Gardening with grandparents: an early engagement with the science curriculum

Ruby, Mahera; Kenner, Charmian; Jessel, John; Gregory, Eve E. and Arju, Tahera. 2007. Gardening with grandparents: an early engagement with the science curriculum. Early Years, 27(2), pp. 131-144. ISSN 09575146 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In many cultures, elders are revered within the extended family as a source of wisdom gained from long experience. In Western societies, this role has been marginalised by changes in family structure, and grandparents' significant contribution to children's upbringing often goes unacknowledged. A research study with families of three- to six-year-olds in East London reveals how grandparents from a variety of cultural backgrounds passed on knowledge about growing fruit and vegetables to their grandchildren through joint gardening activities. Children learned to identify different plants, and to understand conditions and stages of plant growth. Grandparents from Bangladesh introduced children to a wide range of fruits and vegetables, and concepts were reinforced through bilingual communication. Analysis shows that these intergenerational learning encounters fostered children's scientific knowledge in ways that supported and extended curriculum work in the early years.

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Educational Studies


July 2007Published

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12 Mar 2009 15:41

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:03

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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