Date of Defense



Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Gail Landberg, Women's Studies

Second Advisor

Paul Vellom, Teaching, Learning and Leadership

Third Advisor

Barbara Galdes, Angell Elementary


Schools in Scotland and England have initiated and developed the playgrounds of their schools, otherwise known as participating in "environmental landscapes for learning," and "grounds projects," to encourage environmental learning in a natural setting. The ideas and designs of the students are used to develop features, such as gardens and ponds, to create community within the school, and to use as a curriculum resource. A school grounds project such as this enhances the appearance and reputation of the school.

The concept of school grounds has significantly contributed to the educational system. As a result, schools have been able to build a supportive environment that encourages learning and builds links with the local community. Children's grown and development personally, socially, and academically are perhaps the greatest benefits. Other benefits include involving the students in the decision-making process and creating a sense of belonging. There are also decreased behavior issues and vandalism because the students take ownership and pride in their schools.

Educational systems in the United States could greatly benefit from a grounds project because it could help schools overcome current obstacles in education.

This thesis project aims to help jump start schools into beginning grounds projects by describing the benefits of such a program, how to get started, how to manage the grounds, and utilize resources. The second part of this thesis is a resource guide which specifically addresses these aspects.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only