Lessons Learned at Spring Brook Farm An Evaluation of the Farms For City Kids Program


Appendix C – Evaluation Instruments



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Appendix C – Evaluation Instruments


  1. Video interview guide




  1. Case study student pre-post survey




  1. Case study staff observation form




  1. Staff interview guide




  1. Teacher interview guide




  1. Teacher Survey




  1. Student Survey




  1. Teacher cover letter




  1. Passive consent form



Video Interview Guide


CONVERSATION BUILDING FORMAT

BASIC DISCUSSION METHOD*

What is this conversation about? What we learned at Spring Brook Farm and defining the value of this program to students.

At what occasion does it take place? During a filming of a student “debriefing” session.

What is the rational objective of this conversation? To create a “picture” of the experience of the Farms for City Kids Program so that non-participants can gain a clear understanding of how it operates and how it impacts children.

What is the experiential aim of this conversation? To create a situation in which student participants can share with enthusiasm and sincerity their experience at the Farms for City Kids Program and how it has affected their lives.

HINTS: When facilitating this conversation, it is not necessary to ask all of the questions below. You may ask more objective level questions and move through several very quickly. Then, as the conversation flows, ask fewer reflective and fewer still interpretive –allowing students time to really think through their responses. You may also want to allow students to “key off of” responses that others have made at the interpretive level. This process takes some practice to get a good flow and rhythm established, but will be successful, in any case, if you stay true to the progression. The decisional level requires fewer questions AND fewer responses.








OPENING: Good Afternoon, boys and girls. Today, we are going to talk about our experiences on the Farm. We want to share what we learned so that the people who watch this video will understand what The Farms for City Kids Program is. OK?


OBJECTIVE QUESTIONS

When did your class go to Vermont?

Was it a long trip?

What did you see when you first arrived?

What did you smell?

What animals were there?

How many cows?

Any calves? Heifers?

What’s a heifer?

Who did you meet?

Someone please describe the chores that you had to do?

Where did you sleep? What did you eat?

Etc.



REFLECTIVE QUESTIONS

What was the most fun part of your week at the Farm? What did you like the least?

What was the hardest part of being in this program? What do you think that you will remember forever?

How did you feel when you were on the Farm?

How does that compare to how you feel in other places, like school, or home?

What were some of your fears about going to the farm, and did you overcome those fears by the end of your week there?



INTERPRETIVE QUESTIONS

What do you think is the most important lesson that you learned on the Farm?


What did you learn about yourself? About your classmates and teachers?
Why is a program like Farms for City Kids important?
What is one thing that you do (or feel) differently since you have returned home from the Farm?


DECISIONAL QUESTIONS

What is something that you or your class can do now to continue using the new behaviors and knowledge that you learned on the Farm?


What would you tell a school principal if he or she wanted to know if this is a good program for his/her school?
If you had the opportunity to return to Spring Brook Farm next year, would you want to go back, and why?
If you had to describe your experience with Farms for City Kids in only one (or two words), what would that word be?





CLOSING: Thank you very much for sharing with us, today. I can see that you really learned a lot from your time with The Farms for City Kids. Your stories have really helped me to remember what I love about Spring Brook Farm.

* The Basic Discussion Method is a TOP (Technology of Participation) Trade Marked Method of The Institute of Cultural Affairs.




Case Study Student Pre-Post Survey











Case Study Staff Observation Form


Filling out this form will provide the evaluation team with your observations about impacts the farm program has on the students. Your contributions are very valuable!! Specific details, quotes from students, and complete sentences make this data much more useful for evaluation purposes. Please keep this form handy and add to it as often as is convenient for you during the week. Feel free to use the front and back of the paper, and add additional sheets if you need to. Please return this to Jen on Friday after the students have departed.
Your Name:
1. We are looking at whether the week at the farm has an effect on these five different areas of the students’ personal and social skills:


  • Self Esteem (feeling good about themselves)

  • Self Confidence (feeling capable of doing things)

  • Leadership

  • Cooperative Teamwork

  • Conflict Resolution

If you notice that a student seems to be having a success, making a change, feeling challenged, or having a breakthrough in one of these areas, please describe it. Use quotes from the students if you are able to remember them.


Example: Mark did not think he would make it to the top of the world. When we got there he said “I didn’t think I could make it, but now I know I am a good hiker.”

2. One of the goals for the students is that they learn about healthy choices while they are at the farm. This can include changing attitudes, behaviors, or knowledge about food, exercise, or any healthy activities. Please comment here on any observations you make about students’ healthy choices.

Example: At lunch today Jessica said she was going to drink milk instead of Pepsi when she got home.
3. We would also like to find out what impact the week at the farm has on students’ knowledge and attitudes about farming, farm animals, and the environment. Please use this page to record your observations about noteworthy student learning in these areas:


  • knowledge and attitudes about farming

  • knowledge and attitudes about farm animals

  • knowledge and attitudes about the environment


Example: I overheard these comments from students today:

“I used to think cows were dumb, but now I see they are pretty smart.”

“I never knew that farming was such hard work!”

“I’m not afraid of spiders anymore.”

Staff interview guide



Farms for City Kids

Staff Interview Guide

Spring Brook Farm

Interviewer: Andrew Powers, PEER Associates

Date: Monday, October 17, 2005

Group size: 2-3 Staff members

Estimated duration: 30 minutes

Taped/Transcribed


Introduction

  • Who I am, what am I doing, etc.

  • Confidentiality, no names used in any reporting

  • Evaluating the program, not the staff themselves, trying to make this the best program it can be, and as staff they are in a unique position to observe the effects on students.


Conversation Starter

  1. Based on your personal observations and experiences on the Farm, what do you think are the most significant ways that students change from their experiences here? Why?




