Teachers are learning how to cook up a classroom storm, writes Kristie Kellahan.
At the William Angliss Institute, a specialist training institute in Melbourne and Sydney for the food, hospitality and tourism sectors, high school teachers are trained to be restaurateurs, cooks and baristas.
In Sydney, the institute trains teachers in areas such as hospitality and food technology.
After being trained, teachers can relay these skills to students at year 12 level.
Teachers earn either a certificate II in hospitality with a food and beverage focus, or a certificate II in hospitality with an emphasis on cookery.
A food technology and hospitality teacher at Pymble Ladies College in Sydney, Lani Madigan, says the William Angliss program "enables teachers to bring industry-standard practices into the classroom".
Madigan has completed her certificate II in hospitality kitchen operations - commercial cookery and is completing the food and beverage stream.
"Updating my qualifications has undeniably helped my students learn relevant skills and current industry information," she says. Madigan took advantage of the short courses in the purpose-built commercial kitchens and the Coffee Academy. Classes are offered at weekends and on weeknights with teachers' busy schedules in mind.
Face-to-face training and assessment is mixed with online learning and assessment. Practical experience is delivered through a "pop-up" restaurant. Work placement in the industry and recognition of prior learning can contribute to course credits.
Matthew Steel from William Angliss says a key aspect of its training approach "is that it is always based on the perspective of industry needs".
"We stress the importance of a hospitality worker to be flexible and adaptable with their colleagues."
Steel says many of the teachers who seek training are already equipped with great knowledge and life skills. "That underpins the majority of the course, and we build on that.
"Teachers, like all graduates, are expected to link the classroom learning with real work placement, and this puts them on equal footing with their year 11 and 12 students who are expected to do the same."
William Angliss won the tender for the NSW program for the first time in 2012 .
Building on a successful first year, it will continue to deliver this program to teachers from the NSW Department of Education and Communities, the Catholic Education Commission NSW, and the Association of Independent Schools of NSW.
Talks about rolling out the program across Australia are under way. "The development of a national training program for secondary teachers would create consistency in the hospitality syllabus and would benefit Australia's hospitality industry greatly," Steel says.
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