Children's gardening programs have grown in recent years, but no one has asked the kiddies what they like about getting some dirt under their nails.
Greener Voices was a three-year research project conducted by experts at Cornell University's Department of Horticulture, intended to discover what exactly the children enjoyed about planting and what made them want to stay in the garden, according to a press release. The researchers found that children will engage in learning more readily when given responsibility for decisionmaking and planning.
So basically, the kids want to take part in the fun stuff, and not just be asked to do the weeding. (Who can blame them?)
Lead researcher Marcia Eames-Sheavly is quoted in the document: "Adults make many assumptions about children and gardening, and instead of enlisting the creativity and innovative thinking of young people, they often involve children in the more mundane tasks of planting, weeding, and watering."
She also spoke about the importance of this research, adding, "In an era in which there is grave concern over a lack of young peoples engagement with nature, children's gardens offer a way in which children and youth can interact with the natural world."
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