|The Revival of School Gardens|
From Darwin to the Derwent, children are farming their school grounds and teachers are harvesting their work for teaching and learning opportunities.
It is no surprise that gardens are springing up in schools all over the country. The revival of school gardens has been driven by the efforts of a diverse group of stakeholders both within and outside of the school system. The input from these groups has meant that school gardens have re-emerged with a new vigour, pedagogy, gardening technique and urgency.
It is not a local phenomenon. Children all over the world, in countries rich and poor, are gardening at school. It is a global trend driven by global urgencies, at times hunger but more often environmental and health issues. Add climate change and energy descent (due to the likely impact of the peaking in production of the global oil supply) to this list and it may be that school gardens will receive even greater attention in the coming years.
The trend to revive the school garden is set to continue as there is a growing acceptance that a garden is a proper feature of a school ground and an integral part of a well-balanced curriculum. Education initiatives such as New Basics, Essential Learnings and Sustainable Schools will utilise the school garden as a scaffold upon which their initiatives can be developed in some way.
Children love gardens and their enthusiasm bodes well for the revival. The garden is one place in the schoolyard that they can call their own. The childish plot* looks set to be a common feature of school grounds for some time.