Multicultural School Gardens: research report 1

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Cutter-Mackenzie, AN 2006, Multicultural School Gardens: research report 1, Gould Group, Monash University, Melbourne, Vic.

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This report contains the findings of the Multicultural School Gardens project evaluation (2006). The project is ongoing and finishes in 2008. Like the project, the research process is also ongoing. The primary purpose of the evaluation is to measure the impact of the program against its stated objectives. In 2006, six schools participated in the project, namely Rosewall Primary School, Dandenong North Primary School, Bayswater Secondary College, Laverton Primary School, Meadowbank Primary School and St Albans Heights Primary School. Two sets of data form the focus of this report, namely the children’s research and the progress and post survey. The 2006 research shows that the Multicultural School Gardens project is having great success in working toward meeting its stated objectives. The key success factors were: working outside the classroom, curriculum enrichment, school enthusiasm, health and wellbeing, student knowledge of plant physiology and plant development and fitting in (alignment) with existing environmental education programs. Engaging the community was identified as the greatest challenge, such that future efforts need to specifically focus on this aspect of the project.