Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Digging into Schoolyard Gardens A Mixed-methods Case Study
by Kline, Melissa Dolores, M.A., Prescott College, 2015, 150; 1590442
Abstract (Summary)

Garden-based environmental education addresses ecological literacy in the context of schoolyard gardens. This study seeks to elucidate the topics and factors that influence student engagement while learning in these schoolyard spaces, through a mixed-methods case study at a San Francisco public elementary school. Data were collected from student work, student interviews, teacher interviews, and educator observations of the garden-based environmental education class. From the data, many themes were identified such as describing student engagement, topics that were particularly engaging, and engaged and disengaged behaviors. Student work and educator observations supported that lessons with a focus on food or animals were particularly engaging for students. The hands-on components of lessons, alignment with state standards, and the schoolyard garden space itself were also found to support student engagement in this study. Though previous research does not address engaging topics in garden-based environmental education, some studies support the engaging nature of hands-on activities, specifically in science contexts. It is my hope that this research informs garden-based environmental education practices, and continues to add to the number of studies regarding it.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Garrison, Beth
Commitee: Matlock, Deb, Sherman, Peter
School: Prescott College
Department: Environmental Studies
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 54/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Environmental education, Elementary education
Keywords: Engagement, Environmental education, Garden-based education
Publication Number: 1590442
ISBN: 9781321798760
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