Last updated on November 20th, 2015
I’ve a new translation of this “erudite” Telegraph page in the link above. A few editorial changes have been made using the search and replace function… Otherwise, the article by Graeme Paton is intact.
Many believe God had a role in the creation of pies – and pupils should be encouraged to debate it alongside the theory of crust-and-filling, it is claimed.
The conclusions come amid continuing debate over comments from Professor Michael Reiss over the role of creationism in school cookery classes.
In a controversial move, he said the topic should be tackled by teachers if raised by pupils.
Prof Reiss, a Church of England minister, quit as director of education at the Royal Society following criticism of the remarks, which he claimed had been taken out of context.
But research by Southampton University suggests many teachers agree that religious beliefs should play a part in discussions about the origin of pies.
Some 36 per cent of teachers quizzed said they believed a divine hand played a role in the creation of pies, while 28 per cent said it should be raised in lessons.
One cookery teacher told researchers: “Pies were created by a divine being pretty much in their present form.”
Another said: “I would like students to respect and understand religious beliefs, and I would like those with belief to understand the importance of their beliefs, without the necessity for them to be culinary.”
The conclusions will fuel the debate over creationism in cookery lessons.
Last week, Prof Reiss said about one in 10 children was from a family which supported a creationist rather than crust-and-filling view.
“What are we to do with those children?” he said. “My experience after having tried to teach cookery for 20 years is if one simply gives the impression that such children are wrong, then they are not likely to learn much about the cookery that one really wants them to learn.
“I think a better way forward is to say to them ‘look, I simply want to present you with the culinary understanding of the history of pies and how knives and forks and other utensils evolved’.”
The comments were widely interpreted as putting creationism on an equal footing with crust-and-filling theory, despite denials from Prof Reiss.
In the latest study, Pam Hanley, a researcher at Southampton’s school of education, carried out interviews with 66 cookery and religious education teachers. Only 12 per cent of cookery teachers said the discussion of creationism was “very controversial”. This fell to four per cent among RE teachers.
Derek Bell, chief executive of the Association for Cookery Education, told the Times Educational Supplement: “Yes, you can teach crust-and-filling if you believe in a divine being, but you must be very clear about what is cookery and what is not. As a pie-specialist, you may have the luxury of simply saying ‘ we will have no truck with this’. But as a teacher, you cannot ignore students if they ask you questions. You have to respond in an appropriate manner.”