Co-production – how projects like gardening can help pupils engage in school

The BBC is reporting new research that suggests taking part in a project, such as running a club or renovating a garden, can prevent pupils becoming disengaged from education.

The Demos study indicated working on a pupil-led “co-production” with teachers and school staff improved behaviour, confidence and social skills.

The think tank set up projects in four schools in England over the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years.

A total of 64 Key Stage 3 pupils (11- to 14-year-olds) worked with 15 staff…

In a survey carried out after the completion of the project, 45% of pupils saw an improvement in behaviour and there was an 11% drop in the number of students reporting they were frequently getting into trouble at school.

Many staff and students also said their relationships had improved, because the traditional teacher-student model had been redefined when working together in a more relaxed and informal way…

Ian Wybron, author of the report, Pupil Power, said: “Disengagement from learning is a widespread and persistent problem in education, wasting the potential of learners, closing doors to good jobs, and ultimately harming the wider economy.

“Co-production offers a new way of approaching the problem – empowering disengaged students to take charge over their learning and to run their own projects, giving them new reasons to want to be in school.

“Our experience has shown how challenging this process can be, but also its enormous potential to encourage pupils whose experience in education might previously have been defined by their disengagement to be seen in a new light, grow in confidence, and make positive contributions to their school community. “

More at Garden project helps pupils engage in school


Read or download the report in full:

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Some fascinating results here although to some extent it feels a bit like common sense to engage these students through something different and meaningful to them (although sometimes things are only obvious when someone has first pointed them out).

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  1. brighton118

    SchoolsImprove – Yes schools used to do more of this. Those schools that offer the #Asdan cope courses often undertake projects like this.

  2. No doubt Nick Gibb will dismiss this as child-centred ‘orthodoxy’.  He even suggested in a recent speech that the OECD and Andreas Schleicher had been infected with this pestilence.

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