|Poster from the Landed Learning Program|
at the UBC Farm.
Similarly, there are lots of "learning enemies" that can crop up in the classroom that try to prevent children from achieving their full potential. For example, some students may not have the academic or emotional support they need in order to excel. They may not be supported by their peers or family to do well or learn. These problems are like weeds which drain the students' energy. Students may not have enough money or food to give them the sustenance and energy needed to concentrate. They are not getting the "fertilizer" or "water" that they need in order to grow. As gardeners, we can try our best to help students overcome these problems.
We visited the Greenhouse on campus and saw lush, bountiful plants. The conditions in the greenhouse were ideal for seeds to become seedlings; there was just enough water and sun for the plants to really flourish. Brendan Chan, our guide, expressed shock at how well the kale seedlings were doing in the planters. He said that they were doing so well that they needed to be planted as soon as possible, so they could have more space; at the moment, they were crowding each other and needed thinning.
|We thinned out the swiss chard in the greenhouse|
|Abounding kale in the greenhouse!|
|Weeding at the Orchard Garden|
The analogy that children are like plants and teachers are like gardeners is an illustruous analogy that helps us to understand the importance of a teacher's guidance in a child's life. However, there is one big difference between children and plants: volition. Plants cannot think or choose to do things. Children, on the other hand, can think and can choose. They can actively choose to grow in knowledge and understanding. They can make their own choices that enable them to grow more. The other side of the coin is that children can also choose not to learn and not to grow. My hope is that we can, as educators, encourage students to choose learning and to choose growth.
|The dry and barren beet plant bed. What's going on under the surface?|