Influential Environments: School Gardens Impacting Arizona Children's Environmental Perspectives
AuthorCoe, Michelle Autumn
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractManzo Elementary is located in Barrio Hollywood, a low-income neighborhood of Tucson, Arizona. Despite the school's low testing scores and small enrollment, Manzo was recognized as the Best Green School in the nation for 2012 by the U.S. Green Building Council and continues to receive positive media attention. This is because Manzo is thriving in areas of experiential learning and ecological initiatives through the use of its school garden. The school has built sustainability into the core of its curriculum and physical environment, integrating chickens, composting piles, rainwater cisterns, and desert biomes within its courtyards, classrooms and playgrounds. Literature on school gardens suggests that gardens heighten children's sense of place, time spent in the environment, and perceptions of natural areas. However, there is a large gap in the literature which focuses on the use of school gardens as an environmental learning tool, and the ways in which it can appeal and connect children and community partnerships from the perspective of those children involved. The research presented here is an attempt to close that gap by bringing Manzo students into the conversation on school gardens and experiential learning. This study looks at how students perceive their environment, how they are learning and acquiring new environmental knowledge, how they share that knowledge, and the actions and behaviors—both individually and collaboratively—that ensue.
Degree ProgramGraduate College