The Logic of School Gardens: A Phenomenological Study of Teacher Rationales

TitleThe Logic of School Gardens: A Phenomenological Study of Teacher Rationales
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsJorgenson, S
JournalAustralian Journal of Environmental Education
Pagination121 - 135
Date Published2013/12//
ISBN Number0814-0626, 2049-775X
Keywordsenvironmental education, nostalgia, pedagogy, phenomenology, school gardens
AbstractAbstractDespite the importance of teachers to the school garden movement, we still know very little about what drives particular teachers to incorporate a school garden into their pedagogy. In response, this article reports the findings of a study designed to investigate the internal processes and products involved in rationalising and sustaining teachers’ use. Analysis of interviews with three primary teachers — Laura, Meredith, and Clare — indicate that a powerful rationale is formed when teachers read their childhood memories, often idealised, against their observations of children today. This rationale is strengthened by opportunities afforded by the garden itself, which allows teachers to enact their deepest beliefs about teaching and learning and resist external controls. This study also provides evidence that a school garden can easily evoke nostalgia. The article ends by re-theorising this nostalgia as part of the ‘cultural logic’ (Enfield, 2000) of school gardens, while suggesting nostalgia's productive uses.