Are Falling Science and Math Rankings a Wakeup Call for Australian Students?

The alarming results from Trends in International Mathematics and Science study show that Australian students are slipping backwards in global ranking. These results have sparked the need for Australian schools to wake up and raise the effectiveness of teaching methods.
Australian Education Minister Simon Birmingham says that the disappointing results should be considered a serious wakeup call for schools. According to Dr. Sue Thomson serving as the director of educational monitoring and research at the Australian Council for Education research, Australian schools need to do something about this issue because an increasing number of jobs in this competitive global environment require strong science, engineering, math and technology skills.
Garden Based Learning can strengthen academic, social and personal skills
Garden based learning allows students to develop skills in areas such as personal skills, social skills, academic performance as well as leadership skills and decision making. According to Wikipedia, Gardening projects provide children and youth with the carefree exploration of the natural world that occurs rarely in today’s era of indoor living; it can also give young people the chance to develop a wide range of academic and social skills.[1]
Students love getting their hands dirty in the garden and this offers a great chance to not only teach students about agricultural sciences, but you can improve their academic outcomes in schools.  That’s right. It is time we think about broadening our students’ mindsets in the current education system. As stated earlier, this can easily be done by introducing garden based learning into schools across the nation.
Researchers have discovered that garden based learning can help children learn and understand both simple and complex science and math concepts. This teaching method can help kids understand complex math concepts such as area, volume. Of course math concepts can be taught in a number of other ways as well, but teachers find that young kids find school gardens to be more interesting. Simply put, school gardens can help children understand why math skills are important and how they can be useful for them.
Garden based learning also paves the way for teaching science concepts in a new and exciting way. As kids spend more time in the garden, you can plan a series of visits where children can understand the basics of seed growth, plant decay and the working of the ecosystem.
Sometimes a challenge for the teachers is to plan a unique garden learning visit where children can see things happening and get excited about poetry and creative writing. It is important that kids are encouraged to use their observation and creative writing skills to make sense of the complex nature system and in turn, improve their academic and creative thinking skills.
The bottom line is that this the right time garden based learning is used in every school to help students reach their full potential. The sooner garden based programs are implemented, the best for this and future generation of students. That being said, effective garden based learning design might seem too daunting and overwhelming at first glance, but it is important that our education system continues to work on it and come up with a better garden learning plan to support academic and cognitive skills development.



Be sure to check out :  Princes of Pilbarra: Guarding the Gardens ( for more outdoor fun and adventure!