Gardening and higher education
As a preservice educator, I try to incorporate activities in my science methods classes that encourage my students to use the outdoors in their teaching of elementary students. This past year, for a community service project, we taught gardening concepts to the local boys and girls club students. Using the Junior Master Gardener's Teacher/Leader Guide: Junior Master Gardener Handbook, students were assigned lessons to teach science concepts centered around gardens. With a small grant from the university, a garden was planted and harvested during the summer and fall semester. Both preservice teachers and elementary students benefitted. The preservice teachers taught in an after school setting, which can be less structured. It required them to be prepared to teach, while making their lessons engaging for the students. The elementary students enjoyed the activities and did improve their science content knowledge during the experience.
I would like to hear from others about how gardening is incorporated within a university setting. What classes teach gardening? What do students learn from the experience? Are there ways to include the community in gardening as well?