Why Is A School Garden Important For A Student?
The school garden plays a vital role in the overall growth of children. The first of these is nature study. There is no better way of bringing students into contact with nature than by raising flowers & vegetables in the garden. The students get out of their classrooms, prepare the soil, plant the seed, observe the plant, cultivate them, and finally ripen them through the season. This whole process of growth and development is the most important thing in plant study.
The school garden has an important role in esthetics. Floriculture, landscape gardening, tree-planting, and fruit-culture appeal to the sense of beauty among the students. The whole yard and garden together need to be planted and laid out on principles of taste and attractiveness.
In second place, the garden is very important in studying geography. In the home geography in the early grades classes of children are required to visit the gardens and study the processes of cultivation and marketing of the products. These are fundamental lessons in geography. In this way, gardening leads to agriculture, scientific farming, and fruit raising. The garden naturally suggests farming, raising corn and other grains, the feeding cattle, dairying and butter-making, and fruit culture, such as berries, apples, etc.
Perhaps the most important relationship between the school garden is the home. When boys and girls become properly interested in the school garden, they naturally desire to raise a garden at home in their own backyard and perhaps flowerbeds and trees in the front yard. This answers in many ways to the necessities and comforts of the home. The whole town may take on a new appearance, in its yards and gardens, on account of this interest developed in the school garden. Beauty and utility are combined; the home table is supplied with vegetables and beautified by the flowers which the children themselves raise.
The educative effect upon the boy or girl of carrying out through the whole season plans for cultivating a garden is one of the best products of good training. The cultivation of plants requires constant attention, forethought, intelligence, self-reliance, and a kind of originality; difficulties are to be met and overcome. Insects infest the plants and must be gotten rid of; chickens scratch up and spoil the garden, and a fence is needed for protection; a dry spell calls for some plan of watering; weeds quickly take possession of a garden, and the child must be intelligent and thoughtful in meeting such difficulties. This is the best kind of training. To say the least, it is far better than letting the boy run wild on the streets and get into all sorts of mischief.
Most of our progressive schools in all regions across the country are taking up the problem of school gardens not for the children but for the teachers also. A garden will help teachers to give some practical exposure to their students. Young teachers are always set to work to learn the whole problem so that they may later guide their children in garden work. In today’s context, it’s visible that the school garden plays a prominent place in the future education of boys and girls.
School gardens can be linked to the curriculum of their courses in any grade through social science, social studies, mathematics, arts, etc. It helps students to feel connected with the place and sets a great example of place-based learning. Having students garden is experiential learning which can involve the whole school & larger community through involving parents, community partners, and elders from the community. It creates a good opportunity for intergenerational learning, where people of different ages can come together to grow food & work towards a sustainable environment & community.
Through school gardens, students learn to work the land and create a food garden to grow food, which helps students learn about local food and what grows in their environment. It helps to create a connection to food and get students thinking about where their food comes from and what it takes to produce it. It supports better nutrition in students and can incorporate lessons on healthy eating. This real-world, hands-on learning has proven to be very popular with students and schools. The schoolyard can be an extension of the classroom. It connects students to the natural world & helps create responsible caretakers of the planet. School gardens ultimately contribute to connections-between students, teachers, food, nature & sustainability.
Deya Banerjee, Principal – South City 1, Orchids The International School, Gurugram