Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Learning Spaces in School: Comparing Math Instruction and Learning in School Gardens and Classrooms
by Boynton, Christine Mary, Ed.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2010, 74; 3444596
Abstract (Summary)

In 2006, the California legislature released $14 million to the schools of California to create school gardens through the California Instructional School Garden Bill (CA Assembly Bill 1535, 2006). This study examined the differences and similarities of school gardens as learning spaces by exploring a fifth grade school standards-based mathematics lesson in both a classroom and school-garden setting. Using the place notions of Gieryn (2000), I constructed a methodology that articulated and then combined the different strands or elements that contribute to space production. The methodology combined both qualitative and quantitative methods to deepen the understanding of place and corroborate the evidence. I asked two research questions: (a) What were the similarities and differences between school gardens and classrooms with respect to instruction? (b) Specifically, did gardens offer opportunities for better academic performance, both generally and with respect to individual students? Evidence indicated that school gardens may afford a higher use of space for lessons and higher bi-directional interactions for participants in those lessons. Data also indicates that school gardens may be more effective for lower achieving rather than higher achieving students. Further research is needed to validate these effects.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gifford, Bernard G., Storms, Barbara A.
Commitee: Ozer, Emily
School: University of California, Berkeley
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 72/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Educational evaluation, Educational leadership, Elementary education
Keywords: Equity, Gardens, Mathematics, Place, School gardens
Publication Number: 3444596
ISBN: 978-1-124-52720-8
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