Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Education and Studies

First Advisor

Michael S. Retallick



A review of literature revealed a lack of research related to teacher involvement in school gardens. This research study provides more information to build on the body of knowledge pertaining to school gardens and more specifically the teacher involvement. The research study took place at Gifft Hill School, a private school, on St. John, USVI. The purpose of the study was to determine the extent to which two of the Education and Resiliency Through Horticulture (EARTH) program goals are being met from the perspective of the teachers directly involved with the program. The specific objectives of the study were:

* Determine the extent to which the school curriculum has been integrated to include horticulture and place-based environmental science;

* Identify how the outdoor classroom has been utilized by the teachers and students; and

* Identify possible program modifications that could help the teachers carry out their part of the EARTH program more successfully.

The main data collection method of this qualitative research study was face-to-face interviews with the teachers of Gifft Hill School involved with the EARTH program. The involvement and extent to which the goals of the EARTH program are being met vary widely by subject taught and the teacher. Some reduced involvement was due to lack of time while others use the EARTH program to drive their classroom learning and activities. Unforeseen benefits are also emerging as the program becomes a staple to the GHS school community. There is room for improvement to use the outdoor classroom by the teachers outside of the scheduled EARTH classes. Beyond that time, it is used minimally by the teachers. The teachers provided recommendations that could improve their involvement with the program as well as other general recommendations for the program.


Copyright Owner

Sara Jane Goemaat



File Format


File Size

80 pages