The pedagogical school garden and the educationalisation of social problems in Denmark

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

4 Downloads (Pure)


This paper aims to contribute to the literature relating to how the designed landscapes of school gardens across the Western world carried the same complex mix of pedagogical, practical, aesthetic, and even moral baggage as the nature study movement. Common to the movements behind school gardening was the wish to use education within these designed landscapes to cope with perceived social problems. In contrast to other countries, Danish school gardens were established and run on a voluntary basis by the School Gardens Association and local teachers. The association transformed school gardening from a matter of promoting self-sufficiency for rural children to a way of solving social problems in the cities. Urban children were thought to be exposed to dangers when spending time on the street, which constituted a moral and social problem. Therefore, school gardening in Denmark became a way of educationalisation of perceived social problems by developing (civic) virtue and inner strength through garden education in the first half of the 20th century. The Danish movement peaked around 1960 but has seen a revival over the last two decades.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)67-76
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2023

Cite this