Garden-based learning and academic outcomes: Roundtable with Professor Dilafruz Williams
As an orientation to teaching and learning that uses gardens as milieus for student engagement, garden-based education appeals to educators, across countries and continents, for enhancing academic learning. This session asks: What do we know about the effects of garden-based learning on academic outcomes in schools? First, it highlights a synthesis of dozens of recent research studies that show positive outcomes in subjects such as science, language arts, and mathematics, in particular. Second, it provides a framework to think about direct and indirect academic outcomes. Third, samples of student haiku, contemplative writings, group projects, and art provide practical evidence of the quality of academic learning. With the enthusiasm and proliferation of school gardens, and the increase in research studies across disciplines that address their outcomes, we will explore how garden-based education can be strengthened to ensure long-term sustainability.
About the Speaker
Dilafruz's recent research has focused extensively on garden-based education – its conceptualization, articulation, and effectiveness in engagement of children and youth. In her co-authored bookLearning Gardens and Sustainability Education: Bringing Life to Schools and Schools to Life (Routledge, 2011), “living soil” is used as a metaphor for education and seven pedagogical principles (acronym- GARDENS) are developed. Many real-life examples of students’ writings and projects make the book practical. Teachers, principals, and superintendent of schools share their stories of success in adopting learning gardens.
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