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School of Environmental Studies

The John Muir Learning Garden Brightens San Francisco Schools

Purpose of the Learning Garden

The John Muir Learning Garden is designed to give San Francisco Schools students a change to take learning further outside of the classroom. The Garden builds on the fundamental curriculum concerns of the elementary school and provides an opportunity for students to gain real life experience that complements their academic studies. San Francisco school students are able to integrate classroom literacy, mathematics, science, history, and language arts instruction through their participation in activities in the Learning Garden.

The Learning Garden reaches out to the community in providing outreach services for parents, neighbors, and interested volunteers. Mentor gardeners work with teachers and students to design educational opportunities. One of the interesting projects going on now is the sustainable composting program that takes organic waste from San Francisco school lunches and uses it for fertilizing garden projects instead of filling landfills. This is just one of many projects that combine garden training with practical real world environmental concerns. The events organized in the park help students and the community learn about how to protect the local environment while studying nature in an urban setting.

Partners of the Learning Garden

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Online Landscape Architecture Training Schools

Public spaces from college campuses to historic sites are created and designed by trained professionals. The ability to take a predetermined size of land and think of a layout is a skill set that individuals go to college to obtain. With the continued increase in technology students now have the capability of earning an online education in landscape architecture. There are a number of things to know prior to enrollment in a higher education program.

1. Landscape architects utilize a vast range of knowledge that they incorporate into their designs. The goal is to design spaces in esthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly ways to create a functional public space. The use of architecture principles, design techniques, construction procedures, and engineering concepts are integrated into how professionals develop and implement their designs. This creative career is available to students through a number of online colleges. Many professionals use their abilities to create a piece of artwork with the land while remaining conscious that what they put on the land effects the environment. Because of the overall process that goes into creating landscape online studies focus on art, science, design, and technology. Students have several opportunities available to them through online landscape architecture schools.

2. Students have the chance to gain education at the bachelor’s degree and master’s degree levels. These two programs are the most common online programs. Each level of education stresses different responsibilities students will have when they enter the profession. A bachelor’s degree program gives students the knowledge required to enter the field and become landscape designers, project managers, and more. A master’s degree program online teaches students how to handle advance responsibilities by expanding their understanding of industry subjects. Many firms and employers may require students to have this level of degree before being hired.

3. In order to learn how to create spaces that are either public or private students should consider starting their education with a bachelor’s degree. Education generally lasts four years, which is enough time for students to gain the necessary knowledge to enter the field. Students learn how to design projects using different disciplines along with computer aided design software. This software is known as CAD, which is a software program that allows students to create technical drawings accurately. Ecology, graphic design, plant selection, and horticulture are a few courses that make up the overall study of landscape architecture. Online schools are specifically geared towards helping students become highly proficient in landscape architecture.

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Violence in Schools

School violence has been identified as an increasing problem facing all members of school communities. Intervention programs have been developed to combat this ever increasing problem, with varying levels of effectiveness. Following, individualised and generic intervention programs which aim to reduce the incidence of school violence will be discussed in relation to issues such as cost, cultural fit, power, training, acceptability, and involvement.

Both individualised and generic intervention programs aim to reduce the incidence of school violence and create a safe and secure learning environment. In which staff and students are protected from all forms of violence. Bullying and aggression occur more frequently in schools where there are unclear standards of behaviour, inconsistent methods of discipline, inadequate supervision and lack of awareness of children as individuals (Pearce, 1991, p76). Generic intervention programs may address issues relating to methods of discipline and supervision but less often address issues relating to the children as individuals. Individualised intervention programs address the specific learning, social and emotional needs of the student rather than the wider school community. Individualised intervention programs also address issues relating to discipline and supervision of the target student.

Generic intervention programs appear to have limited scope when addressing the effects of violent episodes on victims and witnesses. Generic programs may be less effective in addressing the specific needs of the victim as they are typically general in nature and not developed for the specific and individual needs of particular students. Individualised intervention programs address the specific needs of the victims within the specific school context. Therefore, individualised intervention programs are likely to be more effective in addressing the effects of violence for those involved, including the victims of violent episodes. Intervention programs, either individualised or generic, which require the abuser to make amends, are effective in reducing further incidents (Pearce, 1991).

Some teachers commonly use emotional maltreatment along with punitive practices to discipline and punish students for unwanted behaviour (Briggs & Hawkins, 1997, p34). Abuse perpetrated by teachers often occurs within a school climate where violence and aggression is tolerated (Saudermann, Jaffe & Schieck, 1996, p5). A generic intervention program may be effective in changing the culture of the school and impacting on expectations of acceptable professional behaviours. However, the changes required to limit the abuse by teachers may happen over time as the culture of the school improves. An individualised intervention program would also be effective in reducing incidents of abuse by teachers, although changes in abusive behaviours should occur more rapidly. Both generic and individualised intervention programs can provide abusive teachers with new strategies for managing students’ behaviour thus reducing the incidence of violence and abuse.

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