Education From a Gardener’s Perspective

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Stephanie Clintonia Boddie


garden education interdisciplinary environment resilience ecology permaculture


Nature has much to teach if we will be attentive and learn from her. In Fall 2018, a school of social work professor designed a new course to teach across three schools—social work, education, and the seminary. To integrate faith and learning, this professor designed this course based on the four permaculture (permanent agriculture) design principles: care of people; care for the earth; fair share; and transitional ethic. In this class, graduate students took on community challenges—food insecurity and K-12 student disengagement from learning—to help them live out their vocation while also supporting the development of a local school garden. Ultimately, with this affective, embodied, creative, and reflective pedagogy, learning was experienced more holistically and in a more relevant manner to everyday life.

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