A case study of school gardening in a Hong Kong kindergarten

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

School gardens have become popular in schools globally in the last decade as a response to concerns over societal problems and learning. School gardening provides direct experiences to children and benefits them by offering open environment for them to learn from the nature, transforming the way children perceive learning. This study is based on the theoretical framework in Experiential Learning. Dewey believes that a school garden could provide connection between children and their daily environment. He posits that all learning takes place within social context, and that experiential learning should allow knowledge to be organized in real-life experiences within that social environment, which is the first step to helping children to become lifelong learners. This study adopted an inductive approach and used qualitative case study methods in a purposive Hong Kong kindergarten. The research questions were how the gardening workshops implemented in the school gardens and what the children learned when they took part in the gardening workshops. Unstructured and impressionistic observations, semi-structured individual and group interviews, documentation and physical artifact were used to collect information. This study found that the children had less than expected experiential learning during the process of gardening workshops. Less choice, less free time for children to explore and interact with the garden environment and people, more waiting time, lots of structured and controlled interaction through adults’ regulations, rules and guidance, as well as influence of adults’ different strategies on children’s performance were the reasons found.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

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kindergarten
Hong Kong
school
learning
documentation
artifact
experience
regulation
interaction
interview
performance
Group

Citation

Chung, L. P. (2015, July). A case study of school gardening in a Hong Kong kindergarten. Paper presented at The International Postgraduate Research Conference and Summer School in Education, Social Sciences, Liberal Arts and Humanities 2015, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.