There is a growing emphasis on service-learning in higher education. Students in all disciplines are learning not only in the classroom but also in the community. Historically, there have been numerous approaches to teaching university students how
Coleman L. Etheredge, Tina M. Waliczek, and Pratheesh Omana Sudhakaran
the course. However, traditional formats for teaching horticulture courses sometimes fail to incorporate service-learning and real-world client and scale to client needs types of experiences in the curriculum ( Waliczek and Zajicek, 2010 ). Although
Christopher J. Currey, Ann Marie VanDerZanden, and Joshua J. Mitchell
coupling the technical aspects of hydroponic crop production with engaging learning strategies such as hands-on laboratory exercises and service-learning projects may create a richer learning experience for students. Service-learning is a proven pedagogical
The food crop concentration in the horticulture major was revised in response to discussions with students, faculty, and county agents to emphasis more service learning. A requirement for an internship or practicum was added. The practicum entails the design, maintenance, and data collection of the vegetable and small fruit display gardens. Emphasis will be on sustainable production and on collection of information for use in extension fact sheets for the citizens of Colorado. Other changes include the modularization of the commodity courses to provide greater flexibility and the addition of a capstone course. The capstone course will involve greater interaction with industry in the state and has a requirement for the development of both an enterprise budget as well as a production plan for a commercial operation.
Carl Motsenbocker and Leanna Smith
A garden-based science curriculum (Junior Master Gardener) was introduced into public elementary schools as an informal education program conducted by Master Gardener volunteers and service-learning university students. The program was held once a week for 2 hours during regular school hours with fifth grade classes. The service-learning students were enrolled in a senior level horticultural science education class. Students were surveyed pre- and post-program with the Science Teacher Efficacy Belief Instrument (STEBI-B, preservice), a background survey instrument, and weekly journals. There were significant differences in the students' perceived teaching efficacy pre- and post-program. Most of the student's STEBI scores either remained the same or increased over the semester. Overall, the service-learning college students had very positive responses to their experiences as teachers and mentors in public elementary schools. In addition, the students were able to use their horticultural skills and knowledge and they also gained an appreciation for the teaching profession.
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).
Brian W. Trader and Kent D. Kobayashi
communities and organizations through service learning were highlighted. New opportunities for student experiential learning through innovative fundraising were explored. The emphasis was on student-centric learning and how service-learning projects
T.M. Waliczek and J.M. Zajicek
Mahatma Gandhi said, “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” ( Jorda and Catala, 2009 ). He illustrated what many instructors are pursuing when they incorporate service learning into their course curriculum. The
Leanna L. Smith and Carl E. Motsenbocker
The first four chapters of a hands-on gardening curriculum (Junior Master Gardener Handbook Level One) were introduced into three East Baton Rouge Parish (Louisiana) elementary schools in the fall semester of 2002 as an informal education program conducted by East Baton Rouge Parish Master Gardener volunteers and Louisiana State University students. The curriculum took place once per week for 2 hours during regular school hours. Science achievement tests, developed at Texas A&M University specifically for the Junior Master Gardener program, were given before and after the students participated in the gardening activities to determine whether or not the activities helped improve achievement scores. Science achievement was significantly different (P ≤ 0.0167) between the experimental classes' pretest and posttest scores, while no significant difference was found between the pretest and posttest scores of the control classes. No significant difference was found between the experimental and control classes due to treatment. Several variables may have affected the outcome of the study, but the results show once weekly use of gardening activities and hands-on classroom activities help improve science achievement test scores.
M. Haque, M. Baker, C. Roper, C. Carver Wallace, M. Whitmire, S. Zabel, J. Arnold, L. Petty, A. Dabbs, B. Jordan, R. Keydoszius, and L. Wagner
The term Ethnobotany describes the study of people's relationships to plants as foods, fibers, medicines, dyes, and tools throughout the ages. Using the student active technique of experiential learning, undergraduate students enrolled in landscape design and implementation classes at Clemson University planned and installed an Ethnobotany garden in partnership with the South Carolina Botanical Garden (SCBG) staff, volunteers, and Sprouting Wings children. Sprouting Wings is an after-school gardening and nature exploration program for under-served elementary school students. College students and faculty working on this service-learning project contributed over 1,000 hours to their community while learning more about both the art and the science of landscape design and implementation. Students enrolled in the landscape Implementation class were surveyed to evaluate their perceptions on a variety of possible learning outcomes for this class. Students indicated that their service learning experience with the Ethnobotany project allowed them to acquire and practice new skills, broadened their understanding of the surrounding community, increased their ability to work in real world situations, introduced new career possibilities, gave students a better understanding of their course work, increased their ability to work on a team, increased their knowledge of environmental sustainability, and allowed them to discover or develop leadership capabilities. In a survey question regarding preference for service learning rather than traditional classes, the majority of students prefer the service learning pedagogy. In addition, most students reported a high degree of initiative for this project in their reflections.