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“At That Age, You Just Accept What You Have… You Never Question Things”: Student Participation in School Ground Greening
Janet E. Dyment
Children, Youth and Environments
Vol. 14, No. 1, Collected Papers (2004), pp. 130-152
Published by: University of Cincinnati
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7721/chilyoutenvi.14.1.0130
Page Count: 23
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A growing number of researchers from various disciplines have examined the importance of including young people in meaningful ways in projects related to community development and environmental action. These researchers claim that through participation in projects such as school ground greening initiatives, young people can learn skills related to democracy, responsibility, and citizenship. Much of the research on child and youth participation in school ground greening initiatives has been conducted within a single school, making it difficult to understand the nature of student involvement across a larger number of schools. This paper reports on a study of student participation in greening projects at a school board district level, based on two methods: 1) 149 questionnaires completed by administrators, teachers, and parents associated with 45 school ground greening initiatives; and, 2) 21 follow-up interviews with administrators, teachers, and parents at five of the schools. Respondents and interviewees reported that students were involved in selected aspects of the greening projects, notably the designing, planting and maintenance. Much room exists, however, for more authentic and meaningful student participation, particularly in the problem identification and visioning phases. This paper concludes with recommendations as to how school board administrators might facilitate such participation.
Copyright 2004 Children, Youth and Environments