Date of Award


Degree Type



Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

First Advisor

Harper, Brian

Subject Headings

School gardens -- Ohio -- Cleveland, Agricultural education -- Curricula -- Ohio -- Evaluation, Health education (Elementary) -- Curricula -- Ohio, Education, health education, agricultural education


This study intended to examine the impact of the gardening curriculum in an urban elementary school in Cleveland, Ohio. This yearlong gardening education program is introduced to the students in the 4th grade and incorporates a curriculum that includes gardening, nutrition, community service and experiential learning. With ample support from the community and from parents, this school provided the ideal setting to research the topic of how school gardening programs influence the students, their families and the community.The study used a series of questionnaires administered to the students in the fall of August 2013, early winter December 2013 and February 2014. The study sought to determine how studentś⁰₉ knowledge, behavior, attitudes and interest are influenced by this program. These administrations are to demonstrate the differences between the knowledge of nutrition before the pretest and after as well as retention of information about consuming vegetables after the curriculum. The gardening program is offered once per week and is part of the ten month curriculum. This program is offered in a greenhouse that is located onsite of the school grounds. Once per week, students leave their classrooms and walk to the greenhouse that is near the main school building. During class time, students are provided instruction for 20 minutes and for the remainder of the class period students do hands-on exercises. Depending on the weather, activities could entail being inside working on seedlings or outside working in the designated childreń⁰₉s garden. The variables being assessed are nutritional knowledge, attitudes about healthy eating, eating behavior and motivation interest in school and these variables have been taken from An Evaluation of the School Lunch Initiative (Pearson, Atkin, Biddle, Gorely, & Edwardson, 2010). This study will extend the literature on this field by examining the impact of a nutrition-based gardening education intervention in an urban setting. After exposu