'There's only so much money hotdog sales can bring in': The Intersection of Green School Grounds and Socio-economic Status
Dyment, JE, 'There's only so much money hotdog sales can bring in': The Intersection of Green School Grounds and Socio-economic Status, Children's Geographies, 3, (3) pp. 307-323. ISSN 1473-3285 (2005) [Refereed Article]
In the interest of enhancing children's environments, many school grounds around the world are being 'greened' as asphalt and manicured grass are replaced with a diversity of elements and spaces, such as trees, shrubs, gardens, art, and gathering areas. Despite a growing body of research from a number of disciplines that is exploring the potential of these spaces, very little is known about how issues of socio-economic status (SES) influence school ground greening initiatives. In this paper, I explore what (if any) relationship exists between school ground greening and SES in a Canadian school board where approximately 20% of more than 500 schools have begun the greening process. A mixed methods approach was used: (1) 149 questionnaires were completed by administrators, teachers, and parents associated with 45 school ground greening initiatives; and (2) 21 follow-up interviews were conducted with administrators, teachers and parents at five greening projects across a range of SESs. Three significant, and arguably troubling, patterns emerged as a function of socio-economic status of the school community. Participants associated with schools across a range of SESs had different: (1) perceptions as to the importance/adequacy of green school grounds; (2) access to adult support; and (3) access to funding. The implications of these findings are discussed.
green school grounds, socio-economic status, class, children’s play spaces, environmental education