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Garden-Based Learning: An Experience With "At Risk" Secondary Education Students

By José-Reyes Ruiz Gallardo, Alonso Verde, Arturo Valdés

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The reengagement of disenchanted secondary students is one of the priorities of the educational system. Over a six-year period (2003–2004 to 2008–2009), 63 disruptive and low-performance secondary school students were integrated into a two-year garden-based learning program, which took place in southeastern Spain. This article intends to assess the quantitative and qualitative changes in both academic outcomes and personal behavior brought about by the experience. Results show that school failure decreased substantially, while the dropout rate was reduced from an initial 30% to zero in some years. Disruptive episode control improved significantly in the classroom, where teachers observed a decided improvement in students' skills, self-esteem, and self-confidence.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2013
Publication Title Journal of Environmental Education
Volume 44
Issue 4
Pages 252-270
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/00958964.2013.786669
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • José-Reyes Ruiz Gallardo; Alonso Verde; Arturo Valdés (2018), "Garden-Based Learning: An Experience With "At Risk" Secondary Education Students,"

    BibTex | EndNote

  1. Animal roles
  2. Behavioral disorders
  3. Education
  4. Gardens
  5. Schools
  6. Secondary education