Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Education, Montessori


The intent of this action research project was to determine if food studies programming has an effect on children’s participation levels in food preparation, procurement, and making dietary choices. The study was conducted during an eight week, grant-funded after-school pilot program focused on promoting active lifestyle choices and healthful eating habits. The study involved fourth and fifth grade children enrolled in a tuition free program sponsored by a local Park and Recreation department. Data was collected from both children enrolled in the program and their parents or guardians. Sources of data collection included surveys, participant artifacts, group discussions, and researcher observations. Results of the study showed that the children had a high interest in cooking and learning about where food comes from and various processing methods. The research also showed wide community support for food studies programming and an underlying concern about the health and diet of local youth. Based on the study’s findings, the researcher will continue to develop and refine food studies curricula and course offerings for youth in the same community in which the initial study was conducted.