Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

P. Bruce Uhrmacher, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Nicholas Cutforth

Third Advisor

Paul Michalec

Fourth Advisor

Sarah Pessin


Care in schools, Edible garden, Empowerment, Garden education, School farm, School garden


Through this qualitative study, I want to add to the theoretical conversation about garden and farm education in schools and offer a starting point for a conversation surrounding care and gardening/farming in schools. The purpose of this study is to understand how teachers and students demonstrate care while implementing a garden and farm curriculum. Data collection included 15 participant interviews from students, staff, administrators, and school officials from a large public school district implementing garden and farm education lessons and observations of educators, farmers, and farm interns interacting with and instructing students in a weeklong Farm Camp environment. I utilized Educational Connoisseurship and Criticism to guide my research and to provide a rich description of the nature of caring practices of the participants. I aimed to interpret and evaluate teaching practices utilized at the school site to understand what the intentions and practices of garden and farm educators have to offer public education as a whole and how such efforts create an ethic of care for students. The research findings serve to inform teachers and administrators about the opportunities for teaching an ethic of care through gardening and farming, and the findings resulted in the following themes: (1) student empowerment leading to better long-term health; (2) instilling a legacy of sustainability and a development of an appreciation for healthy foods; (3) a reconnection with the natural world through hands-on, outdoor activities in the garden or on the farm; and (4) care for self, family, community, plants, animals, and the Earth.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Shannon C. McQueen

File size

355 p.

File format





Education, Agriculture education, Nutrition