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ERIC Number: ED408982
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jan
Pages: 5
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Visual Learning in Field Biology.
Stanley, Ethel D.
Visual learning has long been recognized as an integral process in educating biology undergraduates, who must develop specific visual skills and knowledge in order to communicate and work in the extensive visual culture shared by practicing biologists. Student experiences with field observations and the development and application of verbal/visual language in the field setting are often problematic, however. One way of improving the design of field experiences in biology is to consider the kinds of visual tasks that are required for learning. For example, organism identification deals with individual variation among living specimens, which often requires active assessment of visually complicated information; experienced biologists use some subset of this information to shorten the identification process. When students depend on a single image or on a photograph or drawing or a "typical" example to identify a specimen, they may be unable to deal with the diversity within a population of similar specimens. Other complications for beginners are limited observation time in the field and the image familiarity demanded by the field manual and dichotomous key. The ability to identify an object requires more than general familiarity of forms, but also judgments based on re-examination of the nature of that familiarity. Field studies that incorporate collaborative investigations may provide this kind of practice. (Contains 12 references.) (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A