Offering a fresh approach to bringing life to schools and schools to life, this book goes beyond touting the benefits of learning gardens to survey them as a whole-systems design solution with potential to address myriad interrelated social, ecological, and educational issues. The theoretical and conceptual framework presented creatively places soil at the center of the discourse on sustainability education and learning garden design and pedagogy. Seven elements and attributes of living soil and learning gardens are presented as a guide for sustainability education: cultivating a sense of place; fostering curiosity and wonder; discovering rhythm and scale; valuing biocultural diversity; embracing practical experience ; nurturing interconnectedness. The living soil of learning gardens forms the basis of a new metaphoric language serving to contest dominant mechanistic metaphors presently influencing educational discourse. Student voices and examples from urban schools provide practical understanding of how bringing life to schools can indeed bring schools to life.
Table of Contents
PART I: LEARNING GARDENS, LIVING SOIL, AND SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION
- Introduction: Modern Imperatives for Life and Learning
- Learning Gardens and Life’s Lessons
- Living Soil as Metaphorical Construct for Education
PART II: LEARNING GARDENS PRINCIPLES LINKING PEDAGOGY AND PEDOLOGY
- Cultivating a Sense of Place
- Fostering Curiosity and Wonder
- Discovering Rhythm and Scale
- Valuing Biocultural Diversity
- Embracing Practical Experience
- Nurturing Interconnectedness
- Awakening the Senses
PART III: PRACTICE COMES ALIVE FROM THE GROUND UP
- Teacher, Principal, and Superintendent Perspectives
- Moving Forward
Appendix: Selected Resources and Programs
Dilafruz R. Williams is Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy in the Graduate School of Education at Portland State University. An avid gardener, she served on the Portland School Board for eight years.
Jonathan D. Brown teaches courses in permaculture, whole-systems design, organic gardening, and sustainability education. He has worked extensively in small-scale integrated agriculture.