12 December 2018

School gardens in the city. Does environmental equity help close the achievement gap?

The aim of this study was to examine whether school gardens can help lessen race and class inequality in academic achievement. The researchers used maths, reading, and science standardised test results of all fifth-grade students enrolled in the public schools in Washington, DC to examine differences between traditional and garden-based learning. Findings relating to test scores showed a positive link between school gardens and higher achievement in math, reading and science. For maths, 22% of students in schools without gardens scored in the below basic category compared to 11% of students in schools with gardens; for reading, 61% of students in schools with gardens scored proficient or advanced, compared to 38% of students in schools without gardens. For science, nearly 80% of students in schools without gardens scored at the basic or below basic levels in science.