Examining level of school garden integration among Georgia elementary agricultural education teachers
Keywords:quantitative, focus groups, experiential learning, environmental education, gardening
This study used the GREEN (Garden Resources, Education, and Environment Nexus) tool to examine the level of school garden integration in elementary agricultural teachers’ classrooms. The tool describes the 19 necessary components (e,g., organizational support, garden space) for gardens to become integrated within the school. This study utilized mixed methods with a concurrent triangulation design based on quantitative data obtained from an online questionnaire and qualitative data collected from focus groups. The findings were used to validate the findings produced by the other method. The population consisted of elementary agriculture teachers in Georgia. Though a definitive model does not yet exist for elementary agriculture education, it was clear that teachers rely on hands-on, experiential teaching activities such as garden maintenance tasks and taste tests. Teachers struggle most with volunteer and parent involvement and social events in the garden, largely because of the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Future research should consider how the results of the GREEN tool can shape professional development topics and help teachers set goals to improve their garden’s level of integration. Research should also examine how COVID-19 impacted school garden programs.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Jade Frederickson, Jason Peake
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Grant numbers Project No. RNIFA0001309501