Breaking New Ground? Reflections on Greening School Grounds as Sites of Ecological, Pedagogical, and Social Transformation

Janet E. Dyment, Alan Reid


In this paper, we explore greening initiatives in school grounds as sites where
ecological, pedagogical, and social transformation might be promoted and take
place. Reflecting on our evaluations of school ground greening initiatives in
Canada and England, we note that these initiatives are often at the margins of
young peoples’ experiences in schools and that their potential to be truly
transformative can go unrealized. A series of tensions are highlighted in
addressing a shift towards realizing their potential; these include situating
greening school grounds more explicitly within the curriculum and securing
broader institutional support. We also identify a more radical option, the
repositioning of the kinds of outdoor learning that occurs in green school
grounds as the basis of teaching and learning in Sterling’s (2004) vision for
“sustainable education.”

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