Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Home Economics Education


Home Economics Education

First Advisor

Laurie Mackenzie


A comparison of Cranston High School East food and nutrition students was conducted to determine if achievement varied as a result of cross-age teaching.

The initial sample for this study was obtained by a random selection of sixty of the approximately one hundred twenty-five foods and nutrition students at Cranston High School East. The participants (students) were then further divided into four groups of approximately fifteen students. 'IWo of the four groups were randomly selected to be the control and two groups were selected to "Be the experimental groups.

At the beginning of the study, both the experimental and control groups were administered a pretest prepared by the researcher. The pretest was used as an indicator to determine if there were any initial differences in background knowledge of the new unit to be taught.

The unit, "Preparing Nutritious :Meals During Various Stages of the Life Cycle," consisting of twelve twenty-five minute lessons was taught of all groups of students. Although students were told they were participating in an educational experiment to control for the ''Hawthorne Effect",the experimental group was aware they were going to teach the subject matter to either a group of senior citizens or elementary school children. Participants in the experimental group were provided with two class periods to plan and finalize their lessons and visuals and two class periods to teach while the control group received review instructions during these four class periods. Frequently used review methods for the control group included nutritional games, discussions, written computation, oral presentation, debates, and audio-visual aids.

An objective post-test on food and nutrition developed by the researcher was used as the indicator of achievement . The post-test was reviewed and revised for content validity by two Cranston High School East food and nutrition teachers, two home economics education associate professors at the University of Rhode Island, and one nutritionist from the Food and Nutritional Science Department .

Using the two-tailed t-test for independent samples, the mean obtained by the experimental and control groups were sufficiently different to reject the null hypothesis at the .01 level of significance. The Kuder-Richardson Rationale Equivalence Test for the post test indicated a reliability of .83.

This study provided evidence that high school students who have the opportunity to teach food and nutrition to others will learn more about nutrition information than students who have been taught by the traditional teaching techniques.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.