My favorite sometime nemesis Caitlin Flanagan has a piece in the recent Atlantic about this trend in urban schools to orient the school day and even the curriculum around the cultivation of big gardens. On the surface it sounds brilliant, doesn’t it? Flabby city kids growing their own vegetables, getting some time in the sun, developing a trade, learning how to work out the math of growing, writing essays about bucolic country life, and so on?
What I like about Caitlin is that she seems to relish encountering a beautiful creature like that and then poking it in the eye with a sharp stick:
“I have spent many hours poring over the endless research on the positive effects of garden curricula, and in all that time, I have yet to find a single study that suggests classroom gardens help students meet the state standards for English and math.”