In a recent report UNESCO identified schools as being an essential part of the current global fight against climate change. School gardens have a somewhat unique place within the school environment and in the fight against climate change, they promote hands on learning, and have the potential to make lasting differences in the lives of children. The lessons taught through these outdoor learning laboratories impact the types of interactions children have with the natural world for years to come.
Most children raised outside of rural settings have never seen seeds sprout or fruits and vegetables develop. Through school gardens, children experience the process that allows fruits and vegetables to develop. Allowing students, the opportunity to engage and explore the intricate web of interactions between the biotic and abiotic factors, allows them to develop a greater understanding of the natural world. The development of this understanding fosters respect and a concern for the environment, it is through this understanding pollinators such as bees go from being foes to friends. By teaching children to understand the importance of respecting their environment we build characteristics such as stewardship.
According to some studies school gardens not only encourage creativity and stewardship, research has also shown that students who participated in garden-based projects at school, scored significantly higher on science assessments than students in a traditional classroom-based control group according to Barrett C et al (2015). This is one of the reasons we are excited to announce the launch of our STEAM garden at the British School of Tashkent.
Barrett et al (2015) School Gardens Enhance Academic Performance and Dietary Outcomes in Children Journal of School Health 85 (8) 508-518