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pp. 467-480 | Article Number: ijese.2018.040
Published Online: August 07, 2018
Article Views: 14 | Article Download: 14
Background: This study investigates access to gardens for children in Norway, India and the United Kingdom and their respective potentials for sustainability learning. The focus is set upon the significant variations concerning garden access within these three countries, within the specific context of urban gardening at a city scale. The article explores three case study cities: Stavanger, Norway; Mumbai, India; and Cardiff, UK. Previous research has shown that nature and garden experiences can provide play opportunities, skills and sensuous perceptions that may lead to the permanent retention of knowledge, and may awaken and unfold the child’s interests.
Material and methods: Conceptualized in theories of situated learning and place-based learning, each researcher - native and/or living in Norway, UK and India, respectively - has gathered qualitative data and focused on the phenomena she found to be appropriate for the study of each respective city. The findings, based on literature studies and the author’s own experiences and observations, are presented in form of narratives. A phenomenological and hermeneutical framework and critical inquiry is used to give relevance to the complex interrelations between the three researcher’s different backgrounds and perspectives.
Results: The narratives elucidate rather different characteristics, practices, activities and values related to gardens in the three cities, where children interact in multiple ways with various kinds of garden spaces. Children are typically close to nature in Stavanger, while very small ‘windowsills’ characterize the many childhood interactions with gardens in Mumbai and in Cardiff, children may have access to both private and public gardens, depending upon their circumstances.
Conclusions: The three perspectives give inspirations for promoting children’s ecology, sustainability, and intergenerational learning in urban garden spaces.
Keywords: children’s access to gardens, environmental learning, education for sustainability, citizen science, intergenerational learning
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