Investigating the effectiveness of subject-integrated school garden teaching

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This article maps out existing research regarding the effectiveness of integrated teaching in school gardens, i.e. including the math, languages and science subjects with their related objectives and curricula in school garden teaching and vice versa. The article is based on a literature review that concludes that school gardens have a predominantly positive influence on students’ learning outcome. However, there are a few school garden programmes that have the same or even a less beneficial influence on students’ learning outcome than traditional teaching. Thus, school gardens do not have an unequivocally positive academic learning effect. The review extracts and discusses some of the factors that are consistently emphasized in the research literature as central to ensuring successful subject integration in school gardens. Taking these as a point of departure, it is concluded that developing a standard garden curriculum is essential to planning, carrying out and evaluating effective school garden teaching in math, languages and science. Experiential learning and hands-on activities are teaching methods that immediately come to mind because they make the subject content less abstract, activate the students’ senses, and increase the feeling of meaningfulness. Further, collaboration across subject divisions and links between indoor and outdoor teaching are central factors in creating a successful integrated learning environment with the school garden as a focal point.

School garden teaching, subject integration, effectiveness, students’ learning, curriculum, learning environment
TidsskriftJournal of Outdoor and Environmental Education
StatusUdgivet - 9 okt. 2019


  • Læring, Grundskole, Læring og læringsmiljøer, Naturen

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