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Plant Biology

Chapter in book
Authors Dawn Sanders
Dan Jenkins
Published in Teaching Biology in Schools: Global Research, Issues and Trends
ISBN 9781138087941
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London and New York
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies
Language en
Keywords Plants, Big idea, synoptic narrative, historical vignettes, student-centred learning, misconceptions.
Subject categories Biological Sciences, Educational Sciences


The history of the rise and fall of the use of plant specimens in school science is complex. Currently, the role of plants in the received curriculum is frequently perceived as separate from animals, and often focused on specific ‘plant topics’, a classic one being photosynthesis. However, in the ‘planned curriculum’ there are many opportunities for teachers to choose which living material to use and thus create a less zoo-centric focus. In this chapter, we present ideas for a synoptic narrative model, in which plants can be mobilized as living organisms that bring together the seemingly disparate, and often quite abstract, narratives of secondary school biology. In so doing, we will draw attention to a ‘reading the story’ of ‘big ideas’ approach. We aim to create didactic moves that encompass practical experiments, encourage student voice and draw on historical vignettes. In developing this approach we have utilized international science education research, recent scientific studies and contemporary teaching resources.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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