To determine if and how plant materials were used in Virginia elementary school curricula, a survey was conducted on horticulture or gardening in elementary [Kindergarten-sixth grade (K-6)] education. To do this, 10 questionnaires and cover letters were sent to each of 100 randomly chosen elementary schools throughout Virginia. Based on a 34% response rate from a self-selected group of K-6 teachers, there was a relatively high level of interest (88%) regarding using horticulture or gardening in the classroom. A major goal of this survey was to determine what would encourage or facilitate incorporating horticulture or gardening into the curriculum.
Kathleen Dobbs, Diane Relf, and Alan McDaniel
T. M. Waliczek, J.C. Bradley, and J.M. Zajicek
Children's gardens are receiving increased attention from communities and schools. Educators recognize that gardens provide beauty, produce and education, and serve as an outlet in which gardeners may gain personal benefits. The objectives of this research study were to evaluate whether children participating in garden activities benefited by an improvement in interpersonal relationships and attitudes toward school. No significant differences were found between pre- and posttests and the control and experimental group comparisons. However, demographic comparisons offered interesting insight into trends in the data. Female students had significantly more positive attitudes towards school at the conclusion of the garden program compared to males. The results also showed that there were differences in interpersonal relationships between children depending on grade level in school. In addition, childrens' attitudes toward school were more positive in schools that offered more intensive individualized gardening.
T.M. Waliczek, P. Logan, and J.M. Zajicek
The main objective of this study was to investigate the impact of an outdoor environmental program, Math and Science in the Outdoor Classroom, on elementary grade students' creative and critical thinking, and attitudes toward math and science. Math and Science in the Outdoor Classroom is an on-campus nature program in Santa Fe, N.M. Students participated in half-day programs focusing on topics such as water, insects, soil, and weather. Twenty-one teachers from five schools volunteered 175 second through sixth graders to participate in the program and research study. Surveys were administered to students, teachers, and volunteers after completion of the program. Interview data was analyzed using QSR NUD*IST (Nonnumerical Unstructured Data Indexing Searching and Theory-building) computer-assisted qualitative data analysis system to examine respondents' perceptions of the program using Bloom's taxonomy as a theoretical framework. Results indicated that students not only learned math and science at the lower levels of Bloom's taxonomy, but were also thinking at the higher levels of synthesis and evaluation within the framework.
Ellen B. Peffley and Chad S. Davis
The concept that plants and humans in a living system are mutually beneficial was communicated to 2nd to 12th grade students in science educational and outreach programs at Texas Tech University's Center for Space Science. Students traveled to the TTU horticulture greenhouse for a live program, which focused on research in the Engineering Development Unit. The research is funded by NASA's Advanced Life Support. During the program students were presented with the science of growing plants, how plants benefit humans in space, and baseline science vocabulary. A survey instrument was developed to assess student level of understanding of sciences, and their comprehension of living cycles, which work together to support manned space missions. The survey consisted of multiple-choice questions covering topics presented during the program. Likert questions were used to assess student's desire to travel in space, be an astronaut or a scientist, and their enjoyment of science and growing plants. The survey was administered before the program; immediately after the program; and a delayed test was administered in their classroom several weeks after the program. Student performance was scored according to correct responses in the survey. Responses were analyzed for changes over time using an analysis of variance with repeated measures. The results showed there was an overall improvement in knowledge from preprogram survey to postprogram survey and that students recognize science is the main topic to be studied to expand for better space programs. Some elementary education students scored equal to or higher than secondary education students. Enthusiastic science teachers may drive student interest exhibited in the early grades. There is evidence that a teacher's attitude towards science and one's basic science knowledge is important to molding student's attitudes and interests in science.
David Hillock, Matthew Kirkwood, Douglas Needham, and Brenda Sanders
The purpose of a service/learning project is two-fold: to gain skill in one's area of study and simultaneously to provide service to an unrelated community. This project provided such an educational opportunity for our Horticulture and Landscape Architecture students by providing the mechanism for them to develop and practice their skills of garden design, presentation, installation, and maintenance, while also providing a service to Oklahoma's fifth grade teachers and their students. Through their service, our students gained insight into the creation of public gardens, specifically ones for children. This project created a template through which elementary educators could then work with their communities to develop children's gardens at their schools. Our students presented gardening ideas via slides to fifth grade classes, geographically distributed throughout Oklahoma, and then surveyed them for their input into a garden designed for and by children. The survey accessed the needs and dreams of both the fifth grade students and their teachers. The children's and teachers' desires, as expressed in the surveys, were incorporated into garden designs by our students. A prototype of one of the children's gardens was then installed at the Oklahoma Gardening studio grounds with the help of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture students, OBGA Ambassadors (a group of horticulturally trained volunteers from the Greater Stillwater Community), and Oklahoma elementary school teachers, who sought to gain experience in garden installation in order to create a children's garden at their own schools. The processes, from conception through design and installation, and finally utilization for elementary education, were videotaped and incorporated into a “how-to” video and fact sheet, produced and made available through the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service (OCES).
Kimberly R. Hilgers, Cynthia Haynes, and Joanne Olson
. Fishman, B. Krajcik, J. Marx, R. 2000 The three T's of elementary education Commun. Assn. Computing Machinery 12 15 19 Taylor, A.F. Kuo, F.E. Sullivan, W.C. 2001 Coping with attention deficit disorder: The surprising connection to green play settings
Christine E.H. Coker, Gary Bachman, Chris Boyd, Pamela B. Blanchard, Ed Bush, and Mengmeng Gu
science education should be a central, integrated part of the total elementary education [ Mississippi Department of Education (MDE), 2008 ]. It is proposed that in addition to enhancing science at the elementary level, the concepts, principles, processes
parents, 10 SFA Gardens volunteers, eight beekeepers, 100 SFA Elementary Education majors, five Texas Forest Service employees, four SFA professors, and the SFA Gardens Education Coordinator. A key ingredient to the continuing success of BBBB, has been the