Weeding, Writing, Arithmetic
Recently, I have noticed a resistence to the current “green fad” from bloggers and columnists. However, the ‘back to the land’ movement has been continuous throughout history, making the desire completely unfaddish in the fact that it is characteristically longterm. Now more than ever, schools are supporting the combination of both traditional academics and agricultural awareness. Round up the usual suspects and let the fight begin.
School garden naysayers must always have been around, but they recently entered my vision. The basis of their argument against school gardens is that it draws away from more standardized classroom practices and curricula and puts dirt and sunshine in its stead. This unfortunate concept of “all-or-nothing” education keeps our thinking linear, each side arguing completely against their opponent.
A holistic approach to education is not radical, nor innovative. Without having become well-rounded citizens of the world, the human race certainly would not have gotten this far. Howard Gardner has been credited with defining a Theory of Multiple Intelligences, which questions whether methods used to test intelligence are truly scientific. Because children (and adults) learn differently, school systems should be incorporating all sorts of teaching methods into their classrooms, whether indoor or out.
The notion that you must swap out one for the other, chard vs. the chalkboard, is a limited perspective of edification. For one, good health inspires more focused learning and working for that healthy food with your own hands, seeing the entire process, teaches the discipline and joy of meaningful work – setting students up to thrive in other areas. There are many lessons learned through hands on involvment. Combining various ways of teaching can only help kids in their development for the variations of life.
There are many amazing organizations dedicated to just this – here are a few: