The golden age of protein: an initial teacher training perspective on the biological role of proteins in our everyday lives.

Lakin, Liz (2004) The golden age of protein: an initial teacher training perspective on the biological role of proteins in our everyday lives. International journal of consumer studies, 28 (2). pp. 127-134. Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL:


We make use of proteins in all aspects of our daily lives from biological washing powders to soft-centred sweets, yet their fundamental role in our diet is often misunderstood. This paper draws on the findings of a three-phase research project into Initial Teacher Trainee's perception of food and eating, where students demonstrated several similar misconceptions about the food they eat and in particular, the role of proteins. More than 50% of the students thought that protein was a primary source of energy and were confused about the relationship between proteins, amino acids and nitrogen, and the role of DNA in synthesizing proteins. These misconceptions were often translated into practice in the diet the students consumed and the messages they passed on, with confidence, to their pupils. In addition to the misconceptions, teaching approaches used by the students were highly mechanistic, with little reference being given to the relationship between food and the circumstances in which it is eaten. The relationship between dietary intake and lifestyle is explored in secondary schools within Food Technology lessons. However, it is often too late to rectify the deeply entrenched misconceptions, attitudes and eating habits that school children have developed in their primary years. This paper makes the recommendation that we should reconsider how nutrition education is delivered in schools, especially at a primary level: emphasizing the need to relate teaching and learning to everyday experiences. The paper concludes by suggesting possible strategies by which this may be achieved, with proteins featuring centre-stage.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: International journal of consumer studies
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: Print:1470-6423 Online : 1470-6431
Related URL(s):
Departments: Pre June 2020 Academic Departments and Services > Academic Departments > Institute of Education (IOE) > Secondary PGCE
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2011 11:23
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2021 11:10

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item