Outdoor Classrooms, A Handbook for School Gardens
We’re slowly growing valuable resources in our new online store. The latest addition, added today, is a fantastic new book – Outdoor Classrooms, A Handbook for School Gardens – from well-known Permaculturists and primary school teachers: Carolyn Nuttall and Janet Millington. Arming the next generation with a practical, sustainable skillset is more than expedient, and this book will help teachers and parents do just that.
Here’s an editorial blurb on the book:
The Outdoor Classroom handbook – a must-have for school gardens
Queensland teachers Janet Millington and Carolyn Nuttall have officially launched their book Outdoor Classrooms – a handbook for school gardens.
The book is the culmination of many years teaching in and out of the classroom, of practical gardening experience and learning how best to integrate a garden into a school community and creatively weave the outdoor classroom through all levels of curriculum.
School gardens are proving to be more vital than ever in these current times and Janet Millington, who lives at Eumundi on the Sunshine Coast, said that was one of the prime reasons they wrote the book.
“Food issues, economic concerns, human and planetary health, and future sustainability are all under intense scrutiny. School gardens address these concerns while teaching practical life-long skills children will carry into adulthood,” Ms Millington said.
“Teaching a child how to live more sustainably is one of the most important lessons we can offer for the future. Outdoor classrooms create the perfect environment for self-learning and self-directed development to occur.
“It’s okay for them to explore and be creative in the garden. They can be as hands-on as they want, getting dirt under their nails and plenty of exercise.”
School gardens also have a wonderful flow-on effect beyond the school fence line.
“Children become really excited about growing their own food. They appreciate how difficult it can be at times to do it successfully. They are so proud of their abundant harvests they often can’t wait to start a vegie patch at home to teach the rest of the family how to do it too.
“A successful, supported school garden has the potential to benefit an entire community,” Ms Millington said.
Carolyn Nuttall, who lives in Brisbane, said their combined experience in designing, creating, maintaining and teaching in school gardens ensures the book is both teacher-friendly and relevant to today’s curriculum.
“We’ve aimed to make the book as practical and useful as possible for teachers, while maintaining a high level of creative learning and new ways of looking at things,” Ms Nuttall said.
“Teachers have a busy workload and anything that can make their lives easier is appreciated by them.”
The book explores the many benefits a school garden offers when it is creatively used as an outdoor classroom.
“Children experience a joyous wonder at seeing a seed become a plant and that plant become lunch,” Ms Nuttall said.
“The outdoor classroom offers a unique space to learn skills of production, resourcefulness and care. It allows children to exercise their natural curiosity and creativity as learners.
“It has never been so critical to take the young into the outdoors – away from computers and white boards into a classroom where they learn practical skills for life and preparation for the challenges of the 21st century,” Ms Nuttall said.
Both Carolyn and Janet share a passion for creating a wonderful, nurturing outdoor learning experience for all school children – and what better place to start than in a garden!