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Global Kitchen Project: Learning Nutrition Education from the World and Promoting Global Education Among Children

Global Kitchen Project: Learning Nutrition Education from the World and Promoting Global Education Among Children

Your Name and Title: Altagracia Petela, Brianne Mahoney, Melda N. Yildiz (Faculty), Research Team

School, Library, or Organization Name: Kean University

Co-Presenter Name(s): Altagracia Petela, Brianne Mahoney, Bridget Lepore

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: New Jersey, USA

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s):  K12 Teachers, Teacher Educators, Media Specialists, Librarians and Higher Ed Faculty

Short Session Description (one line):

Situated within the context of teaching and learning, this presentation advocates an interdisciplinary project based curriculum revolving around global nutrition as a means to promote healthy eating behaviors in young children while developing global competencies and 21st Century skills. 

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

The goals of the Global Kitchen Project are to: 1) work with in-service teachers, health educators elementary school students; 2) promote health education, global literacy, collaboration fluency and 21st century skills among in-service and preservice teachers; 3) study the role of project based “Global Kitchen Project” activities in developing healthy eating habits and 21st century skills among elementary students; 4) explore the use of new technologies (Ipads) in developing global media literacy skills among in-service teachers; and 5) collaborate with the in-service teachers’ international collaborations, self and peer assessment rubrics, feedback and reactions and their integration of global media literacies and social media technologies into their classroom projects.


Situated within the context of teaching and learning, this project aims to advance scientific knowledge of how an interdisciplinary project based global education revolving around nutrition as a means to promote healthy eating behaviors in young children can provide an experiential global literacy and health education for both the pre and in-service teachers and engages undergraduate students in project-based activities to enhance their research skills and global competencies needed to succeed in the 21st century.


The main goal of this interdisciplinary project is to develop a research based global nutrition education that promotes healthy eating habits among elementary school children in elementary schools. By collaborating with our undergraduate students in this project, we integrated 21st century skills and global literacies through project based learning activities in elementary classroom while working with in-service teachers. Undergraduate students in

the project not only collected and analyzed data but also advance their own learning and contribute new understanding to the scientific global community.


By the end of June 2012, we have completed the first phase of the study. Our modules are designed using UDL lesson plan- tool and presented in four sessions.

• Media Literacy activities: We deconstructed TV ads, magazine ads and food commercials, Nutrition Facts on food boxes and containers using my plate- Students used an App called to check the bar codes of food items to check their nutritional value.


• What is in my lunch box? We used several nutrition apps for calculation of the nutritional value of foods in our lunch boxes and compared ours with children around the world about what they eat for lunch. We used to share pictures of our lunch boxes and talked about different foods chooses around the US and the world. We used the book Hungry Planet. Students found out that American diet is based on more processed and fast food as opposed to developing countries where people eat more grains and vegetables. It was sad to report that more than 80% of the lunches contained low nutritional value. E.g. chips and soda was a common lunch box item for many children.


• Myth and Misconception in Nutrition- Digital Storytelling Multilingual Multimedia Project: Students researched and created public service announcements (podcast) to educate their friends and family about global health issues using Ipads and flip camera.


Perspective(s) or theoretical framework


In this project, we address a public health issue among young children in the nation by offering the “global tools” (e.g., media literacy, multiple perspective) for teachers to better educate these children about the importance of practicing healthy eating behaviors.

Childhood obesity has become an epidemic in the United States. Obesity is defined, according to the 2000 Center for Disease Control growth reference for the United States, as the body mass index (BMI), or a person's weight divided by height (Ogden et al., 2002). An obese person falls at or above the 95th percentile of BMI-for-age (Kuczmarski & Flegal, 2000). The national statistics of children who are obese are alarming.


According to Stop Childhood Obesity (http://www.stop-childhoodobesity. com/childhood-obesity-statistics.html), over the past three decades, the childhood obesity rate has skyrocketed: “more than doubled for preschool children aged 2-5 years and adolescents aged 12-19 years, and it has more than tripled for children aged 6-11 years.” Of all the

age groups, the most prevalent are children ages 6-11, with the percentage of them being obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.).


The consequences of obesity are serious, including persistent overweight into adulthood with adult health complications, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke (Guo & Chumelea, 1999; Freedman et al., 2005; Freedman, Khan, Dietz, Sirnivasan, & Berenson, 2001; Freedman, Wang, Thornton, et al., 2009). Furthermore, obesity has been reported to account for over 300, 000 deaths annually in the United States. While obesity is a health issue for individuals, it is also a problem to society. Stop Childhood Obesity noted that obesity costs society annually an estimated nearly $100 billion. As a child’s health is related to his or her school performance, healthy eating may contribute to his or her academic success (CDC, 2010, Hoyland, Dye, Lawton, 2009; Rampersaud, Pereira, Girard, Adams, Metzl, 2005; Taras, 2005). For school-age children, schools become an important place where children

acquire knowledge about healthy eating behaviors so that they can practice them in their lives.


