ERIC Number: ED501357
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Plant Content in the National Science Education Standards
Hershey, David R.
American Institute of Biological Sciences
The National Science Education Standards (NSES) provides few resources for teaching about plants. To assure students understand and appreciate plants, the author advocates teaching about plants as a basic biological concept, avoiding animal chauvinism in biology coursework, correcting pseudoscience and anthropomorphisms about plants, and making plant studies fascinating and relevant. Although the National Science Education Standards (NSES) provides a framework for teaching precollege science, it does not stress as fundamental the importance of plants in science teaching. The author cites National Research Council (NRC) reports emphasizing that "our knowledge about the world around us is incomplete if we do not include plants in our discoveries, and it is distorted if we do not place sufficient emphasis on plant life," and "because plants are especially easy to grow and care for, students at every grade level should be involved with gardening projects ... Both domesticated and native plants should be grown and observed. The ecological and agricultural importance of plants should be a major point of emphasis. The historical importance of agriculture in the development of the human race provides an ideal opportunity to integrate the social and natural sciences." The writer advocates that lack of emphasis on the importance of teaching about plants by the NSES should not preclude teachers from incorporating NRC recommendations in the classroom. Classroom ideas for teaching about plants are provided in "Get Involved Links."
Descriptors: Plants (Botany), Botany, Science Education, National Standards, Academic Standards, Bias, Misconceptions, Elementary Secondary Education
American Institute of Biological Sciences. 1444 I Street NW Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-628-1500; Fax: 202-628-1509; Web site: http://www.aibs.org
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: American Inst. of Biological Sciences, Washington, DC.