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Primary Teachers Concerns about Garden-Based Learning as a Teaching and Learning Strategy

Improving Learning Strategies in Education

Discussant Information

Dr. Sheron Burns
School of Education, UWI, Cave Hill Campus
sheron.burns@cavehill.uwi.edu

Author Information:

Vishal Ramjattan
The School of Education, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine
Sharon Jaggernauth
School of Education, UWI, St. Augustine
sharon.jaggernauth@sta.uwi.edu

Keywords:

Garden Based Learning; primary teachers; teachers? concerns

Presentation Information:

Presentation #: 4
Date: 2nd June, 2015
Time: 8:30 am - 10:00 am
Location: CHRISTOPHER

Abstract:

The potential of Garden-Based Learning (GBL) as a strategy for developing in students, an early appreciation of the?importance of sustainable development, food security and ecological literacy in Trinidad and Tobago appears significant. Further, the Agricultural Science component of the Continuous Assessment Component of the Secondary Entrance Assessment provides an opportunity to use the multi-disciplinary approach of GBL in teaching. However, GBL is underused in primary schools, despite substantial investments in upgrading school gardens and establishing school-gardening programmes that provided technical and financial support for initial planning and national consultations. This qualitative study focused on a primary school in North East Trinidad where the garden was well-developed, teachers were exposed to GBL and were supported by the school?s administration, but GBL was underused. The study explored teachers? perceptions of GBL to identify their concerns about using it for teaching and learning, to determine why they were not using it for curriculum delivery and promoting eco-literacy, and the nature of support they desired to implement GBL in their classrooms. Teachers reported personal concerns about GBL and the consequences it held for them on a personal level. Their concerns included managing the implementation of GBL in practice, and issues of time, availability, distribution of resources and other general management issues. Schools? administration must collaborate with teachers to design strategies that reduce lower-level informational and personal concerns, and meaningfully address their higher-level concerns of management, consequence, and collaboration, as an incentive to include GBL in their cadre of approaches to effective curriculum enactment.