Our Model, Evaluation, and Theory of Change 

MODEL: At Pilot Light, we know that every school community is unique, from the students to the curricula to parent and guardian engagement. We believe that integrating food into classrooms is a collaborative process in which we are always learning from the educators around us.

Pilot Light’s Food Educator professional development is centered around building teacher capacity to develop and deliver food-based education. Participants receive Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs) and meet and collaborate with a community of educators who are passionate about Food Education. 

Through our professional development sessions, teachers are coached by our team and partners in:

  • Creating and utilizing curriculum and instructional materials aligned to our Food Education Standards that integrate into existing eLearning and in-person lessons 
  • Adapting the lessons of fellow educators on the Food Education Center to suit their students, schools, and communities
  • Understanding the food environment at their school and the communities their schools are located in
  • Learning techniques for bringing and preparing food in classrooms (virtually and in-person)
  • Identifying opportunities to connect the classroom to the cafeteria, homes, and communities
  • Creating curriculum that includes a student-initiated food advocacy project centered around the cafeteria or community

EVALUATION: Pilot Light’s evaluation model centers educators by working collaboratively with teachers to determine the most effective and responsible evaluation practices possible. 

This model is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of our programs and support educators as they implement culturally relevant, responsive instruction of comprehensive Food Education lessons. Learn more about our impact here.

THEORY OF CHANGE: From February to May of 2019, Pilot Light staff worked with the University of Chicago’s Community Programs Accelerator to develop a theory of change.

The Theory of Change below encompasses Pilot Light’s Food Education Standards, using a single word to describe each Standard’s role in empowering students. By building on students’ knowledge, attitudes, and skills using the Standards, they can foster their own informed relationships with food and ultimately become knowledgeable and engaged changemakers for a sustainable and equitable food future.

The Theory of Change

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