Teaching Core Subjects and Traditional Food Knowledge Through Farm-to-School (F2S) Curriculum: The Usability and Cultural Relevance of Garden Lessons Serving Diné Youth at an Off-Grid Charter School in Leupp, Arizona
Farm-To-School (F2S) Education
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe urgency for culturally relevant, decolonizing, and Indigenizing farm-to-school (F2S) educational offerings is prevalent in a Western-dominated educational system in the United States. This participant-oriented curriculum evaluation case study aimed to determine how primary school teachers at a primarily Diné (Navajo) serving charter school may incorporate and utilize the Service to All Relations (STAR) School Garden Lessons (SSGL) into their existing core subject curriculum and in teaching Diné culture, language, and traditions. The purpose of this study was to determine how elementary teachers at a Diné serving charter school may utilize and incorporate the SSGL into their existing curricula offerings teaching core subjects (i.e. Mathematics, Science, Diné/English Language, English Language Arts, and/or Social Studies) and Diné culture, traditions, and language around traditional foods. This qualitative case study aimed to gather teachers’ insights via an online survey instrument and optional follow-up interview(s) about the useability and cultural relevance of current F2S curriculum offerings via the SSGL. STAR school classroom teachers' beliefs and perceptions of current F2S curriculum offerings at the STAR school were collected to provide community-centered support and recommendations to enhance the usability of pre-existing SSGL offerings. Furthermore, the goal of this curriculum evaluation case study was to identify ways to improve F2S curriculum useability in teaching core subjects and to improve cultural relevance of SSGLs for teachers’ use in the classroom. The findings of this study were significant in identifying six (6) classroom teacher’s ideas for integration of core subjects and Diné culture, tradition, and language into SSGL, need for continuing cultural-competency training among non-Diné educators, and further work needed in decolonizing and Indigenizing current SSGL curriculum offerings. Future participant-led qualitative studies are recommended to help provide school administrators with more diverse feedback and insights from teachers on delivering culturally relevant F2S curriculum.
Degree ProgramGraduate College