Tennessee AFNR Teachers' Perceived Level of Competence in Teaching Food Chemistry


  • Erin Austin


The purpose of this study was to determine Tennessee Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources (AFNR) high school teachers' perceived level of competence in teaching the standards associated with the TN Department of Education Food Science program of study. More specifically, one of the research objectives was to determine in-service training needs associated with 26 items linked to food chemistry, and food safety and microbiology. Teachers completed the survey instrument via Qualtrics, and the teacher's self-reported that they felt not competent or minimally competent (percent of teachers indicating either level in parentheses) in performing the following: equipping my classroom with food chemistry equipment (52%), explaining the procedures for completing ServSafe training (43%), effectively explain safety issues associated with food additives (39%), teaching/explaining chemical processes and interactions of constituent components of foods, and teach students to identify chemical properties of food that are affected by production, processing, and storage (35%), describing the basic chemical principles of fermentation (34%), and teaching about the principles and applications of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system (27%). These results indicate that Tennessee Department of Education staff and university teacher educators need to offer summer in-service training sessions that target the aforementioned items.