Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



In New Orleans, Louisiana, food shapes much of the discourse around cultural history and identity. Residents of this city identify with the historical and cultural significance of the dishes they cook, and as a result foodways as a curriculum emerges as a way to engage individuals in their learning and development. This study is concerned with how students learn in a space where the classroom is not just four walls and rows of desks, but instead is reimagined to also include a kitchen, restaurant, and the context of the local community. Furthermore, this study explores what learning looks like in a space where food and life skills dominate the daily learning activity instead of the national curriculum. Through six months of site observation and10 semi-structured interviews, I explored the experiences of students going through the life-skills and food curriculum offered at my research site, Café Reconcile. Through their narratives, the following themes emerged: (1) students desire to be part of a community that explicitly shows care; (2) students are empowered and generate internal motivation to persist after gaining membership into the learning community; (3) the shape of learning changes from theory to application within a kitchen space; and (4) within this type of space, learning how to navigate cultures of power takes precedence over the food content.



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Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Mitchell, Roland



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Education Commons