QUILCHIUHCAYOTL is the name of the children's course that is given in the botanic garden of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. This nahuatl name means “Orchard Culture”. It was initiated 20 years ago as a summer's Course of 1 month duration. Both Horticultural activities and Mexican Cultural Aspects are stressed. In order to accomplish these objectives, we have designed several educational materials and games.
Z.C.C. Hernandez and S.T. Balcazar
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.
Tina M. Waliczek, R.D. Lineberger, J.M. Zajicek, and J.C. Bradley
A survey, targeting adults working with youth in garden situations, was designed for delivery on the KinderGARDEN World Wide Web site. The goal of this survey was to investigate adults who are actively involved in gardening with children in school, community or home gardens on their perceptions of the benefits of children participating in gardening. Three hundred-twenty completed surveys were returned via e-mail during a period of 9 months. Fourteen questions were included on the survey requesting information concerning what types of gardening situations in which children were participants and the demographics of the children involved in gardening. Results of the study cover 128,836 children (youth under 18 years old) involved in gardening, primarily with teachers in school gardens. The children involved were generally 12 years of age or under and were growing food crops. Adults gardening with children reported benefits to children's self-esteem and reduction in stress levels. Adults were also interested in learning more about the psychological, nutritional and physical benefits of gardening. Comparisons between those adults involved in gardening found that parents' and teachers' ideas differed concerning the most important aspects of the gardening experience. Parents viewed food production as most important while teachers thought socializing and learning about plants were most important.
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.
Mary Hockenberry Meyer
Development of a new children's horticulture curriculum, the Junior Master Gardener program, from Texas A&M Univ. has lead to several youth projects in Minnesota. In Chisago County, Minn., Master Gardeners have instructed 4-H leaders who taught weekly sessions to elementary age children. Older teens have been leaders in this project as well. In Hennepin County, Minn., the program has been used by teachers and Master Gardeners in a formal classroom setting. Additional programs in Anoka, Rice, Winona, and Washington Counties, Minn., have used this curriculum. Leaders say the strengths of the program are the extensive and detailed list of projects, the impact on the local community when children do the service component, and children's learning of the scientific concepts that are the basis of the program. Cost of the materials and distribution are negative features. Further program examples will be highlighted and detailed at this workshop.
R. Daniel Lineberger
A tool with enough power and versatility to communicate the depth and breadth of the art and science of horticulture has emerged with the development of the World Wide Web. First created to meet the rapid communication needs of high-energy particle physicists, the Web has proven to be a powerful information-providing tool enabling communication with all the diverse audiences of horticulture. Web-browsing software is multimedia in nature, and graphically based. Information can be colorful, interactive, commercial, amateur, or arcane, depending on the skill and objectives of the information provider. The target audience can be school children, horticultural producers, home gardeners, or academic researchers. Access to the Web is inexpensive and becoming widely available. These features enable audiences that previously had difficulty accessing the vast stores of horticultural information that reside within the confines of academic and governmental libraries to get that information from their schools or homes. The ever-growing demand for information, the need to integrate Web technology into teaching at all levels, and the adoption of the Web as a resource for distribution of peer-reviewed scholarly work has led to the development of various creative solutions among academic, professional, and avocational horticulturists. Some of these will be examined in detail during the workshop.