Experiential learning: Garden contributions to education
We traditionally think of the classroom as a space found in a building, whether that building be O’Connor Hall, an elementary school, or recently, our own homes. We also know that knowledge comes from experiencing the world outside our doors. It is often through our real-world experiences that we come to understand more deeply what we read, hear, or discuss. A garden is a great example of this type of community-based learning, offering students of all ages hands-on experiences in a vast range of subject areas.
The Forge Garden and Bronco Urban Gardens are Center for Sustainability programs that provide community-based learning opportunities, supporting experiential learning both on-campus and beyond our University. As outreach programs, The Forge and BUG gardens work with undergraduates from across the curriculum: from studio art and business to engineering senior design teams and environmental science classes.
Gardens support creative approaches to curriculum for both coursework and individual student projects. Moreover, gardens are spaces that provide a shared learning experience for Santa Clara University students as well as the surrounding community. Our garden programs provide unique, meaningful experiential education rooted in our connection to each other and to the land.