Evidence-based practice: Engage the Senses

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Published May 25, 2016 | Updated September 6, 2016
Subject: Professional Development
Place of Learning: Garden
Resource Type: Research and Policy
Grade Level: Adults/Professionals
Uploaded by:
Nathan Larson
Program Affiliations:

Teaching in Nature's Classroom collects fifteen core principles, representing best practices in garden-based education. The principles are intended to inform sound pedagogy and illustrate why gardens are such essential centers both for learning and for promoting childhood health.

Each principle is drawn from author Nathan Larson's fifteen years of experience teaching and working in school and community youth gardens. They have also been developed, tested, and refined through years of practice by many garden educators. 

Evidence-based practice

The book illustrates the principles with representative pictures and stories from the field and links them to the growing international body of research supporting garden-based education. By connecting good practice and research, Larson and his collaborators at the Environmental Design Lab demonstrate how each of Teaching in Nature's Classroom's principles is an evidence-based practice.

Excerpt: Engage the Senses

"Sensory experiences in the garden help foster a deep connection to the natural world. This is especially important today, as children have fewer and fewer opportunities to build experiential relationships with nature. … Gardens are incredible places to develop sensory awareness – whether it is the feeling of gritty, sun-warmed soil on your outstretched hands, the sweet aroma of freshly harvested fennel, the graceful beauty of a Red-tailed Hawk circling overhead, the sweet burst of flavor from a Sun Gold tomato just plucked from the vine, or the sound of wind moving through tall grass. It is through these impactful sensory experiences that children will deepen their connection to their garden and to nature and food. " 

Read more: The above is an excerpt from Teaching in Nature's Classroomdownload or request a free copy of the book.

Further the Conversation

This forum is intended to provide the opportunity for educators, researchers, and other practitioners to share and discuss their knowledge and experience.

Contribute stories and photos that illustrate this principle, or provide additional research and resources that support it. Please log in and comment below to add your voice to the conversation.

Find discussion threads for the other 14 principles here.

Illustrations from Teaching in Nature's Classroom, copyright Becky Redelings and Nathan Larson.

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