School Gardening: What is Current Trend about? [PDF]

Beata Lavrinoviča
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract: There is plenty of research on school gardening practices reflecting the positive effects of garden-based learning on the development of elementary school students, which are mainly based on short-term gardening program implementation and assessment. However, theoretical research of school gardening is still not shaped well, as the distribution of research activities is unequal and the concept itself is still considered being innovative. A review of scientific literature and documents has been done to define what the school gardening concept really means and what are the spatial and functional domains of it.
The review has touched on historical aspects of the school gardening movement’s rise at the beginning of the 20th century in the U.S., as the country considered being at the frontiers of the current trend. Differences in defining school gardening priorities were identified, pointing out the variety of functional domains of school gardening activities developed during the century. Currently, school gardening is characterized by its role in improving students’ learning and achievements, environmental attitudes, health and food behaviours, intrapersonal skills and emotional wellbeing, and social bonds. Also, as the term “school gardening” itself refers to a specific place-based setting, its spatial domain was inspected and redefined according to the variety of current garden-based learning practices.
The review allowed to define school gardening as a school-run and community-supported tool for student engagement with school curriculum, civic activism, healthy lifestyle, and development of intrapersonal and social skills through experiential, experimental, transdisciplinary, collaborative, and self-directed learning.
Keywords: Elementary schools, garden-based learning, learning spaces, school gardening, student engagement.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2021 = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2021
Rīga, University of Latvia, 2021. 1148 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-735-3