Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation (Hardback)Sharon Gamson Danks (author)
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Case Studies from North America, Scandinavia, Japan, and Great Britain demonstrate natural outdoor teaching environment that support hand-on learning in science, math, language, and art in ways that nurture healthy imagination and socialization
Asphalt to Ecosystems is a compelling color guidebook for designing and building natural schoolyard environments that enhance childhood learning and play experiences while providing connection with the natural world. With this book, Danks broadens our notion of what a well-designed schoolyard should be, taking readers on a journey from traditional, ordinary grassy fields and asphalt, to explore the vibrant and growing movement to "green" school grounds in the United States and around the world. This book documents exciting green schoolyard examples from almost 150 schools in 11 countries, illustrating that a great many things are possible on school grounds when they are envisioned as outdoor classrooms for hands-on learning and play.
The book's 500 vivid, color photographs showcase some of the world's most innovative green schoolyards including: edible gardens with fruit trees, vegetables, chickens, honey bees, and outdoor cooking facilities; wildlife habitats with prairie grasses and ponds, or forest and desert ecosystems; schoolyard watershed models, rainwater catchment systems and waste-water treatment wetlands; renewable energy systems that power landscape features, or the whole school; waste-as-a-resource projects that give new life to old materials in beautiful ways; K-12 curriculum connections for a wide range of disciplines from science and math to art and social studies; creative play opportunities that diversify school ground recreational options and encourage children to run, hop, skip, jump, balance, slide, and twirl, as well as explore the natural world first hand. The book grounds these examples in a practical framework that illustrates simple landscape design choices that all schools can use to make their schoolyards more comfortable, enjoyable and beautiful, and describes a participatory design process that schools can use to engage their school communities in transforming their own asphalt into ecosystems.
Publisher: New Village Press
Number of pages: 288
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
"The carefully crafted text, profusely illustrated with closely observed examples, convincingly demonstrates how ecologically rich environments can serve the triumvirate of children's play, learning, and education and the good health of both children and planet." -- Robin Moore, MCP, Director, The Natural Learning Initiative, North Carolina State University. Co-author * Natural Learning: The Life History of an Environmental Schoolyard *
"This is a beautiful book, loaded with compassion for children and deep understanding of the learning process. It is not just a primer on ecological landscaping in the curriculum, but a blueprint for a greener and smarter curriculum." -- David W. Orr, Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, Oberlin College, author * Ecological Literacy *
"Sharon Danks' Asphalt to Ecosystems is a wonderful introduction to the design ideas that can transform a traditional schoolyard into a place where such vital learning can occur, under the wise and skillful guidance of the growing movement of educators dedicated to education for sustainable living." -- Zenobia Barlow, Cofounder and Executive Director, The Center for Ecoliteracy
"Parents, teachers, school administrators, and community planners will all find this book both helpful and revealing; children will find the results magical." -- Marlene Y. Satter * Foreword Reviews *
"This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to transform -- or continue transforming -- their schoolyard, park or outdoor community space. It will cause you to look at your children's or student's play space with brand new eyes... and that's a very good thing. Every school administrator and park official should have a copy of this inspiring manual on her desk." -- Anna Nagro, Founder of GardenABCs
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