The international magazine Roots, which presents the educational activities of the world’s botanical gardens, has published an article by the specialists of the Botanical Garden of Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) on research of the impact and effectiveness of educational activities in the garden.
According to the authors of the article dr. Nerijus Jurkonis and Vesta Aleknavičiūtė, educational programmes in the botanical garden not only enrich the knowledge of children, but also shape their skills and perceptions and even the general approach to natural sciences.
Vytautas Magnus University Botanical Garden in Kaunas aims to address the misconception that non-formal educational programmes are considered fun and pleasant activities but not as useful practice for improvement of scientific knowledge and skills
To prove that valuable learning processes can take place in BGs too, a pilot study was carried out in the garden, in which three tools – children’s drawings, a free-form letter and a survey consisting of two-tier type questions – were used to determine the impact of BG educational programmes on students’ understanding of natural sciences and their attitude to them.
As the results of the research showed, BG educational activities have a positive impact on children’s attitude, knowledge and conceptual understanding about natural sciences. Even simple methods can be used to measure the impact and to prove that the BG can be a suitable environment for teaching and learning, not just for leisure activities. However, more data is needed to support this initial finding so subsequent stages are already planned and will involve more students and more activities, in order to evaluate their impact on conceptual understanding and attitude to the natural sciences.
Read more: ROOTS 2021 11