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Issues in Educational Research, 2024, Vol 34(2), 782-801.
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Rachael Walshe, Neus (Snowy) Evans and Lisa Law

Rachael Walshe, Neus (Snowy) Evans and Lisa Law
James Cook University, Australia

School gardens must overcome a range of challenges to be successful but are often lauded for fostering hands-on education and real-world learning. This thematic literature review synthesises 22 journal articles and two book chapters, extending on previous reviews by amassing their themes into one singular reference point for scholars, while simultaneously exploring ways to overcome the challenges associated with school gardens. Findings highlight that academic enhancement, environmental connection, and enhanced wellbeing (both physical and emotional) are the main benefits of school gardens, while the main barriers are time, funding, maintenance, and curriculum integration. Strategies for overcoming the challenges of garden spaces in educational contexts are identified which will be valuable to scholars and others seeking to establish and maintain gardens in schools.
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Authors: Dr Rachael Walshe (corresponding author) is a research associate and sessional academic at the Centre for Sustainable Communities, University of Canberra, Australia, and formerly a PhD candidate in the College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Nguma-Bada Campus, Cairns, Australia. Rachael has attained a Bachelor degree in Environmental Management (Sustainability and Human Geography) with Honours Class I in Human Geography and recently a PhD from James Cook University. Her research interests explore the role of schools and community gardens in addressing environmental amnesia's effect on the perception of food.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachaelWalshe3
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachael-walshe-b83091115/
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1750-8356
Email: rachael.walshe@my.jcu.edu.au

Dr Snowy (Neus) Evans is an Associate Professor in Teaching at the College of Arts, Society and Education, James Cook University, Nguma-Bada Campus, Cairns, Australia. Snowy's research background lies at the intersection of sustainability education, pedagogy, schools and initial teacher education. Snowy's current research interests focus on pedagogy and curriculum in pre-service teacher education, within new-materialist frameworks.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8053-7841
Email: neus.evans@jcu.edu.au

Dr Lisa Law is an Associate Professor in Geography and Planning in the College of Science and Engineering, at James Cook University, Nguma-Bada Campus, Cairns, Australia. Her research focuses on urban spaces in Southeast Asia and tropical Australia, and crosses a wide spectrum including liveability and place-based urban design for the tropics, the meanings and uses of public space, environmentally responsive design, and the role of culture and the arts in placemaking.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LisaLawJCU
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisa-law-48739191/
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0095-7588
Email: lisa.law@jcu.edu.au

Please cite as: Walshe, R., Evans, N. S. & Law. L. (2024). School gardens and student engagement: A systematic review exploring benefits, barriers and strategies. Issues in Educational Research, 34(2), 782-801. http://www.iier.org.au/iier34/walshe.pdf

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Created 29 June 2024. Last update: 29 June 2024. Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]