Schools can create environments that promote and support children’s efforts to eat healthy by implementing pertinent policies and practices (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.). With the support of the school administrators, teachers can provide opportunities for children to learn about, understand, and practice these healthy eating behaviors in the classroom so that prevention and intervention efforts can be successful. By offering workshops to teachers in elementary students (as obesity in children in these grades is prevalent), this project aims to help them acquire the knowledge and skills needed to properly educate children about healthy eating behaviors and engage them in activities to demonstrate these behaviors. The workshop will include the Obesity Epidemic video from the Center for Disease

Control and Prevention and literature about obesity and prevention efforts as well as other global means (e.g., media literacy skills, multiple perspective).


The focus of this project include: identifying the kinds of interactive innovative interdisciplinary practices and activities that promote global education, 21st century skills and nutrition education among elementary school children; and conducting instruction to children ages 7-11 in two classrooms in elementary school while providing research skills for our undergraduate students. It is important to study elementary school children on health education because of the diet quality of children decreases at they get into adolescences years (Child Stats, 2011): “Poor eating patterns in childhood are major contributors to childhood obesity and contribute to chronic diseases starting in childhood, such as type 2 diabetes.”


Thus, this project is important because it focuses on children in their early ages by documenting their experiences and interactions during the interdisciplinary Global Nutrition activities, and intends to capture the role of 21st century skills in education, but also examines the health aspects of children in global education context by collaborating with children around the world using social networking tools (e.g. Skype) and how the quality of such interdisciplinary interactions promote elementary children’s education. We selected children in the elementary schools because statistics indicate that more children in this age group are obese (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.).


This interdisciplinary project transformed the way we integrated global competencies in the 21st century while conducting project on project-based learning activities focusing on nutrition. The Universal Design Learning (UDL) modules were designed using re- constructivist theory (Freire, 2002) focusing on global competencies and critical autonomy (Masterman, 1985/2001) and promoted action among elementary students who conducted research using Ipads and co-constructed meaningful nutrition projects in the form of podcasts and digital stories. The project not only provided a creative platform and educational resources for our teacher candidates, but also developed innovative ways of teaching and learning in the schools using new technologies.


The project was conducted in low-income urban elementary school settings among 2nd and 3rd graders. In-service and preservice teachers co-designed interdisciplinary Global Kitchen Project promoting healthy eating among elementary students though project based learning activities while re-learning and re-designing their curriculum using 21st century skills.


We will share the voices of teacher candidates and the classroom teachers who are committed to their profession and stories and projects of their elementary students who successfully completed their Global Kitchen Project. Throughout the project, they collaborated in each step and shared their passion for being life long learners. The presentation outlines their experiences and showcases their students’ projects teaching healthy eating habits to their students while developing 21st century skills and global competencies.

In elementary classrooms, teachers and teacher candidates worked on innovative tools such as educational apps (Ipads) focusing on health, global education and technology. Each student was given an Ipad to explore apps, research nutrition information, watch video clips on nutrition and create a public service announcement. We designed and developed innovative strategies and curricula for improving student outcomes in global education focusing on healthy eating habits and model. Through the project based learning activities, students gained global point of view on eating habits and renewed interest and commitment to multiculturalism and global education.


This interdisciplinary project provides creative strategies integrating 21st century tools into the curriculum while making global connections; describes teachers' discoveries and experiences with new technologies; showcases their global education projects. It is designed for teacher educators and K12 teachers who would like to integrate global education, 21st Century skills and health education. We used three theoretical framework; media literacy, global education, and 21st Century Teaching Skills (

This project has an experiential and exploratory look at making global connections through the lens of health education using 21st century tools. We interviewed and collaborated 2 health educators and 4 in-service teachers for needs assessment in elementary classroom and designed project based learning activities.


Two undergraduate students who are teacher candidates received a grant to be part of the project. The project was conducted in two elementary schools in four classrooms investigated over sixty-five elementary students and four in-service teachers. The interdisciplinary project based activities was self and peer assessed in collaboration with in-service teachers. State standards as well as common core standards and international technology standards

( and frameworks were used for the Global Kitchen Project.


Some of the questions we explored:

· AUDIENCE-What are the participants’ personal experiences in new technologies? How can educators prepare students for 21st century skills, the symbol-rich and global culture in which they live in and function as informed and productive global citizens?

· PROBLEMS- What common problems do the participants share in their project based learning activities?

· SUGGESTIONS- What suggestions do participants make in order to improve 21st Century teaching and learning?

· MEDIA LITERACY/ GLOBAL COMPENTENCY- What does it mean to have global competency and be a literate person living in a media rich culture? Why study media and develop global understanding?

DESIGN- How to design effective instruction integrating media and new technologies into the multicultural/global curriculum?

Scientific or scholarly significance


Global Kitchen Project may serve as a framework to inform professional development for global education and health education fields that encourage high-quality interdisciplinary global projects to promote children’s global competencies and critical autonomy especially those who have limited access and resources to health education, so that they can be healthier and better positioned to succeed in formal schooling and later in life.


