Term of Award

2001

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 1

Brian Griffin

Committee Member 2

Charles Hardy

Committee Member 3

Catherine Wooddy

Abstract

This study was conducted to provide information regarding Georgia school nutrition directors, elementary principals, and high school principals' perceptions of the school nutrition program. A self-designed survey was sent to 456 Georgia school nutrition directors, elementary principals, and high school principals. The researcher requested participants to respond to a Likert-scaled statement: good nutrition improves student learning and three open-ended questions relating to perceived strengths and weaknesses and criteria used to judge the program.

From these results, it would appear Georgia school nutrition directors, elementary, and high school principals perceive there is a link between nutrition and learning. School nutrition directors perceive this link more often than elementary and high school principals. Elementary principals perceive this link more frequently than high school principals.

Elementary and high school principals had very similar perceptions of the strengths and weaknesses of the school nutrition program except in the area of nutrition as a strength. Ninety-two percent of the elementary principals regarded nutrition as a program strength. School nutrition directors (83%) and high school principals (78%) were closer in perceptions of nutrition as a program strength. All three occupations had similar perceptions of personnel as a strength.

School nutrition directors mentioned more strengths and weaknesses than did principals. School nutrition directors have more knowledge of the program and therefore have a better understanding of these strengths and weaknesses.

All three occupations had significantly different perceptions of the strengths and weaknesses ofthe school nutrition program. High school principals were significantly different in their perceptions of the link between nutrition and learning from school nutrition directors.

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