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Why should we have a School Garden?

What are steps to plan and set-up the garden?

What can children learn in the garden?
 Why should we have a School Garden?

"I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand." (Confucius, 551 BC to 479 BC)

Active learning by doing is widely seen as the best way for children to learn. It enhances children's understanding of their environment and the results of their actions. At the same time, active learning builds practical "know-how".

While active learning can be realized in many places:
Illustration by Mel Futter
- in the classroom, on the school grounds, in the village and at the children's homes - a School Garden offers a particularly rich and diverse learning environment. A School Garden need not be expensive in terms of finances and material inputs; if you start small and expand later.

School Gardens can serve as living classrooms or outdoor laboratories where children can apply academic subjects such as natural sciences, mathematics, languages and even fine arts. Children can practice their social and life skills and learn, hands-on, how to grow healthy food and eat well. The freshly harvested garden produce contributes to improving children's nutrition, particularly if it is integrated into regular school meals.

The full potential of School Gardens is achieved when parents and the community are actively involved and especially when the gardening techniques and healthy eating habits are adopted in the children's homes.
Last updated: Saturday, September 30th, 2006  FAO, 2006.