The School Garden Fad

School gardens are popping up everywhere -- but are they any good, or are they really a feel-good waste of time?  Teachers and parents, let us know.


Cultivating Failure  Atlantic Magazine (via Linda Perlstein)

Comments

Leave a comment
  • I am a South side high school teacher that started a garden at our school a couple of years back. Our food and garden club has become one of the more popular clubs (or teams) at our school. Most of our students are far removed from the reality of where the food they eat on a daily basis actually comes from (candy, pizza, nachos, pizza, flaming hots, pop, breakfast donuts, pizza). A school garden is tool that can teach students not only about food sourcing and basic nutrition, but also basic biology, plant science, math, and even social sciences. Aside from academic benefits, our garden provides students with a quiet, peaceful sanctuary, some greenery, and fresh air...things lacking in most urban neighborhoods. This in and of itself can have a profound impact on our students over an extended period of time, emotionally, physically, and academically.

    Not sure what's going on in California and when school gardening became a "hot-button" issue, but here in Chicago it's worth every minute and dollar spent.

  • I'm guessing it's better than the explosion of diabetes and obesity in urban teens 'fad.'

  • Some principals think it takes away to much time from the classroom. It really takes the parents to get these projects going and keep them going! Some teachers would really like to get involved but they do not have that kind of time. It really takes dedicated parent volunteers and grants from Openlands, etc.
    It depends on how relaxed your school is.

  • "Flanagan provides zero evidence that the hour-and-half devoted to the garden (and sometimes, a cooking class that utilizes ingredients procured from that garden) has any negative impact on test scores or grades."

    http://www.salon.com/tech/htww/2010/01/14/death_to_the_public_school_vegetable_garden/index.html?source=newsletter

  • Gardens give the student a sense of belonging and ownership. They reinforce the Science curriculum and give hands on experience. Yes, it takes time, a lot of it. The outdoor classroom gives a visual learning environment that many students need to understand the cycle of life.

  • Gardens give the student a sense of belonging and ownership. They reinforce the Science curriculum and give hands on experience. Yes, it takes time, a lot of it. The outdoor classroom gives a visual learning environment that many students need to understand the cycle of life.

  • Gardens give the student a sense of belonging and ownership. They reinforce the Science curriculum and give hands on experience. Yes, it takes time, a lot of it. The outdoor classroom gives a visual learning environment that many students need to understand the cycle of life.

  • Gardens give the student a sense of belonging and ownership. They reinforce the Science curriculum and give hands on experience. Yes, it takes time, a lot of it. The outdoor classroom gives a visual learning environment that many students need to understand the cycle of life.

  • Waters Elementary, on the north side, has a half-block wide garden where students grow, eat and learn about these plants. It started in 1991, when they pulled up asphalt to grow a garden filled with food. Raspberries and grapesnow surround teh playground. It has grown into a well-established Ecology Program, where all students PreK-8,study some aspect of Ecology for the year. The garden, always available, serves as the introduction to the students at age 3 or 4, and the program moves city wide to the River, the Lake and the Forest Preserves as the kids get older.But the hands-on learning in the garden and what the Ecology Director teaches is priceless.

    My family left for Austin on a place today, the Friday of MLK weekend. In first grade the kids do a year long tree/seed/root, replant tree study and what happens during all seasons. My first-grade daughter and I were playing hangman on the plane. I cannot believe how appropriate this is, but on the plane, her hangman to me was:
    I AM STUDYING LEAVES LIKE CATALPAS IN MY CLASS. And then she drew a picture of it.

    They also compost in the garden(uneaten lunch food), and she is a recycling captain that helps teach her class what can be composted and what plastics and cannot be recycled.

    I do not know about other garden programs, but the one my daughter is privvy to is outstanding. The director truly embraces the earth, and so does she.

  • Waters Elementary, on the north side, has a half-block wide garden where students grow, eat and learn about these plants. It started in 1991, when they pulled up asphalt to grow a garden filled with food. Raspberries and grapesnow surround teh playground. It has grown into a well-established Ecology Program, where all students PreK-8,study some aspect of Ecology for the year. The garden, always available, serves as the introduction to the students at age 3 or 4, and the program moves city wide to the River, the Lake and the Forest Preserves as the kids get older.But the hands-on learning in the garden and what the Ecology Director teaches is priceless.

    My family left for Austin on a place today, the Friday of MLK weekend. In first grade the kids do a year long tree/seed/root, replant tree study and what happens during all seasons. My first-grade daughter and I were playing hangman on the plane. I cannot believe how appropriate this is, but on the plane, her hangman to me was:
    I AM STUDYING LEAVES LIKE CATALPAS IN MY CLASS. And then she drew a picture of it.

    They also compost in the garden(uneaten lunch food), and she is a recycling captain that helps teach her class what can be composted and what plastics and cannot be recycled.

    I do not know about other garden programs, but the one my daughter is privvy to is outstanding. The director truly embraces the earth, and so does she.

  • Waters Elementary, on the north side, has a half-block wide garden where students grow, eat and learn about these plants. It started in 1991, when they pulled up asphalt to grow a garden filled with food. Raspberries and grapesnow surround teh playground. It has grown into a well-established Ecology Program, where all students PreK-8,study some aspect of Ecology for the year. The garden, always available, serves as the introduction to the students at age 3 or 4, and the program moves city wide to the River, the Lake and the Forest Preserves as the kids get older.But the hands-on learning in the garden and what the Ecology Director teaches is priceless.

