By Jane Hirschi | Years ago, I spent an afternoon with a group of eighth-grade boys digging up potatoes. They were amazed to find potatoes growing underground and surprised by their almost peppery flavor when we cooked and ate them. More recently, I witnessed a third grader who often struggled when asked to speak about lessons carried out in the classroom but who could speak with authority about the decomposition process in the school’s garden compost bin. And even more recently a seventh grader showed off her impressive knowledge of flowers – knowledge stemming (pun intended) from her active participation in school gardening and from drawing flowers in her art classes and searching on the internet for flowers she had never seen. These and countless other stories have taught me the power of school gardens for connecting students to nature and for supporting their learning. This power is all the more impressive when school gardens are in the city.
By Ashley Lin | If you don’t know the name of the tree outside your house or apartment (or don’t know if there is a tree outside your window), you’re not alone. Most people don’t think about finding nature when they look out their window at home or at their workplace, so they don’t see nature.
Sarah Wagner | Imagine the best possible early childhood program – where children spend the day in a space beautifully organized to invite a variety of forms of children’s play, where the children remain engaged by a rich array of materials to play with, build with, and learn with, and where teachers engage the children in soft-spoken, validating ways …
By Bian Xia | After four visits to China, Howard Gardner wrote in To Open Minds, a seminal text comparing education in China and the United States: We might contrast the Western, more “revolutionary” view with a more “evolutionary” view espoused by the Chinese.