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ERIC Number: EJ1000224
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-1559-5676
Perceptions of Principals, Teachers, and School Food, Health, and Nutrition Professionals Regarding the Sustainability and Utilization of School Food Gardens
Jaeschke, Elizabeth M.; Schumacher, Julie Raeder; Cullen, Robert W.; Wilson, Mardell A.
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v36 n2 Fall 2012
Purpose/Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of various school personnel who are key participants in child nutrition and wellness regarding the sustainability and use of school gardens. Methods: A convenience sample of staff from schools with school gardens across the United States was established, consisting of: principals; teachers; and school food, health, and nutrition professionals. Two surveys from previous studies were combined to align with the research questions. The survey included 19 items addressing topics such as: the effectiveness of school gardens; sustainability of the school garden program; items produced in the gardens; how items were used from the gardens; and the potential impact school gardens may or may not have on produce offerings in school lunches. Questions addressing demographics, school garden usage, and sustainability of the garden were developed and included. The final instrument was reviewed for content and construct validity, and distributed electronically. Results: Twenty-seven surveys were completed by representatives of the three various stakeholder groups. Of all the respondents, 55.6% (n=15) used garden produce in their cafeterias. Participants also reported that school gardens were used in core academic instruction for all grades, augmenting the pedagogy in math, science, nutrition, and environmental studies. The majority of schools had an interest in utilizing garden produce through a salad bar as a part of its meal program, although the findings revealed that most schools surveyed did not offer a salad bar. However, those who were more closely aligned with the daily operations of a school lunch program had a less enthusiastic response. Such individuals may have a more realistic perspective regarding the actual use and impact of school gardens in the meal program. Applications to Child Nutrition Professionals: The results of this study are applicable to child nutrition professionals as a foundation to promote various uses of school gardens while recognizing the perceived barriers that must be overcome to ensure their success. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A