by Janet Millington and Carolyn Nuttall
Authors Carolyn Nuttall and Janet Millington, experienced primary school teachers and permaculturists, draw upon their long association with garden-based learning to produce ‘Outdoor Classrooms: a handbook for school gardens’.
The book is presented as two streams of thought. Carolyn takes us through the history of school gardens and articulates the need for a revival before leading our journey into the fanciful; a schoolyard to fire a child’s imagination and delight in the natural world. Mary-Anne Cotter, the artist working with Carolyn, has created drawings to entice the dreamers of better schoolyards for kids.
The practical is well served as Janet offers a comprehensive plan for developing a school garden; a plan to guide the teacher through a process from the formation of the idea to what to do with the garden during the holidays. Janet links the learning to the curriculum, providing samples of unit plans and describing a programming method based on lists of skills and knowledge; the essential learnings to take the whole curriculum into the outdoors. The illustrations are by Kay Schiefelbein whose images crystalise the concepts and engage the reader.
‘Outdoor Classrooms’ is a glimpse of a new way forward in teaching and learning. It is a book for its time. — Robyn Cook Author, parent and school garden volunteer