    My family left for Austin on a place today, the Friday of MLK weekend. In first grade the kids do a year long tree/seed/root, replant tree study and what happens during all seasons. My first-grade daughter and I were playing hangman on the plane. I cannot believe how appropriate this is, but on the plane, her hangman to me was:
    I AM STUDYING LEAVES LIKE CATALPAS IN MY CLASS. And then she drew a picture of it.

    They also compost in the garden(uneaten lunch food), and she is a recycling captain that helps teach her class what can be composted and what plastics and cannot be recycled.

    I do not know about other garden programs, but the one my daughter is privvy to is outstanding. The director truly embraces the earth, and so does she.

  • Waters Elementary, on the north side, has a half-block wide garden where students grow, eat and learn about these plants. It started in 1991, when they pulled up asphalt to grow a garden filled with food. Raspberries and grapes now surround the playground. It has grown into a well-established Ecology Program, where all students PreK-8,study some aspect of Ecology for the year. The garden, always available, serves as the introduction to the students at age 3 or 4, and the program moves city wide to the River, the Lake and the Forest Preserves as the kids get older.But the hands-on learning in the garden and what the Ecology Director teaches is priceless.

    My family left for Austin on a place today, the Friday of MLK weekend. In first grade the kids do a year long tree/seed/root, replant tree study and what happens during all seasons. My first-grade daughter and I were playing hangman on the plane. I cannot believe how appropriate this is, but on the plane, her hangman to me was:
    I AM STUDYING LEAVES LIKE CATALPAS IN MY CLASS. And then she drew a picture of it.

    They also compost in the garden(uneaten lunch food), and she is a recycling captain that helps teach her class what can be composted and what plastics and cannot be recycled.

    I do not know about other garden programs, but the one my daughter is privvy to is outstanding. The director truly embraces the earth, and so does she.

  • My daughter's school, on the north side, has a half-block wide garden where students grow, eat and learn about these plants. It started in 1991, when they pulled up asphalt to grow a garden filled with food. Raspberries and grapes now surround the playground. It has grown into a well-established Ecology Program, where all students PreK-8,study some aspect of Ecology for the year. The garden, always available, serves as the introduction to the students at age 3 or 4, and the program moves city wide to the River, the Lake and the Forest Preserves as the kids get older.But the hands-on learning in the garden and what the Ecology Director teaches is priceless.

    My family left for Austin on a place today, the Friday of MLK weekend. In first grade the kids do a year long tree/seed/root, replant tree study and what happens during all seasons. My first-grade daughter and I were playing hangman on the plane. I cannot believe how appropriate this is, but on the plane, her hangman to me was:
    I AM STUDYING LEAVES LIKE CATALPAS IN MY CLASS. And then she drew a picture of it.

    They also compost in the garden(uneaten lunch food), and she is a recycling captain that helps teach her class what can be composted and what plastics and cannot be recycled.

    I do not know about other garden programs, but the one my daughter is privvy to is outstanding. The director truly embraces the earth, and so does she.

  • I don't usually go in for educational fads, but gardens seem like such an opportunity to teach science to me. When I was in school, we planted beans in little dixie cups and after they had sprouted we each took them home and planted them in our back yards. This was possible in a school in a small town where just about all the students had access to a backyard where they could dig. Not so possible with the students of a large city.

    The students of CPS tend to be poor and less likely to be able to travel to say, a farm where they could actually see where items like milk and corn come from. At my school, they took us on a field trip to a dairy. Of course, the dairy was 10 miles out of town, so it was not an expensive trip. This was also pre NCLB, so I don't even know if they still do that kind of thing. Plus the school system is not making AYP (hasn't for a few years, now).

  • I don't usually go in for educational fads, but gardens seem like such an opportunity to teach science to me. When I was in school, we planted beans in little dixie cups and after they had sprouted we each took them home and planted them in our back yards. This was possible in a school in a small town where just about all the students had access to a backyard where they could dig. Not so possible with the students of a large city.

    The students of CPS tend to be poor and less likely to be able to travel to say, a farm where they could actually see where items like milk and corn come from. At my school, they took us on a field trip to a dairy. Of course, the dairy was 10 miles out of town, so it was not an expensive trip. This was also pre NCLB, so I don't even know if they still do that kind of thing. Plus the school system is not making AYP (hasn't for a few years, now).

  • I don't usually go in for educational fads, but gardens seem like such an opportunity to teach science to me. When I was in school, we planted beans in little dixie cups and after they had sprouted we each took them home and planted them in our back yards. This was possible in a school in a small town where just about all the students had access to a backyard where they could dig. Not so possible with the students of a large city.

    The students of CPS tend to be poor and less likely to be able to travel to say, a farm where they could actually see where items like milk and corn come from. At my school, they took us on a field trip to a dairy. Of course, the dairy was 10 miles out of town, so it was not an expensive trip. This was also pre NCLB, so I don't even know if they still do that kind of thing. Plus the school system is not making AYP (hasn't for a few years, now).

Leave a comment