Pre K – 12 Educator Training and Professional Development

MIG Windows lessonGrowing Learning Communities Program The UC Botanical Garden Education Program, in collaboration with staff from the Lawrence Hall of Science, has developed Growing Learning Communities (GLC), a project to strengthen the knowledge, teaching skills and leadership capabilities of local elementary school teachers and out-of-classroom educators through professional development linked to school gardens as outdoor science and mathematics labs. With the support of project staff, these teacher-partners become leaders and mentors at their school sites, creating positive change in their school’s culture, practices, environment and community. Launched in 2003, the GLC project has reached over 50 local elementary schools in 8 East Bay school districts. The majority are low-income, underserved schools with large populations of English language learners. Teacher teams from partner schools participate in after school and weekend workshops designed to foster mentorship among teachers, develop leadership skills, build content knowledge, and strengthen skills to develop and use school gardens as outdoor classrooms. The garden provides an exceptional environment for teaching and learning, a place that engages and motivates, and bolsters curricula linked to real world experiences. Through the school garden, the larger school community is becoming part of a growing learning community.  To find out how you can join the GLC community, contact the Education Department.

School Site Specific Trainings Our Education staff offer unique tools and support for diverse school communities to transform gardens into enriched educational resources. Teachers, parents, garden educators and community members can all be a part of the process in accomplishing learning goals for children through garden-based education.  Our fee-based workshops can be customized to meet your needs.  Past topics include:

  • Botany on Your Plate curriculum
  • Math in the Garden curriculum
  • Using the Garden Environment for Afterschool Programs
  • School Garden Planning and How-To’s
  • Integrating Academics into the Garden
  • Nutrition from Fruits and Vegetables
  • Linking Garden Activities to State Standards

Annual School Garden Conferences Held on a Saturday in March, this event features a roundtable of workshops to experience top curricula and learn horticultural and management techniques to take full advantage of one of the most engaging places of learning – the school garden.  Also included are group collaborations and take home resources.  The conference welcomes teaching professionals, parents, youth educators, volunteers – anyone interested in the value of school gardens.

 For more information, contact the Education Department.