Our project is significant because it brings different disciplines together to look at the nutrition education from a larger context: cross-cultural; historical; curricular; and 21st century skills. Our undergraduate students in different subject fields (Health Education and World Languages) participated in co-designing project-learning based activities with district teachers and personnel as well as collecting and analyzing data and co-presenting the final results in national and international conferences.


This project promotes health education and global literacy through new technologies in K12 education, describes teacher candidates’ reactions, discoveries, and experiences with new media, and showcases their multimedia projects.


To date, few scholarly studies have investigated the role of new technologies in global education context. This project attempts to fill the gap by outlining the natural links between global education and new media technologies. Global Kitchen Project focuses on accomplishing three main goals: (1) promoting cultural and linguistically responsive curriculum through developing global competencies and media literacy skills for teacher candidates; (2) describing their reactions, discoveries, and experiences integrating new media and telecommunication tools; and (3) showcasing multilingual multicultural multimedia projects that teacher candidates created using 21st century tools.


We will discuss strategies for integrating new media and technologies into the global education curriculum, offer creative suggestions for integrating 21st century tools to the classroom, outline teacher candidates’ interdisciplinary curriculum design and research experience; and explore activities, exercises, and assessment strategies and tools that align with the local and national curriculum standards addressing Health Education, Global Competency, Media Literacy and Technology Standards.


Conference participants will be able to:

· argue the challenges and advantages of new technologies (Ipads) in the multicultural multilingual curriculum,

· develop skills in designing interdisciplinary project based learning activities,

· examine the process of integrating 21st century skills for teaching and life long learning,

· integrate the use of new media in an instructional context,

· develop lesson plans, assessment tools, and curriculum guides that incorporate 21st Century Skills and new media and technologies across grades and subjects.


This session will benefit teacher candidates, K-12 educators and students, parents, media specialists, and administrators who seek alternative strategies and tools in teaching and learning 21st Century Skills and develop project based learning activities and curriculum materials focusing on health and global education. The format of the session will be showcase of Global Kitchen Project and the online resources. The presentation slides and the project outline will be posted on our social networking page for the future collaboration among the conference participants.


In conclusion, the main goal of this presentation is to draw on the natural links between educational media and global education. We will explore how a critical approach to the study of global education combines knowledge, reflection, and action; promotes educational equity; and prepares new generation to be health and productive members of a multicultural, democratic society.



CAST. (2011). Universal Design for Learning. Retrieved from

Center for Disease Control (2010). The association between school-based physical activity, including physical education, and academic performance. Atlanta, GA: U.S.


Ed.Gov. (2011). Digital Badges for Learning. Retrieved from


Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. (2011). America's Children: Key

National Indicators of Well-Being. Diet Quality. Retrieved from Retrieved



Child Statistics. Retrieved from:

Freedman D, Wang J, Thornton J. C, et al. (2009). Classification of body fatness by body mass index for- age categories among children. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 163, 801– 811.


Freedman D. S, Khan L. K., Dietz W. H., Srinivasan S. A., & Berenson G. S. (2001). Relationship of childhood obesity to coronary heart disease risk factors in adulthood: the Bogalusa Heart Study. Pediatrics, 108, 712–718.


Freedman D.S., Kettel L, Serdula M. K., Dietz W. H., Srinivasan S. R., & Berenson G. S. (2005). The relation of childhood BMI to adult adiposity: the Bogalusa Heart Study. Pediatrics, 115, 22–27.


Freire, P. (2002). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.


Guo S. S. & Chumlea W. C. (1999). Tracking of body mass index in children in relation to overweight in adulthood. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 70, 145–148.


Hoyland A., Dye, L., & Lawton C. L. (2009). A systematic review of the effect of breakfast on the cognitive performance of children and adolescents. Nutrition Research Reviews, 22(2), 220–243.


Kuczmarski, R. J., & Flegal, K. M. (2000). Criteria for definition of overweight in transition: Background and recommendations for the United States. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 72 (5), 1074–81.


Masterman, L. (1985/2001). Teaching the media. New York, NY: Routledge.


Ogden, C. L., et al. (2002). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2000 Growth Charts for the United States: Improvements to the 1977 National Center for Health Statistics Version. Pediatrics 109(1), 45–60.


PBS. (Nov 2, 2007). 10 Steps to Becoming a Locavore. Retrieved from


Rampersaud G. C., Pereira, M.A., Girard, B. L., Adams, J., & Metzl, J. D. (2005). Breakfast habits, nutritional status, body weight, and academic performance in children and adolescents. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 105(5), 743–760.


Taras H. L. (2005). Nutrition and student performance at school. Journal of School Health, 75(6), 199–213.


Book used for the project:

Menzel, P., & D'Aluisio, F. (2005). Hungry planet: What the world eats. Napa, Calif: Material World Press.




Apps used for the project









Find My Food

LiveStrong Myplate

Double Eat



My plate -


Balanced Meal Game-


Nutrition Facts game-


Pick Chow


Media Literacy Nutrition Resources











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I've accepted your proposal, but you need to edit this and use the required tags as outlined in the call for proposals. This is a really important step if you want your proposal to show up in the proper conference strand!



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