Horticulture and Children Daycare, Elementary, and High School Education:
Something I think about often: maximizing exterior space use of school property, increasing educational tools and process for teaching children. A serious conversation and a strategic action plan initiation to consider.
“With children’s access to the outdoors and the natural world becoming increasingly limited and/or nonexistent, child care, kindergarten and schools, where children spend 40 to 50 hours per week, may be mankind’s last opportunity to reconnect children with the natural world and create a future generation that values and preserves nature (Herrington and Studtmann 1998, Malone and Tranen 2003)”.
“Many authorities believe the window of opportunity for the formation of bonding with and positive attitudes towards the natural environment develops sometime during early and middle childhood and requires regular interaction with nearby nature (Cohen and Horn-Wingerg 1993)”.
I suggest “School Grounds” are the perfect space in urban inner cities schools for kids to be kids, at the earliest of age at play, interacting, exploring and observing nature together. Transforming the school exterior grounds into outdoor learning environments, that is, outdoor learning laboratories is an educational opportunity to be captured and utilized. Connecting our young people to various aspects of nature, ecology, a realm of science not to be dismissed nor forgotten. Imagine school grounds as a place for investigating, analyzing soil, plant materials, observing insects, hydrology and water flow all done at appropriate age and grade levels. Also, as a part of social interaction.
Around this subject matter much research exist. Adding to this thinking is research which also support the horticulture impact in terms of how a school’s landscape looks viewed from within, impacts and influence children’s learning, behavior and retention in a positive manner. Provided done with these concerns in mind.
The possibilities suggested here potentially could have a reallocation of funds over time from maintenance to the actual educational lessons by way of landscape maintenance cost reduction.
Suggestion: to learn more, google:
- Landscaping impact on student learning at schools
- Landscaping and horticulture improve children education and learning
- Incremental Integration: A successful service-learning strategy
- Children nature and you.org
- Your Children’s Relationship with Nature: Its importance to children’s development and the earth’s future
- Young children’s relationship with nature the seed of learning
- The need for nature: a childhood right