School Gardens: A Qualitative Study on Implementation Practices

Huys, Nele and De Cocker, Katrien and De Craemer, Marieke and Roesbeke, Marleen and Cardon, Greet and De Lepeleere, Sara (2017) School Gardens: A Qualitative Study on Implementation Practices. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14 (12):1454. pp. 1-12. ISSN 1661-7827

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School gardens have beneficial effects on children's dietary behaviors but information on its implementation is scarce. The current study aimed to gain insight in implementation practices of school gardens and in perceptions of key members and children towards a school garden. We conducted twelve interviews involving 14 key members and five focus groups with 38 children from fifth to sixth grade (10-13 years old) in four primary schools in Ghent (Flanders, Belgium). We analyzed the interviews and focus groups in NVivo, using thematic analysis. School gardens were mainly initiated to involve children in nature, not to improve vegetable consumption. Participants were positive about having a school garden, experienced facilitating factors (e.g., adaptability of the garden, having a person responsible for the garden), but also various barriers (e.g., difficulties with startup, maintenance during summer holidays and integration in the school curriculum) and suggested some solutions (e.g., involving external organizations and parents, expanding the garden) and motivating factors for children (e.g., colorful plants, use of gloves). In order to improve implementation and to contribute to children's health, future school gardening projects should take the recommendations of key members and children into account.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2019 06:16
Last Modified: 25 May 2021 23:25
Uncontrolled Keywords: children; gardening; key members; primary school; vegetables
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420603 Health promotion
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930402 School/Institution Community and Environment
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