Breaking new ground? Reflections on greening school grounds as sites of ecological, pedagogical and social transformation

Janet Dyment, Alan Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


In this paper, we explore greening initiatives in school grounds as sites where ecological, pedagogical, and social transformation might be promoted and take place. Reflecting on our evaluations of school ground greening initiatives in Canada and England, we note that these initiatives are often at the margins of young peoples' experiences in schools and that their potential to be truly transformative can go unrealized. A series of tensions are highlighted in addressing a shift towards realizing their potential; these include situating greening school grounds more explicitly within the curriculum and securing broader institutional support. We also identify a more radical option, the repositioning of the kinds of outdoor learning that occurs in green school grounds as the basis of teaching and learning in Sterling's (2004) vision for 'sustainable education.'
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-301
Number of pages16
JournalCanadian Journal of Environmental Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

Cite this