How can we use plants to explore development issues?   This was the key challenge for a project that was developed in partnership with the Education Centre at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Around the Garden in 80 ways published in 1994, and the project process that led to it, set the scene for later projects on this theme and most significantly new DEC partnership projects with all the environment centres linked to Birmingham LEA.   

The project offered the opportunity to develop creative ideas about how plants might be used as a stimulus for raising issues such as: power, trade, gender, cultural tradition and environmental sustainability. 

The teacher group met over two terms, for daytime inset and after-school meetings. Central to this process were two visits per class to Birmingham Botanical Gardens, one each term.  These were focal points for the work which was undertaken in the classroom.  Work was developed in a range of curriculum areas to enable the group to explore the potential of plants as a resource for cross curricula learning.  The project focused on key stage 2 but many of the ideas have wider application. 

'I particularly liked the double page layout with information on one side, and a case study on the other. ... Birmingham Development Education Centre have really produced a jewel here.'    E-scape, Learning through Landscapes

ISBN-10: 0 948838 36 1

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