Green Space Based Learning Model for Repurposing Underutilized Green Spaces within School Campuses

BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

The Green Space Based Learning (GSBL) is an educational model to mainstream green infrastructure within urban environments that builds on a long-term partnership between a Research I university, surrounding underserved community, and local school district with a portion being piloted through a federally funded Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program. The RET program provides an opportunity for graduate students and professors to share their field of knowledge with teacher participants in two intensive 6-week summer research experiences. This content knowledge is then translated by the participating teachers into grade specific lessons that support the development of interactive and sustainable green spaces within their school campus. Stakeholder groups participate in academic year components, bringing their expertise into the K-12 classroom. Ultimately, K-12 students are guided through the design/build of a green infrastructure improvement project, transforming an underutilized green space within their school campuses into a multi-use educational environment. Phenomenological based interviewing methods allowed RET participants to reflect on their experience and provide feedback on the impact that the GSBL had on them, their teaching, and their community. Participating teachers expressed improved pedagogical practices through their experience in the GSBL model across several thematic groups, including authentic research experience, contextualized learning, teacher’s contribution to research, practical applications to classroom, professional development, and green infrastructure awareness.

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Ryan Locicero

Ryan Locicero

Maya A. Trotz

Maya A. Trotz

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