Evidence-based practice: Let Kids Be the Gardeners

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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: Let Kids Be the Gardeners

"Even though we know that education, not crop yield, is the primary goal of a school garden or community youth garden, we can all struggle at times to fully give the garden to our students.  By providing children with the space to experiment, make mistakes, and learn from their experience, we help them to deeply feel that the garden is their own. This is precisely how we cultivate an enduring connection between children and the food that sustains them."

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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