Earlier this year, Loughton Smith, bakery instructor in the Hospitality Arts department, went to Japan with several culinary students to learn and get the whole experience of Japanese cuisine and the traditions and culture associated with it.  At the end of his narrative, he describes his biggest takeaway, “Even small town people from a small farming community in the central part of America can go across the world and be very open to new experiences and learn not just about food but also about the culture and immerse themselves and feel comfortable that they can have a really new experience and a wonderful time.  And they get very excited about learning again!”

The narration was inspired from his Scholarship of Teaching and Learning project, which Loughton completed Spring 2014 for the Master Teacher Program.  His project was a mixed method study, which drew a comparison between student opinions toward, and understanding of Japanese food, culture, and traditions prior to and following their short-term study abroad.  You can view his poster presentation below.  For a closer inspection of the poster, please click here to view the PDF.

Loughton Smith's poster of his MTP Year 3 poster

Loughton’s narration is organized according to his research questions:  “How does a study abroad experience affect student perceptions of food, culture, and traditions, different from their own?” In the first part, Loughton talks about his perceptions and his students’ perceptions of the food in Japan.  In the second part (4:22), he discusses his students encounters with the culture of the Japanese culinary classroom, including the field trip to the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo.  In the third part (8:47), he tells us about his students’ impressions of Japanese culture and traditions.  And at the end (12:41), Loughton describes his best takeaways from this rewarding experience.

If you are a Kirkwood faculty member who is interested in being a Study Abroad Leader like Loughton, please go the following link: http://www.kirkwood.edu/site/index.php?p=35478 for more information about the proper procedures, guidelines, and forms.

We at KCELT are always interested in how our faculty’s study abroad leadership experiences affected their outlook on pedagogy, intercultural communication, and issues of diversity and inclusion.  How has your study abroad leadership or service learning abroad affected you and your students?


Loughton Smith posing for an after-dinner photo with two of his students and their Japanese guideAbout Loughton Smith

Loughton Smith (on the left in photo) is the Bakery Chef Instructor for Hospitality at Kirkwood Community College.  A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Smith has taught baking and pastry with Kirkwood since 2011, and taught baking and culinary arts with Rend Lake College in Illinois from 2005 to 2011.  During the past decade, he has traveled to Hong Kong, mainland China, Finland, and Japan to study the cultural traditions of local cuisine.

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