Urban ecology – The answer to what inspires school kids to read, write, and be creative

Is there a connection between learning and the environment? This study on how Kumaran students view urban ecology on their campus says so.


Education is undergoing rapid changes. There is a lot of thrust on child-centric learning and holistic development. However, is there any emphasis on the environs, the ambience a school provides? Is there a connection between learning and the ecological environment?

This is precisely what Reap Benefit, an organization that works on sustainability concepts with Institutions, set to find out in a research report titled “Understanding the Role of Ecological Environment in Institutions of Learning”, with students and facilitators from Sri Kumaran Children’s Home-CBSE stream as Research Assistants.

Students of Kumaran sitting and relaxing in the green space

The objective of this study was to observe how students utilise the green spaces on the campus of Sri Kumaran Children’s Home – CBSE. Tools like informal surveys, interviews, mind mapping tools, and video journalling were used to document the findings.

The aim of the research was to understand the elements of environment which students appreciate and connect with in their school campus; the interaction students have with open spaces, green spaces (flora and fauna), and understand the elements in these spaces that students interact with; establish a preliminary co-relation between the ecological environment and learning outcomes-reading, writing, creativity, and problem solving being some of them and identify/verify the need to redesign classrooms.

SKCH CBSE campus is situated far away from the Kanakapura Road, in Mallasandra. The campus has approximately 45% green cover, and is surrounded by it. The classrooms and other spaces (like sports courts, library, amphitheatre, sit-outs, etc.) on campus are well designed to provide easy access to the view of the greenery and scenery. Sufficient freedom is given to the students to use these green spaces, and enjoy the diverse biodiversity it attracts and fosters.

Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic styles of learning were considered. A standard VAK (Visual Auditory Kinaesthetic) survey was used to identify the learning styles preferred by the students. The student’s responses of “Yes” or “No” helped understand how the information processing occurs.

A study on how students react to natural/environmental elements in the school campus revealed the following outcome:

What motivates students to read, write and think in a creative manner?

Students were asked to respond and the data collated revealed this:

The study helped understand the connection that students share with the ecological environment.The research study recommended adding few more elements in the classroom spaces that students desire to think and write better.

The scope of this study can extend to other institutions in terms of the verdure spaces that are freely accessible to students and facilitators, the architectural elements that ensure well-ventilated classrooms and landscaping that nurtures bio diversity. These are few factors that enhance the learning environment. SKCH-CBSE campus offers ample greenery that makes learning an enjoyable experience. Eco clubs in the school and other eco initiatives help students appreciate the greenery in the campus.

The results of the study can prove to be invaluable for improving the learning environment of the school and useful in identifying environmental/natural indicators that a school can conform to and aspire to improvise, resulting in generations of earth sensitive young adults.


  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An educator,a learner for life.I enjoy time with Nature and inclined towards all things natural :) more

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  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An educator,a learner for life.I enjoy time with Nature and inclined towards all things natural :) more
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