June 22, 2021 — Community Members, Educators
Opportunities for Teachers and School Garden Supporters
The EdEN Lab, housed within the UT Nutrition Institute, supports school gardens, teachers, and communities through research, evaluation, and training.
Our research and evaluation offers direct feedback on best practices and effectiveness of school gardens. Our two training programs, SproUTing Teachers and the UT Outdoor Intern Program offer direct interaction with teachers to assist them in utilizing outdoor spaces to enhance in-classroom activities.
Why work with us?
Our team's extensive experience with curriculum, evaluation, and training for outdoor learning environments allows us to quickly identify where improvement practices can be put in place to enhance student experience and long-term sustainability.
Our programs help teachers by addressing their individual goals to improve usage of the school garden, taking into account the different needs of students and teachers.
To build sustainable practices, we work with:
- Teachers: curriculum, outdoor learning, nutrition education
- Administration: building and maintaining strong leadership, grant writing and fundraising
- Garden leadership groups/committees/clubs and support staff: creating and sustaining teams to provide direction and leadership of the outdoor space
Our goal is to help gardens become fully integrated in schools, from the perspective of administrators, staff, and the wider community.
School garden trainings
Using the research Insights from the Austin School Garden project, we have identified successful strategies that help overcome common school garden challenges.
What we offer:
- SproUTing Teachers: SproUTing Teachers is a direct, individualized coaching program for teachers who have interest in integrating outdoor learning into their classroom curriculum.
- UT Outdoor Intern Program: The UT Outdoor Intern Program connects UT nutrition undergraduate students with mentor teachers. Interns use model teaching to bring 'indoor' lessons outside, through program-specific gardening and nutrition lessons that incorporate teachers' curriculum goals.
- Webinars: We hold free, virtual trainings throughout the year that provide Continuing Professional Education for teachers who want to expand their knowledge of gardening, outdoor curriculum, grant-writing, and more.
- In-person trainings: We offer in-person trainings for schools, districts or groups of teaching professionals who want to further their knowledge in outdoor learning.
To stay in the loop about upcoming webinars and in-person training opportunities, join the EdEN Lab mailing list.
Fill out our school garden evaluation
Our current evaluation project is gathering data from school gardens nationwide. By taking our school garden evaluation survey, you'll help us gather wider information on best practices for school gardens.
When multiple garden program stakeholders (e.g. teachers, parents, administrators, etc) take the survey, we can analyze input from the entire team. This level of information enables us to provide actionable recommendations and connections to resources that can help your team improve school garden programming as well as physical space.
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