Knowledge and Resource Hub
12 December 2018

"Sowing and growing" life skills through garden-based learning to reengage disengaged youth

This study examined the outcomes of garden-based-learning, the Outdoor Links To Learning (OL2L) program for Sydney students from disadvantaged communities who are on long suspension from their home schools. The focus of the program was on providing learning and behavioural support to the students to improve their chances of success when they returned to their home school. Data was collected before, during, and after program implementation through fieldwork and semi-structured interviews with students, community educators, and teachers; with additional data focused on attendance and academic performance. The study demonstrated positive associations between garden-based-learning (GBL) within an educational setting and engagement of students, especially students considered to be disengaged in the school system. Participating students benefitted from the program with enhanced well-being and health literacy, the development of personal management and social skills needed for successful functioning in society, active engagement in an alternative educational environment, connecting with adults, and increased self-esteem.