Stacie Bruns

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Nutrition, Food Science, and Hospitality


The objective of this research was to explore the value of providing curriculum versus curriculum and training to improve nutrition education by South Dakota elementary school teachers. According to a recent state survey, elementary school teachers felt uncomfortable teaching nutrition because they lacked time, knowledge, and an age-appropriate curriculum. For this study, all South Dakota elementary school teachers who agreed to use an integrated nutrition curriculum were offered a 15-hour nutrition course and up to $200 for educational materials. Forty-two teachers received the curriculum and were to teach prior to training; 13 followed the teaching-training protocol (Group A). Eighty-one teachers signed up to receive the curriculum at training; 34 followed the training-teaching protocol (Group B). A random control group (Group C, n=28) served as a comparison. Initially, no difference in knowledge scores were found between Group A, B, and C teachers. Following training Groups A and B showed improvement in knowledge scores (p < .001). Forty-two teachers (Groups A and B) felt that training was beneficial. In contrast to Group A teachers who did not change their teaching behaviors, Group B teachers changed many behaviors from pre to post survey; Group B teachers coordinated more meetings with other teachers (p < .05), sent home recipes with students (p < .05), and worked more closely with their school foodservice personnel (p < .05). Providing a curriculum with training appeared to be more beneficial than providing a curriculum first.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Nutrition -- Study and teaching -- South Dakota Elementary school teachers -- Training of -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University