Personal Growth


  1. We are investigating how a visit to the farm impacts the students’ personal and social skills. I’ll go through a list of these items and ask if you think these aspects of the students are affected by their experience here. Please give specific examples or anecdotes that come to mind.




    • Self-Esteem (feeling good about themselves)

    • Self-Confidence (feeling capable of doing things)

    • Leadership

    • Cooperative Teamwork

    • Conflict Resolution


Healthy Choices


  1. We’d like to find out if spending the week at Spring Brook Farm affects students’ relationship with food. Specifically, we are looking for changes in knowledge, attitude, or behavior about food and eating?




    • Do you think the students gain new knowledge or awareness about food while here?

    • Do you think their attitudes toward food change?

    • Finally, do you think that the knowledge and attitudes lead to any changes in their behavior?



  1. In a similar way to the previous question, we’d like to find out if spending the week at Spring Brook Farm affects students’ knowledge, attitude, or behavior about exercise and physical activity?




    • Do you think the students gain new knowledge or awareness about exercise and physical activity?

    • Do you think their attitudes toward physical activity change?

    • Finally, do you think that the knowledge and attitudes lead to any changes in their behavior?


  1. Other than food and exercise, do you think that students learn about other healthy choices while here at the farm?



Farming/Work


  1. Do you see students’ knowledge of and attitudes about farm animals changing? How so?




  1. More generally speaking, do you see students’ knowledge of and attitudes about farming changing?




  1. There seem to be a lot of stories about how students’ attitudes about hard work changes. Do you see that, and why do you think they change? Are they changes for the better or for the worse?


Environment


  1. The final area I’d like to ask about is changes to students’ knowledge of and attitudes about the environment. What do you think are the main things students learn about the environment while they are here? Do you think their attitudes change?



Teacher Interview Guide


Farms for City Kids

Teacher Interview Guide

Spring Brook Farm

Interviewer: Andrew Powers, PEER Associates

Date: Thursday, October 20, 2005

Group size: 2 Teachers

Estimated duration: 45 Minutes

Taped/Transcribed


Introduction


  • Who I am, what am I doing, etc.

  • Confidentiality, no names used in any reporting

  • Evaluating the program, not the staff or the students themselves, trying to make this the best program it can be, and as teachers they are in a unique position to observe the effects on students.


Conversation Starter

  1. Based on your personal observations and experiences on the Farm this week and in previous visits, what do you think are the most significant ways that students change from their experiences here? Why?



Personal Growth


  1. We are investigating how a visit to the farm impacts the students’ personal and social skills. I’ll go through a list of these items and ask if you have seen changes in these areas in your students. Please give specific examples or anecdotes that come to mind.




    • Self-Esteem (feeling good about themselves)

    • Self-Confidence (feeling capable of doing things)

    • Leadership

    • Cooperative Teamwork

    • Conflict Resolution



Healthy Choices


  1. We’d like to find out if spending the week at Spring Brook Farm affected your students’ relationship with food. Specifically, we are looking for changes in knowledge, attitude, or behavior about food and eating?

    • Do you think the students gained new knowledge or awareness about food while here?

    • Do you think their attitudes toward food changed?

    • Finally, do you think that the knowledge and attitudes led or could lead to any changes in their behavior?


  1. In a similar way to the previous question, we’d like to find out if spending the week at Spring Brook Farm affects students’ knowledge, attitude, or behavior about exercise and physical activity?




    • Do you think the students gained new knowledge or awareness about exercise and physical activity?

    • Do you think their attitudes toward physical activity changed?

    • Finally, do you think that the knowledge and attitudes led or could lead to any changes in their behavior?



  1. Other than food and exercise, do you think that your students learned about other healthy choices while here at the farm?



Farming/Work


  1. How do you see students’ knowledge of and attitudes about farm animals changing?




  1. More generally speaking, do you see students’ knowledge of and attitudes about farming changing?




  1. I have already heard a lot of stories about how students’ attitudes about hard work change. Do you see that, and why do you think they change?


Environment


  1. The final area I’d like to ask about is changes to students’ knowledge of and attitudes about the environment. What do you think are the main things students learn about the environment while they are here? Do you think their attitudes change?



Classmate/Teacher Relations


  1. Do you think that how your students get along and interact with each other has changed at all from being here together?




  1. Do you think that how your students interact with you has changed at all from being here together?

Teacher Survey







Student Survey




Teacher Cover Letter



Passive consent form




1 A logic model is “map” of a program’s theory of change. It articulates the program’s hypothesis, and demonstrates which inputs and activities are used to achieve a series of outcomes. It helps a program identify key areas of strength and weakness, and can help to isolate the most suitable areas for focusing evaluation activities.

2 A logic model is “map” of a program’s theory of change. It articulates the program’s hypothesis, and demonstrates which inputs and activities are used to achieve a series of outcomes. It helps a program identify key areas of strength and weakness, and can help to isolate the most suitable areas for focusing evaluation activities.

3 This report is only intended to comment on findings from surveys conducted with teachers and students, and does not make claims about those findings in connection to the literature on school climate and pro-social behaviors (such as academic achievement, dropout rate, school crime, etc.) There is ample literature, however, that demonstrates connections between these broader conditions and behaviors and the survey findings. It may be warranted to structure future research and evaluation efforts around better understanding the significance of farm outcomes with respect to these important items.


4 It should be noted when offering and implementing follow-up activities that not all the students in any given classroom are able to go to the farm. It would be important to find ways to include those students in meaningful ways in any farm-related activities back in the classroom.

5 As a starting point, the “Program Support Research” document produced for the Farms for City Kids capital campaign references a number of similar articles.


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