Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Mary Anne Bunda

Second Advisor

Dr. Carol F. Sheffer

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Stoline

Fourth Advisor

Dr. James Sanders


The question as to the appropriateness of using materials developed by industry in the nation's classrooms has been raised by educators for many years. Some educators have urged that the use of these sponsored materials be banned totally as teaching tools in the schools; others have indicated that these sponsored materials provide an excellent alternative to textbooks, and are often more current than textbooks when the content is controversial or the subject is one for which new information is often available.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the quality of selected supplemental, printed nutrition education materials developed by three identified producer units for use in the classroom. These three producer units were: (a) food industry, (b) food industry association, and (c) government agencies.

Information was also provided from which discrepancies between rater types could be identified. The perspectives and functions of raters, representative of various educational occupations, were recognized as potentially different in their ratings of the same materials. Thus, in this study the group of educators making the judgment of the quality of nutrition materials were of three types: (a) classroom teacher, (b) curriculum specialist, and (c) nutrition specialist.

To conduct this comparative analysis of nutrition materials sponsored by food industry, food industry associations, and government agencies, an instrument was developed which contained the designated evaluative criteria to measure the quality of the materials for two variables: format and content.

Representatives of the three producer units were identified as the major producers of free and/or inexpensive nutrition education materials published for use in the nation's classrooms. Four materials, each representing one of the four food groups, were randomly selected for rater review for both the food industry and food industry association. Two materials were randomly selected from the two government agencies most recognized for their production of nutrition materials used in the classroom. These materials were not representative of one particular food group per se, but of general nutrition itself. The independent variable, raters, were selected from three categories of professional occupations. Thirty raters were selected from each professional occupation, for a total of 90 raters, in this analysis.

There were two major hypotheses identified for investigation. These two hypotheses were stated in null form, and indicated that there would be no difference in overall format and general content qualities for the three producer units of materials and there would be no difference in the ratings assigned to the three producers of materials by the three rater types. A one-way analysis of variance was selected as the statistical procedure to identify if there were differences in the producer categories or rater types for material analysis.

It was not possible to reject the null hypotheses in this study. This failure to reject the null hypotheses limited the impact of the study, and prohibited making recommendations as to the appropriateness of using industry, industry association, and government sponsored sources of printed nutrition education materials in the classroom. The wide variance of ratings of materials within each of the producer categories indicated that the quality of materials varied substantially from each of the producer units.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access