produce, an accurate picture of the total curriculum can be seen. Diploma in Culinary Arts. A diploma in Culinary Arts takes students through a journey of learning, starting with the most basic of skills and techniques, and building upon each technique until a range of skills is learned. Culinary Arts is technique based, so students have the opportunity to expand their knowledge based off the basics. There are seven classes, plus two courses of externship. The seven classes consist of six hands on lab classes, and one lecture class of Food Safety and Sanitation, plus two classes of externship. Culinary (lab) classes include: Culinary Foundations I, II, and III, Introduction to Baking and Pastry, Cuisines Across Cultures, and Catering and Buffet. Students must successfully complete each class before moving on the next class. Students are then required to complete two externship classes in order to graduate.Associates of Science in Culinary Arts. An Associates of Science in Culinary Arts consists of the previously mentioned classes, with the addition of two more lab classes of Contemporary Cuisine, and Restaurant Rotation, plus six academic classes, constituting the requirements of an accredited AS degree. The culinary (lab) classes of the Culinary Arts Associates will be the classes used for the evaluation. Class Format. The format of all culinary classes is pretty uniform. Since Food Safety and Sanitation is lecture class (with a few hands on examples to help drive-home points), it will not be included in proceeding example of how classes are set up. The externship classes also are not included since they occur off-campus. In order to ensure successful students, the typical format for lab classes is: Day A: instructor lecture and demo. Day B: student lab of what was demoed on the previous day. Lecture Days. Lecture days start with uniform inspection and attendance line up. The Chef Instructor will spend up to of the class period lecturing on the topic(s) being studied. Items that may be included in the lecture could include Product Identification/ tasting, terminology, rubrics expectations, and recipe review. If there were a written assessment, it would be given during this time. The rest of the class time is spent in the kitchen where the Chef Instructor will demo what the students need to learn, and will explain the expectations and the rubrics guidelines. The students are required to take notes on what the Chef Instructor does. At the end, students can taste so they know what they are aiming for. Students will then conduct the cleaning activities of the room. Class is concluded with a question and answer session.Lab Days. Lab days start with the attendance lineup and uniform inspection. The class assembles and the Chef Instructor will explain the time line for the day, and the expectations needed. Recipes are talked through again, and if something needs to be demoed again, it is. Students are given a set amount of time to accomplish the tasks needed. Students are graded privately and swiftly based upon the aforementioned expectations. Depending on the format of the class, and the requirements of the lesson, when and how the students are graded may be changed for each class. All practical examinations are given on these days. After the set production time, the entire class participates in cleaning and sanitizing the room and equipment. At the end of class, the Chef Instructor recaps what was learned, talked about the collective successes and failures of the day, and reminds the students what will be happening tomorrow. Since the classes are progressive, the Chef Instructor only needs to demonstrate a technique what was not previously demoed, unless it is needed as a refresher. Students build their knowledge on what was previously learned. Since it is technique based, flavors may vary, even though the core technique hasnt changed. Curriculum Evaluation ModelsUsing this overall picture- comparing to the standards of ACICS, American Culinary Federation (ACF), and FDOE for different accreditation purposes makes is easy. Using Stakes Countenance Model and Stufflebeams CIPP model deficiencies can be spotted. Another way to spot deficiencies in the curriculum is to monitor the evaluation from employers of externs, and the placement rate of graduates. By monitoring the deficiencies in the curriculum, changes can be made to increase the success rate of the students. Even though lessons are sequential, it is still good to pay attention to what is being taught/ learned where, in what class. There are two curriculum evaluation models that can be used to evaluate culinary curriculum: Stakes Countenance Model and Stufflebeams CIPP model. Stakes Countenance ModelStakes Countenance Model (SCM) is an evaluation framework that works by collecting, organizing and interpreting qualitative and quantitative data. There are two major operation or countenances in the SCM: complete description of the program, and judgment. A descriptive activity is what is referred to, or what is observed. Judgmental activities refer to the standards used in making judgment or to the actual judgment being made (Wood, 2001). Academic based tests are quantitative based. Practicals are both quantitative and qualitative based, and usually require the use of rubrics for grading. There are three phases that may affect the SCM. First comes the antecedent. It is the condition existing prior to the instruction that may relate to outcomes. Transaction is the successive engagements or dynamic encounters constituting the process of instruction. Outcomes are the effects of the instructional experience (Wood, 2001). SCM is important in Culinary Arts Curriculum since most of the curriculum is rubric graded, even though there is some distinct right/ wrong qualities, a lot is opinion based. Also, since curriculum is built upon previously learned skills, when there is a deficiency that is wide based upon a class it needs to be determined if it is the students, the dynamics of the class, the previous Chef Instructor, or the amount of time si