Elicitation of Teacher Beliefs Related to School Garden Experiences
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology
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This elicitation study focused on teacher beliefs about the school garden and how that relates to school garden experiences. The Extended Technology Acceptance Model (Venkatesh & Davis, 2000) was used as a theoretical model through which the survey was designed, and the findings were discussed. The Extended Technology Acceptance Model (TAM2) was created to better understand the adoption and usage of new technology. In this study, school gardens take the place of the new technology, and the survey was created to better understand the seven variables (experience, subjective norm, image, job relevance, output quality, result demonstrability, and voluntariness) that influence the perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of the garden which the TAM2 states influence usage. Ninety-nine teachers in the United States with current access to a school garden or who had access to a school garden within the last five years participated in the open-ended survey. The responses suggest that the participants perceive the garden to be useful in instruction and positively affect their ability as a teacher. The perceived ease of use was positive as well, however, there are barriers that were mentioned in the responses, such as lack of time, lack of funds, and lack of training. There was no correlation shown between the perceived usefulness and the actual use of the school garden. Respondents mentioned the use of the garden in specific classes, the use of the garden by one assigned person (such as a science lab teacher or farmer), and weather or a short growing season as reasons for lack of school garden usage time. Responses in this study cannot be generalized but may inform future research.