Clemson Extension School and Community Garden Program

A Look Back At the 2022 School Gardening Summer Series: Pedagogical Tools for Garden-Based Education: Engaging All Students

School Garden Series Presentation screenshot

School is back in session, but it’s not too late to catch up on the 2022 School Gardening Summer Series. Our first speaker Dilafruz Williams, Ph. D., shared some of the promising practical pedagogical tools embedded within the acronym G.A.R.D.E.N.S. Her presentation focused on engaging all students in garden-based learning. Using photos and stories, she shared ideas that helped ground our understanding of how garden-based education can be an exciting opportunity to engage diverse learners and make various subjects relevant to students.

Dilafruz Williams, PhD. is a Professor of Leadership for Sustainability Education at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. With dozens of partners, she has designed, co-founded, and supported several cutting-edge initiatives, such as Learning Gardens Laboratory, Leadership for Sustainability Education master’s program, Sunnyside Environmental School, and an NSF-funded project, Science in the Learning Gardens: Factors that Support Ethnic and Racial Minority Students in Low-Income Schools.A prolific scholar, Dr. Williams has authored over 70 chapters, journal articles, and curriculum resource guides and has given close to 200 invited lectures, symposia, and conference papers. Her research has extensively focused on garden, environmental, and place-based education. Her co-authored book, Learning Gardens and Sustainability Education: Bringing Life to Schools and Schools to Life (Routledge, 2012), presents a practical model of student engagement with gardens that serve as milieus for learning. She is co-editor of Ecological Education in Action: On Weaving Education, Culture, and the Environment (S.U.N.Y., 1999).

Dr. Williams has given workshops and keynote addresses in Australia, Austria, Canada, India, Nepal, New Zealand, Seoul, Korea, South Africa, and the United States. She has graduate degrees from Bombay, Syracuse, and Harvard Universities in the sciences, public administration, and education. For her research, curriculum, instruction, and projects, see and 

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