Communications Project

Document Type:Master's Thesis
Name:Jane Meacham Plum
Degree:Master of Science
Department:Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise
Committee Chair: Ann A. Hertzler
Committee Members:Denise Brochetti
Daisy L. Stewart
Keywords:Nutrition education, Preschool, Assessment
Date of defense:June 2, 1997
Availability:Release the entire work for Virginia Tech access only.
After one year release worldwide only with written permission of the student and the advisory committee chair.


A game with food and nutrition related pictures was developed to provide an opportunity for a classroom teacher to interview preschool children for assessment of nutrition knowledge concepts. Specifically, knowledge of vegetable concepts which included identification of the food, the food group, the source, preparation methods and use by the body was measured. The assessment was administered to five groups of children (ages two and one-half to five years) in preschools and child care centers in Reston, VA by high school early childhood education students. The assessment was designed to meet current criteria that assessment be teacher administered, provide useful information to the teacher, reflect the typical activities of children in the classroom and be one of a variety of assessments used. The assessment was successfully administered by the high school students working as teacher aides. The assessment gave teachers useful information about each class and individual children which could be used in curriculum planning. The assessment fit into the usual classroom activities, in this case, a games and manipulatives learning center. The assessment provided more in-depth information about children's knowledge than multiple choice tests used in previous research on nutrition knowledge, because the teachers recorded children's responses to open-ended questions. Children's responses indicated elementary understanding of food and nutrition concepts suggesting that classroom teachers need to make greater use of the variety of nutrition education materials available.

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