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Action Research

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Aaron Khalid

on 12 December 2011

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Transcript of Action Research

Josh Crozier, Sonja Oakes, & Aaron Khalid Therapeutic Horticulture for Students at Risk Peel Alternative School North Fundamental Questions: 1. How will students who lack a caring and nurturing role model at home
be affected by activities that require care and nurturing (e.g. gardening)?

2. How will student (particularly SEAP) academic success rates in science be
affected by a connection to ongoing gardening and related research?

3. Given that students at PAS North often feel less connected to their
school as a whole, how will engaging them in the beautification and
maintenance of the school grounds help them feel more a part of PAS? Opportunities for Therapeutic Horticulture
Through Urban Greening at PAS North Tree Planting Propagation Ongoing Care Studying Native Plants
& Associated Wildlife To date, over 150 native plants have been planted at PAS North by staff and students! Activities in the PAS North greenhouse have initiated a distinct, but related, Action Research project Weeding, fertilizing, watering, and general upkeep will ensure that PAS North students will be engaged by todays work for years to come. Naturalizing our school grounds will create an 'urban oasis' that is rich in biodiversity and learning opportunities. Simply put, Urban Greening is a multi-year collaborative project with the goal of beautifying and naturalizing the perimeter of our school grounds with hundreds of native trees, shrubs, and perennials. What is Urban Greening at PAS? Some Data Student/Teacher Questionnaires Qualitative Observations Students: did you have fun planting trees at PAS North? Teachers: were the experiential learning opportunities
made evident in our gardening activities? Teachers: were the gardening activities at PAS North an
effective approach to creating a learning community? Teachers: do students who participated in the gardening
activities appear to have a greater connection to PAS? Teachers: were teamwork and leadership roles evident among students during the recent gardening activities? Students: did you learn something new about gardening,
biodiversity, and/or related careers? *Next year, we hope these numbers will be improved by the introduction of curriculum content that draws heavily from our newly naturalized areas. SEAP success rates in environmental and science units have noticeably improved since being involved in gardening activities at PAS North! The spring planting at PAS North was the largest single day
gathering of PAS students and staff in recent history! Positive Feedback From
Our Community (First in Peel!) This recognition translates into improved
self esteem for our students Summary 1. Collaborative gardening activities are a unique and extremely effective
approach to uniting our traditionally disconnected student body.

2. Caring and nurturing activities such as gardening give students
opportunities to succeed in a non-threatening academic setting.

3. Quantitatively measuring student success in terms of academics and
attendance has proven difficult, and will require a revised strategy for
2010/2011. Next Steps... 1. Have students demonstrate their learning - simply asking them if they
learning something may not be a reliable indicator. This can be achieved
by giving experienced planters leadership roles in 2010/2011.

2. Develop curriculum resources that heavily draw from our newly-
naturalized landscape.

3. Revise student questionnaire and/or allow more time for reflection. This
may reduce the number of 'undecided' responses.

4. Continued community engagement.

5. Share our passion and expertise with local schools.

6. Continue planting the approximately 75% of PAS North perimeter which
remains to be naturalized. Thank you to our community partners! Thank you!
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