Predicting teacher likelihood to use school gardens
Kincy, Natalie Louise
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The purpose of this study was to predict elementary teachers’ likelihood to use school gardens in their curriculum at Colbert Elementary in Madison County, Georgia. A quantitative survey, built around the theory of planned behavior, was used to investigate teachers’ attitudes, school norms, perceived behavioral control, and intent in both current and ideal situations toward using gardens in their curriculum. Gardening in teachers’ personal time was found to be a significant predicting factor that correlated with many components of the theory of planned behavior. Teachers who had previous experience with gardens had greater overall intent to use gardens over those who did not have any previous experience, aligning with suggestions from previous research. With positive school norms and teachers who garden in their personal time, 77% of teachers’ current intent to use school gardens was explained. It is suggested that schools that wish to have a school gardening program utilize teachers who farm or garden in their personal time as mentors to other teachers, and promote positive norms and attitudes towards the use of gardens in the curriculum.