Leadership in Edible Education Taking Root

EduCulture and Antioch University Seattle launch a new
Leadership in Edible Education Certificate Program
to serve K-12 and Community Based Education in the Puget Sound Region

Through an on-going partnership with the Master of Arts in Education Program at Antioch University Seattle, and their professional endorsement program in Environmental and Sustainability Education, EduCulture is launching a groundbreaking Leadership in Edible Education Certificate Program, designed for formal and informal educators, and other professionals, who are interested in making a difference through edible education, in schools and the wider community.

Edible Education encompasses the entire way we think about food in schools, from wellness policies to the quality of school lunch, from the content of core curriculum to career and technical education, from school gardens to food waste recycling, and from the ecology of a school campus to our wider food community.  It is one area of education that threads through all aspects of school culture, from what and where students learn to what they eat, to how they recycle.  Just as our school food chains reflect the wider community food chains that support them, so does the culture of the curriculum have the opportunity to connect with the culture of the school and the wider community.

Farm,tug of war 1

In the 21st century, edible education has become the vanguard and crossroads of many fields of education, from environmental to sustainability, social to global, experiential to vocational, outdoor to horticultural, health and nutrition to school lunch reform.  Food is a topic of study that can be found across the curriculum and embedded, implicitly and explicitly, across standards and grade levels. Its roots in American education date back a century to the development of home economics.  In 1900, the educator John Dewey suggested that the “school itself shall be made a genuine form of active community life, instead of a place set apart in which to learn lessons.” (School and Society) More than a century later, his wisdom still rings true.
The Leadership in Edible Education Certificate Program aims to help define this evolving field of study, examine best practices and programmatic landscapes, and help students find a place for themselves in this growing educational movement.
Antioch University Seattle has been a dedicated partner in the development of this Leadership Program.  “Our Masters Program and indeed the whole campus is quite excited about this first-ever professional education initiative,” said Ed Mikel of Antioch U., co-founder and director of this program.  “It represents an area of primary study, practice, policy, and everyday life that is vital to the health and well-being of all peoples and, indeed, the whole web of life on earth.”

 FFCE10, final dialogue

“We are looking to attract the trailblazers in edible education who want to reflect on and deepen their practice, as well as those new or on the fringes of this emerging field who want to make a difference but need an educational grounding to enter into this field,” says EduCulture’s Jon Garfunkel, who co-founded this program with Ed Mikel.

“We are building a professional learning community for classroom teachers who want to get their students out to the garden or farm, the Food Service Directors who want to build a CTE program for students to learn and work in the school kitchen, the farmers or leaders in the food community who see education as part of their mission and vision. This Leadership Program is about enhancing and enriching school and community wellness by connecting place and taste to how we live, eat and learn.”


This Leadership in Edible Education Program carries the follow aims and objectives:

  • Building professional repertoires
  • Focus on Culture of Curriculum, Culture of Schools and Culture of Communities
  • Becoming an educational laboratory and community brain trust
  • Bridging Classroom & Communities
  • Building Learning Communities
  • Cultivating school and community leadership
  • Calling upon the emerging expertise of participants
  • Lived field studies centered in actual school and community programs
  • Serving multiple sectors and stakeholders
  • Education for Social Justice & Community Heritage
  • Reclaiming parts of our past in order to seed our future
  • Strengthening and preserving our regional and local food communities
  • Educating this and future generations of co-producers


This certificate is spread over four quarterly courses aimed at building the professional repertoire of those who seek to work in the field of edible education.

Summer 2015 (July 9, 16, 23, 30), Leadership in Edible Education I
Education Towards Food, Citizenship & Community

Fall 2015 (Sept.-Nov.), Leadership in Edible Education II
Food in Schools and Postsecondary Institutions

Winter 2016 (Jan.-March), Leadership in Edible Education III
Edible Education I: Theory & Practice

Spring 2016 (April-June), Leadership in Edible Education IV
Edible Education II: Field Experience & Culminating Field Project

This program is open to formal and informal educators. Field classes for each quarterly course will be held over four days, alternating between Seattle and Bainbridge Island/Kitsap.  Course work is offered in multiple professional education options, from AUS Degree and Environmental & Sustainability Education Endorsement Credit to Continuing Education Credits and Clock hours.  There is also a Core Field Course option for informal educators or those not needing credit. The Leadership in Edible Education Certificate of Completion is received through participation in all four courses. Courses I-III may be taken independently with same credit options. Scholarships have been made available for people of color to participate in this program.  We also have reduced tuition options for people based on financial need.

To learn more about the Leadership in Edible Education Certificate Program, visit our website: http://educultureproject.org/leadership-in-edible-education/

To learn more about the first course in the program, Education Towards Food , Citizenship & Community, offered this summer, visit our website:

To inquire or register for this program, contact: admin@EducultureProject.org or call 206-780-5797

For more about Antioch University Seattle’s degree/endorsement options, contact: emikel@Antioch.edu

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