The Grass Is Greener on This Side of the Fence

Garden Education Impacts on Low-Income Elementary School Students' Environmental Literacy in San José, California


  • Alexandra Dahl
  • Katherine Cushing


environmental literacy, garden-based education, pro-environmental behavior, Latinx youth, school graden


The objective of this research was to assess the effectiveness of garden-based pedagogy as a strategy for increasing student environmental literacy, a desired outcome of environmental education programs. Using a nonequivalent group design, this study employed pre-and post-interventionsurveys, participant journaling, and researcher observation to assess changes in two treatment and two control elementary school classes in a low-income, Latinx population. The environmental literacy of participating students increased significantly over the control group, especially in categories of pro-environmental awareness, attitude, and behavior. In addition, the varied outcomes from the mixed-methods assessments used in this study illustrates that surveys alone are not sufficient for tracking meaningful changes in elementary school-aged students.