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There is a growing body of literature emphasizing the use of the schoolyard as a teaching tool, however there is limited research that investigates how to support the development of schoolyard pedagogy. Plains Public Schools is home to 17 elementary schools, 12 of which include one or more features of an enhanced schoolyard, such as garden beds. This manuscript investigates the research questions: 1) In what ways do Plains Public School (PPS) elementary teachers use their schoolyard to teach science? and 2) What types of support are needed for the development of schoolyard pedagogy for PPS elementary teachers? Four hundred and fifty-nine elementary teachers in PPS were solicited for participation in an online survey to investigate their perceptions of the opportunities for teaching in the schoolyard (response rate of 8.27%). Survey results indicate that although elementary teachers are teaching science, a limited number are capitalizing on the opportunities for science instruction within the features of the schoolyard. The findings reported in this manuscript further add to the literature base regarding teacher-perceived opportunities, barriers, and constraints for schoolyard pedagogy. In addition, these findings can help support the development of pre- and in-service programs that aim to improve schoolyard pedagogy for elementary teachers.
© 2020 Electronic Journal for Research in Science & Mathematics Education (EJRSME)