Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children's Gardening Programs Grow Environmental Stewards

Date:
September 29, 2008
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
A new generation has come of age since the first celebration of Earth Day in 1970. For this and future generations, environmental awareness is an important and burgeoning point of reference. But classroom teachers who make environmental education experiences a priority often lack resources, funding, time and ideas about ways to integrate environmental education into classroom learning. Getting children involved in hands-on activities is critical, and gardening just may be the answer.

A new generation has come of age since the first celebration of Earth Day in 1970. For this and future generations, environmental awareness is an important and burgeoning point of reference.

Related Articles


Today's urban children live in environments that offer little chance for direct contact with natural ecosystems, and often have to depend on sources such as television and educators for information about ecology and nature. Many children grow up without the valuable personal experiences in nature that are essential to developing a true understanding of environmental issues.

Educators are being challenged to create learning experiences that mold subsequent generations of environmental stewards: young people who are capable of making knowledgeable and conscientious decisions regarding the environment. But classroom teachers who make environmental education experiences a priority often lack resources, funding, time, and ideas about ways to integrate environmental education into classroom learning. Getting children involved in hands-on activities is critical, and gardening just may be the answer.

Youth gardening programs are becoming popular experiential vehicles to help children get "down to earth" and promote environmental awareness in communities and schools. Previous studies have indicated that children who participate in formal gardening programs have shown improvements in science achievement, nutritional choices, self-esteem, and patience. Recently, researchers studied the effect of gardening programs on the development of students' environmental consciousness.

O.M. Aguilar, a graduate assistant in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University and lead author of the study, explained; "The objectives of the study were to examine an interdisciplinary and experiential approach to environmental education by use of a youth gardening program for third through fifth grade students. In addition, this study evaluated the gardening program's effectiveness on promoting positive environmental attitudes and a high environmental locus of control with children."

More than 80% of children who participated in the study had been previously involved in gardening, either through school programs or informal experiences at home. Test results indicated that children that had any type of experience with gardening had more positive attitudes toward the environment when compared with students that had not gardened. The study showed that hands-on gardening activities are important to the development of environmentally concerned citizens, and that children's involvement in informal gardening experiences has as much impact on their environmental outlook as involvement in formal school-based programs.

Results from the study also found that there were gender and ethnicity differences among children, with girls and Caucasians appearing to benefit more from the gardening curriculum. Researchers suggested that future research should focus on the development of gardening curricula that target the needs and interests of boys and minority children.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Aguilar, O.M., Waliczek, T.M., Zajicek, J.M. Growing Environmental Stewards: The Overall Effect of a School Gardening Program on Environmental Attitudes and Environmental Locus of Control of Different Demographic Groups of Elementary School Children. HortTechnology, 2008 18: 243-249 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Children's Gardening Programs Grow Environmental Stewards." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080929104613.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2008, September 29). Children's Gardening Programs Grow Environmental Stewards. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080929104613.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Children's Gardening Programs Grow Environmental Stewards." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080929104613.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins