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Engaging and Maintaining a School Garden with a Garden Committee

West, Juli (2022) Engaging and Maintaining a School Garden with a Garden Committee. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Engagement with the school garden at Clayton Academy is low among staff and students. School gardens give students the chance to receive hands on learning experiences outside of the classroom and have also been used to support students’ social, emotional, and physical health. The problem of practice is the lack of garden use/engagement among staff and students with the school garden. Clayton Academy is part of the Pittsburgh Public School District located on the Northside of Pittsburgh and comprised of students in grades 6-12, with approximately 40-50 total students and 30 staff members. To address the lack of staff and student engagement with the school garden at Clayton Academy and ongoing challenges with sustainability, responsibility, and maintenance I formed a garden committee comprised of four teachers and one social worker that designed lesson plans to use across various curriculums and developed a schedule to maintain the school garden at Clayton Academy. My primary inquiry questions were: (1) how often and in what ways do teacher teachers and students engage in school garden, (2) how and to what extent does the garden committee develop and disseminate garden-themed curriculum for classroom lesson plans and activities, and (3) how and to what extent does the garden committee complete and coordinate efforts to maintain school garden? Measures included staff survey, garden committee meeting questions and notes, lesson plans, and a garden maintenance schedule. To analyze the data, I compared the number of teachers who used the garden in pre/post survey, coded qualitative responses for themes, and analyzed notes taken during monthly garden committee meetings as well as counted the lessons created/modified. The analysis shows the creation of a school garden committee had a positive impact on staff and students school garden engagement.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
West, Julijaw309@pitt.edujaw309
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairAnderson, Eleanoreand@pitt.edueand
Committee CoChairRoss, Sharonseross@pitt.eduseross
Committee MemberEffiong,
Date: 5 July 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 6 May 2022
Approval Date: 5 July 2022
Submission Date: 13 June 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 77
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Health and Physical Activity
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: garden, engagement, maintenance, garden committee
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2022 14:08
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2022 14:08


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