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Staff Food-Related Behaviors and Children’s Tastes of Food Groups during Lunch at Child Care in Oklahoma

Katherine Anundson, Susan B. Sisson, Michael Anderson, Diane Horm, Jill Soto and Leah Hoffman

ABSTRACT Background Young children should consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods to support growth, while limiting added fat and sugar. A majority of children between the ages of 3 and 5 years attend child care in the United States, which makes this environment and the child-care staff influential at meals. Objective The aim was to determine the association between best-practice foodrelated behaviors and young children’s tastes of fruit, vegetable, low-fat dairy, and highfat/high-sugar foods at child care. Design This was a cross-sectional study. Participants A community-based study with 201 children ages 3 to 5 years from 25 early care and education centers, including 11 tribally affiliated centers and two Head Start programs across Oklahoma. Data collection occurred from fall 2011 to spring 2014. Main outcome measures Classroom observations used the Environmental Policy Assessment Observation tool to measure the staff behaviors and environment. Staff behavior was compared at three different levels: the composite score of staff nutrition behavior, each constituent staff behavior, and staff behaviors grouped into broader feeding behaviors. Tasted food was measured through the Dietary Observation in Child Care method. The children’s meals were categorized into the following food groups: fruit, vegetable, low-fat dairy, fried vegetable, fried meat, high-fat meat, and high-fat/ high-sugar food. Statistical analysis performed Descriptive statistics were calculated for relevant variables. Relationships between the constituent staff behaviors and food groups that children tasted were compared using multilevel mixed-model analysis. Results The mean number of tasted fruit or vegetable items was higher and the mean number of tasted high-fat/high-sugar food items was lower when staff: 1) determined fullness before plate removal when less than half of food was eaten, 2) ate with the children, 3) and talked about healthy food. Conclusions The utilization of the three staff behaviors and their association with higher mean tastes of nutrient-dense items and lower mean tastes of high-fat/highsugar food items among exposed children demonstrated support for the use of the best practices in early care and education centers. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2018;118(8):1399-1407.


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Parental Involvement Initiatives; An Analysis

Daniel Hamlin and Joseph Flessa

Abstract Educational policies have increasingly promoted parental involvement as a mechanism for improving student outcomes. Few jurisdictions have provided funding for this priority. In Ontario, Canada, the province’s Parents Reaching Out Grants program allows parents to apply for funding for a parental involvement initiative that addresses a local barrier to parent participation. This study categorizes initiatives (N = 11,171) amounting to approximately 10 million dollars (Can$) in funding from 2009 to 2014 and compares them across school settings. Although results show several key contextual differences, parents across settings identify relatively similar needs for enabling parental involvement, emphasizing parenting approaches for supporting well-being (e.g., nutrition, mental health, and technology use) and skills for home-based learning. However, Epstein’s widely used parental involvement typology conceals these prominent aspects of parental involvement. A modified model of parental involvement is presented that may serve as a guide for enhancing parent participation.

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Relations of Early Childhood Education Teachers’ Depressive Symptoms, Job-Related Stress, and Professional Motivation to Beliefs About Children and Teaching Practices

Hyun-Joo Jeon, Kyong-Ah Kwon, Bridget Walsh, Melissa M. Burnham and YunJung Choi

ABSTRACT Research Findings: This study used teacher questionnaires to investigate the relationships of early childhood education teachers’ depressive symptoms, professional motivation, and job-related stress to their beliefs about children and teaching practices. Teachers (N = 207) were recruited from early childhood education programs in the southern United States. Path analyses showed that teachers who exhibited fewer depressive symptoms were more likely to have a career orientation to their jobs and indicated feeling less job-related stress. Teachers with a career orientation to their jobs were also more likely to have child-centered beliefs and endorse developmentally appropriate teaching practices. Teachers’ job-related stress, however, was not related to beliefs about children or teaching practices. Practice or Policy: These results suggest that teachers’ psychological and job-related well-being are linked to their beliefs about children and teaching practice in early childhood education. It is therefore important to provide support systems and preventive programs for teachers to enhance their well-being.

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Igniting Students’ Inner Determination: the role of a need-supportive climate

Curt Adams and Jam Khojasteh


Purpose – Self-determination theory was used to conceptualize a type of school climate that has

consequences for the social, emotional and cognitive well-being of students. The purpose of this paper is to argue that a need-supportive climate emerges through a general pattern of interactions that students experience as supporting their psychological needs. Design/methodology/approach – A hypothesized model was tested whereby the latent need-supportive climate variable was predicted to work through identification with school to influence student grit. Ex post facto data were collected during the 2015–2016 school year from a random sample of students in either the

5th, 8th, or 11th grades in 71 schools located in a southwestern city in the USA. A total of 3,233 students

received surveys. Of these students, the authors received useable responses from 2,587 students for a

response rate of 80 percent. Findings – Findings support the hypothesis that autonomy-support, competence-support, and relational support are integrated and combine to shape experiences that align with student psychological needs. Additionally, students who experienced a need-supportive climate were also more likely to identify with school and expressed higher grit toward academic pursuits.

Originality/value – A need-supportive climate adds meaning to more general characterizations of school

life (e.g. healthy, supportive, open, etc.) and it affords a theoretically derived explanation for how the social side of schools nurtures the inner determination of students to excel. Keywords Self-determination theory, School climate, Need-supportive climate, Student determination

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Service-Learning + Social Justice = Justice-Learning

Vickie E. Lake and Loreen Kelly

ABSTRACT In this chapter we discuss how service-learning provides a good foundation and understanding for all students and lays the groundwork for them to move into service learning projects that specifically focus on social justice issues for justice-learning. As there are scant resources for how to intergrade social justice issue into preservice teachers’ service learning experiences, we propose two models. The first model, Cascading Service-Learning to Justice-Learning, provides the sequence teacher educators might take when beginning to implement service-learning and/or justice learning with preservice teaching. The second model, Service-Learning + Social Justice = Justice-Learning, examines at what grade level the changes from pure service-learning to justice-learning would occur, and what they would look like at each level.

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The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education is proud to announce the creation of an informational app for the college, now available for download in the App Store (Apple) and Google Play (Android).

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Apple Distinguished Program logo

The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education has been named an Apple Distinguished Program for 2015-17.

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