7 junio, 2024

School garden: characteristics, objectives, types and benefits

He scholar Orchard It is a natural and living laboratory that consists of a piece of land of small proportions, generally fenced, in which the land is prepared for planting plants, vegetables, legumes, fruit trees, among others.

This garden is used during basic education to reinforce attitudes and values ​​in students towards healthy eating, caring for the environment and the ability to obtain food through their own means.

Knowledge of the development processes of plants helps students to appreciate more the value of nature and the food they eat, since they understand where they come from and how they grow.

Therefore, the education provided within the school garden is considered an important element to achieve the objective of food security. That is, the objective of ensuring that all people have access to healthy food and have knowledge on how to eat a healthy diet.

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Main characteristics of the school garden

– Includes experimentation

The school garden allows students to directly experience growing and planting plants and food within natural fields. In this way, they can reconcile the relationship between theory and practice, and they learn as they do.

Experimentation gives students the opportunity to acquire greater skills to have a better quality of life for themselves, family and community through healthy eating.

– The teacher has the role of counselor

The role of the teacher within the development of the school garden is crucial so that effective learning can take place in the students, since they must be able to generate significant experiences that arouse the motivation and curiosity of the students.

He is the one in charge of planning, organizing and guiding each experience within the orchard, with the aim of facilitating the understanding of the theory through its implementation in practice.

The teacher must guarantee that, through the school garden, the students really internalize and understand the contents devised in the school curricular planning, efficiently establishing cause and effect relationships and ensuring that the students correctly apply the knowledge learned in the classroom.

– The work is structured in small groups

The activities within the garden are not carried out individually, but are structured through the formation of small groups of students.

– The evaluation is qualitative

The type of evaluation that is done to the students within the school garden is of the qualitative type, which is one that seeks to measure or assess the quality of the use of each student within the learning process in a continuous and integral way.

– Contents structured according to the level of comprehension

The school garden is a didactic resource that is applied throughout basic education. Therefore, the contents that are taught through it are planned according to the different levels of understanding of the students.

– Can integrate knowledge from different areas of study

In a study carried out by Andoni González for the International University of La Rioja, it is ensured that in the work carried out in the orchard students should not only apply knowledge related to the natural sciences, but also to other areas such as linguistics, mathematics, physics, social sciences and technology.

Goals

According to the FAO, the objectives of school gardens are divided into two: objectives at a practical level and objectives at an educational level.

practical level

At a practical level, there would be the objectives linked to the environment, nutrition or the community:

– The environmental conditions of the school are improved with the creation of a sustainable orchard or garden based on organic methods.

– Healthy habits are created from the improvement in the nutrition of children.

– Community is generated thanks to the integration of teachers, students, parents from the effort and motivation to carry out the garden.

– In some cases they serve to generate income for the school with the sale of harvested products.

Education level

– Children are taught to become aware of how sacrificed it is to harvest products from the land.

– Value is given to organic, natural products with nutrients and healthy properties.

– The student is taught to understand nature and to become aware of the environment.

– Relationships of closeness, trust, camaraderie, teamwork are generated.

– Respect is generated for the community, colleagues and common effort.

– Helps children learn to thrive in the world.

How to prepare the school garden?

The steps that must be followed in the process of cultivating the school garden are the following:

– Preparation and tillage of the soil

– Irrigation of the land

– Planting the seed

– Weed, mulch and add compost

– Constant irrigation of the crop, according to the specific needs of food

– Add roads and fences

– Harvest

– Prepare, cook and preserve food

– Pack and label them

– Serve and distribute them

– Promotion and celebration of garden events

Types of school gardens

soil gardens

They are school gardens that are built directly on the natural soil, using the land found in them.

In this type of orchards, teachers and students must ensure that the type of land is suitable for growing plants.

pot gardens

They are the orchards that are built inside pots. These types of orchards generally occur in highly urbanized spaces that do not have the necessary natural conditions.

In these orchards, as in the cultivation tables, the land used must be purchased commercially from a specialized site.

cultivation tables

The cultivation tables are orchards that are built inside tables, which have a certain height if you want the plants to be located at a higher height from the ground.

traditional agriculture orchards

They are the orchards in which a traditional agricultural process is implemented, which means that they do not hesitate to use tools such as chemical fertilizers, insecticides, among others.

Orchards with agroecological techniques

They are ecological orchards in which purely natural techniques are used within the cultivation process, avoiding the use of synthetic or inorganic chemical products.

Benefits

The school garden as a learning resource generates basic knowledge about food security, and also generates a series of benefits for students. Some of these benefits are as follows:

– Allows students to reinforce values ​​and attitudes directed towards healthy eating, caring for the environment and the ability to produce their own food

– Promotes teamwork and understanding of the division of labor, since for its creation and maintenance students must work in small groups.

– Promotes the use of ingenuity, initiative and innovation in the design of projects through the completion of the entire aforementioned cycle.

– Helps students value the environment, love and respect nature, and understand it so that they can take advantage of its riches in a sustainable way.

– Fosters feelings of solidarity, coexistence, tolerance, camaraderie and fraternity in students.

– Strengthens the autonomy of students, since the role of the teacher is exclusively counselor and guide, and they are required to plan and make decisions for themselves.

– Helps to unite scientific and theoretical knowledge with daily life, by applying the theory of natural sciences in the garden.

– Helps to increase the environmental quality of the schools where they are implemented.

– Promotes a greater disposition in students to have responsible attitudes towards nature, which, if well apprehended by them, can be retransmitted to the family and community environment.

– It positively influences students to have a healthy physical condition, thanks to the physical effort required to prepare and maintain the garden.

Activities

One student, one harvest

This activity consists of each student planting a different crop so that each one specializes in a crop and can then show their results to the rest of the class.

To do this, each student will take a pot and plant seeds of a species. One will make it with basil, another with oregano, another with coriander, another with thyme, etc.

Each week, time will be dedicated to each student to show the evolution of their plant and what changes it has undergone during that time.

Ideally, the plants should have a similar growth over time, since if one of the harvests were slower, it could demotivate that student by seeing that the rest of the pots have faster results.

vertical orchards

Vertical gardens are ideal for when the school’s land possibilities are more limited. It is a culture that develops from a vertical structure on the wall.

To do this, you need to install the structure in which containers for the plants to be grown are placed. This will give a more ornamental touch to the school, thanks to how decorative the plants are.

For a more personalized touch, you can put the name of the child who planted the pot on the wall with a sign next to their plant.

recycling

One of the objectives of school gardens is to create environmental awareness. Recycling or recycling is one of the most practical activities to improve the conditions of nature and for children to see first-hand what they can do to avoid generating more pollution.

In this activity an urban garden will be developed with recycled materials. To do this, each student will be asked to bring a container from home that serves as a pot. It can be an oil can, a tetra brik, a large crystal glass, cardboard boxes or wooden pallets.

From these, each student will sow a plant based on the possibilities provided by the container they have chosen for their cultivation.

References

González, A. (2013). Evaluation of the school garden as a didactic resource: facilitators and associated barriers in secondary education in educational centers in Barcelona attached to the School Agenda 21 [en línea]. Consulted on October 16, 2017 on the World Wide Web: reunir.unir.net
Munoz, L. (2015). 5 orchard classifications [en línea]. Consulted on October 16, 2017 on the World Wide Web: agrohuerto.com
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO. The School Garden as a Teaching-Learning Resource of the Subjects of the Basic Education Curriculum [en línea]. Accessed October 16, 2017 on the World Wide Web: fao.org
Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. Vegetable patch. Consulted on October 16, 2017 in the World Wide…

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