Green Schoolyards, naturally!?
It seems so logical: “Green schoolyards stimulate children’s healthy, motor, social and cognitive development.” However, there is little scientific research that supports this claim regarding specific elements. Dr. Jolanda Maas (Department Social and Organization Psychology, VU University) started a pilot study with money from the Productschap Tuinbouw (Horticulture Board), National Youth Foundation Jantje Beton and Knooppunt Bouwen met Groen (Collaboration Building with Green). This pilot forms the foundation for research over a number of years to come in Helmond. The current research project is a collaboration between the VU, Lectorate ‘Nature and Development Child´and the Green Campus (Helmond). I will be involved in this project as a junior researcher until the end of December 2012. We are looking for answers to the following questions:
1. How is the schoolyard used and experienced by children, parents, teachers, director and school board?
2. In what way do use and experience differ when comparing gray and green schoolyards?
3. Are green schoolyards more effective in stimulating children’s development than gray schoolyards?
4. What advice can we formulate on the basis of our research about the design and implementation of (green) schoolyards?
Five primary schools in Helmond will be involved in this project. Four of them are represented by Stichting Openbare Basisscholen Helmond. The schools vary in ‘the degree of greenness’ of their schoolyards. This research is meant to provide a baseline measurement. In a later phase of the project we intend to support the involved schools in developing and changing their schoolyards using results from this research.
Copyright © Konekto Consultancy - 2013