Amritsar Groups of College (AGC) feels very happy and excited to share an experience of a garden-based learning program that was held successfully at Agro Farm. Garden based learning program at AGC is a very new and innovative way of designing the modern study pattern in a sustainable way. In this article we will see- What is a garden based study program? Why is it created? Advantages of garden based study programs and some other things associated with it.

What is a garden based learning program ?

Garden-based learning programs involve using gardening as a tool to enhance education and promote positive youth development. These programs typically take place in school gardens or community gardens, where students can engage in hands-on learning experiences that integrate subjects like science, math, and environmental studies.
In garden-based learning programs, students learn about plant science, soil science, and ecology by planting, growing, and caring for a variety of plants. They also learn about food systems and nutrition by harvesting and cooking the fruits and vegetables they grow. Additionally, garden-based learning programs provide opportunities for physical activity and outdoor recreation, which can improve overall health and well-being.
Overall, GBL programs can provide a variety of benefits for students, including increased academic achievement, improved nutrition and health, enhanced environmental awareness, and increased social and emotional development.

Where does the garden based study program come from ?

The idea of a garden-based study program has its roots in the field of environmental education and the emerging field of sustainability education.
The use of gardens as outdoor classrooms has been a long-standing tradition in some educational institutions, particularly in early childhood education. However, in recent years, there has been a growing interest in incorporating gardens and outdoor spaces into a wide range of educational settings, including K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and informal education programs.
Garden-based education programs are designed to provide students with hands-on learning experiences that are centered around the cultivation of plants and the natural environment. These programs often integrate science, math, and literacy skills into garden-based activities and emphasize the importance of sustainability, ecological stewardship, and healthy living.
Research has shown that garden-based education programs can have a positive impact on students' academic achievement, environmental awareness, and health outcomes. As a result, many educators and community organizations are now working to develop and implement garden-based education programs as part of their curricula and outreach efforts.

Why was garden-based learning programs created?

Garden-based learning programs were designed with several goals in mind. Here are a few key reasons why garden-based learning programs were created:

  • To promote environmental education: Garden-based learning programs can provide students with a deeper understanding of how the natural world works, and how to care for the environment. Through hands-on experiences in the garden, students can learn about soil science, plant biology, and ecology.

  • To encourage healthy eating: Garden-based learning programs can help students develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables, and encourage healthy eating habits. By growing their own food, students can learn where their food comes from, and gain a better appreciation for the work that goes into producing it.

  • To support academic achievement: Garden-based learning programs can integrate a variety of subjects, including science, math, language arts, and social studies. By engaging in hands-on learning experiences, students can develop a deeper understanding of these subjects and improve their academic performance.

  • To promote physical activity: Garden-based learning programs can provide opportunities for students to get outside, get active, and engage in physical activity. This can help improve overall health and well-being.

  • Overall, garden-based learning programs were designed to provide a range of benefits for students, including academic, environmental, and health-related outcomes.

Advantages of garden based learning program

There are numerous advantages to implementing garden-based learning programs. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Improved academic achievement: Garden-based learning can improve academic achievement by providing hands-on learning experiences that integrate science, math, language arts, and social studies. Studies have shown that students who participate in garden-based learning programs demonstrate increased knowledge retention, higher test scores, and improved critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

  • Environmental awareness: Garden-based learning can increase students' understanding of environmental issues and their impact on the natural world. Students can learn about soil science, plant biology, and ecology by engaging in hands-on experiences in the garden. This can help foster a greater appreciation for the environment and a sense of responsibility for its care.

  • Improved nutrition: Garden-based learning can encourage healthy eating habits by providing students with fresh fruits and vegetables. Students who participate in garden-based learning programs have been shown to eat more fruits and vegetables and have a better understanding of nutrition and the importance of a healthy diet.

  • Increased physical activity: Garden-based learning programs can provide opportunities for students to engage in physical activity and outdoor recreation. This can help improve overall health and well-being and promote an active lifestyle.

  • Social and emotional developmentGarden-based learning can help develop social and emotional skills, including teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. By working together in the garden, students can learn to collaborate and support each other, and develop a sense of community.

  • Overall, garden-based learning programs provide a range of benefits for students, including improved academic performance, increased environmental awareness, improved nutrition and health, increased physical activity, and social and emotional development.

Keys to a successful garden based learning program

TGarden-based learning programs are a great way to engage students in learning about science, nutrition, and environmental sustainability. Here are some keys to a successful garden-based learning program:

  • Adequate planning: Plan ahead by developing a curriculum that integrates garden-based activities with classroom learning objectives. Determine what plants to grow, what materials and tools are needed, and how to maintain the garden.

  • Appropriate site selection: Choose a site that has good soil, adequate sunlight, and access to water. Ensure the site is safe for students and accessible for maintenance.

  • Engage stakeholders: Involve teachers, parents, students, and community members in the planning and implementation of the garden-based learning program. This will help to create a sense of ownership and increase participation.

  • Incorporate interdisciplinary activities: Use the garden as a teaching tool to integrate multiple subjects like science, math, art, and language arts. This will enhance the students' understanding of the garden's ecosystem.

  • Encourage hands-on learning:Provide opportunities for students to actively participate in planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting. This will give students a sense of ownership and responsibility, as well as help to build important life skills.

  • Foster environmental stewardshipTeach students about the importance of caring for the environment and demonstrate sustainable gardening practices. Encourage students to become advocates for environmental stewardship in their communities.

  • Evaluate and celebrateRegularly assess the success of the garden-based learning program and celebrate the achievements of the students. This will help to maintain enthusiasm and encourage ongoing participation.

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