Tongue-Tied No More: Diversity Pedagogy and Sense of Place in the Learning Gardens

Dilafruz Williams, Jennifer Anderson


This case study explores what it is like for culturally and linguistically diverse adolescents who are low-income English Language Learners to experience garden-based education at their school’s Learning Gardens in southeast Portland, Oregon, even as they and their families—driven from their homelands as immigrants and refugees—try to establish roots and call Portland their new “home.” This is a story of 16 sixth graders from seven countries for whom the Learning Gardens provide context and milieu for expression of their connection to place as they grow food and engage in significant ways in learning that encourage communication, crossing the English language “barrier.” Students’ experiences and conversations are captured as they develop a sense of belongingness, home, and place when connecting with soil, food, nature, peers, and adults in the Learning Gardens.

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Copyright © Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (CJEE) ISSN 1205-5352