School gardens: Objectives and Benefits of the school garden 【Ecological projects】

In today’s post we will talk about educational gardens , mainly about what a school garden is , what its objectives are and what the benefits of school gardens should be .

The first two Millennium Development Goals are to eradicate poverty and hunger and achieve universal primary education . To achieve this, the proper development of children and their livelihoods is essential, which includes providing them with adequate education and nutrition . The school gardens are a good way to get it and have important health benefits and cognitive development of children.

Next we will see more details about what are the objectives of the projects with a school garden and the benefits of having gardens in schools .

What is a school garden and what is its importance according to FAO

FAO maintains that  school gardens are a very useful learning platform to improve children’s education and nutrition, while at the same time promoting the conservation of the environment and the social, physical and mental well-being of the entire educational community.

While in industrialized countries intensive agriculture and current eating habits have increasingly harmful effects on our health and the environment , in many underdeveloped countries they do not have the means and sufficient training to achieve an agriculture capable of feeding to all people sufficiently and safely .

Together we can ensure that school gardens play a significant role in the fight against these problems that threaten today’s society: food insecurity and climate change.

For this, it is necessary to promote habits that improve health, such as a healthier diet , and a good  nutritional, agricultural and environmental education that makes children aware of the need to change things, since future actions and measures depend on them to eradicate these problems. School gardens must be aimed at responding to these problems and needs.

Objectives of school gardens

According to FAO and other national and international organizations, the objectives of a school garden should be the following:

  • Improve the quality of education  through a more dynamic pedagogy that includes multidisciplinary curricula that combine theoretical, practical and technical knowledge of livelihood.
  • Strengthen practical skills in agriculture and horticulture by  creating and maintaining home gardens.
  • Provide active teaching  linking horticulture both to play and recreation, as well as to other subjects such  as mathematics, biology, reading and writing.
  • Provide practical teachings on nutrition that promote the production and consumption of healthy foods and a healthy lifestyle.
  • Increase access to education by attracting families to schools that address issues that affect their daily lives.
  • Increase the nutritional quality of the foods children eat and reduce the number of malnourished or undernourished children.
  • Improve children’s attitudes and knowledge of agriculture and rural life.
  • Educate in environmental sensitivity contributing to the sustainability of the planet through the inclusion of environmental and ecological training (See article on the  importance of Ecological Agriculture ) .
  • Offer students an instrument of survival or support for the family economy for times of food shortage or economic difficulties.
  • Especially in underdeveloped countries, increase school attendance and, in many households, compensate for the absence of parents in terms of the transfer of knowledge necessary for the vital development of children and young people.
  • Promote income generation opportunities .
  • In cities, improve the urban environment and sustainability .

Benefits of a school garden

Many of them are related to the objectives to be achieved, but many others are added benefits that arise as a result of the development of agricultural activity in schools.

  • They are beneficial for learning: “I listen  and forget, see and remember, do and understand” (Confucius, 551-479 BC).
  • They promote the knowledge of varieties of fruits and vegetables that were unknown to the children and / or their families.
  • They provide a place to acquire knowledge related to nature, agriculture and nutrition.
  • They improve the diet and are a healthy, natural and varied food source, important for the physical and mental development of children.
  • They help to fight against problems related to infant feeding: obesity, malnutrition …
  • They represent a space for enjoyment and recreation within the school.
  • They promote entrepreneurial skills.
  • They improve the environment and sustainability of cities.
  • They contribute to the regeneration and conservation of the environment and its resources.
  • They favor socioeconomic development.
  • They are an important social tool since in them the teamwork of the boys and girls in the class groups takes place, as well as their interaction with teachers and families, developing ethical values ​​of coexistence, participation and collaboration.
  • Increases the relationships between humans and nature.
  •  They reinforce the knowledge of basic subjects such as reading, writing, biology or mathematics.
  • They improve children’s intelligence .

These are just some of the benefits of school gardens for the lives of children and the rest of the educational community; If you know others, do not hesitate to leave your contribution in the comment thread of the post.

To learn more about educational gardens, in the category “Types of gardens around the world” you can find more information and examples of school gardens, such as the School Garden in China or the article on Types of school garden projects . Little by little we will make known more real experiences of orchards in schools and other educational centers . We encourage you to send us photos or tell us about your experience if you know or are participating in a school garden.

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