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Synopsis

Offering a fresh approach to bringing life to schools and schools to life, this book goes beyond touting the benefits of learning gardens to survey them as a whole-systems design solution with potential to address myriad interrelated social, ecological, and educational issues.  The theoretical and conceptual framework presented creatively places soil at the center of the discourse on sustainability education and learning garden design and pedagogy. Seven elements and attributes of living soil and learning gardens are presented as a guide for sustainability education:  cultivating a sense of place; fostering curiosity and wonder; discovering rhythm and scale; valuing biocultural diversity;  embracing practical experience ; nurturing interconnectedness. The living soil of learning gardens forms the basis of a new metaphoric language serving to contest dominant mechanistic metaphors presently influencing educational discourse.  Student voices and examples from urban schools provide practical understanding of how bringing life to schools can indeed bring schools to life.

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