Prabhakar, Kumkum .
Teaching Botany in the Liberal Arts Curriculum.
As a new "green" revolution is ongoing, botany should regain its place in the liberal arts curriculum. Presently, there is a new awakening on botanical topics such as the use and abuse of herbs, medicinal plants, organic gardening, phytochemicals, fiber therapy, vegetarian diet, conservation of natural resources, genetically modified foods, climate change, agriculture, horticulture, and floriculture. It's time to teach botany in a societal context, so that our students, as informed citizens, can better meet present and future challenges.
A curriculum designed for non-science majors can help students achieve general education goals of scientific literacy, writing across the curriculum, information management, critical thinking, and communicative skills. Presently, the introductory botany course "Plants & Society" at Nassau Community College is one of the most popular non-science major courses. The course curriculum is dynamic and includes technological enhancements, while maintaining the rigorous standard of understanding fundamental botanical concepts. Using active learning, along with group work, allows the differentiated classroom to be a place where students enhance their general education skills, while conceptualizing and applying botanical concepts.
In addition to the curriculum, the modified inquiry-based pedagogy, along with diverse modes of delivery of course content, allow students to work with their strengths and improve upon their challenges. Students learn about scientific processes by conducting investigative, hands-on laboratory exercises in the College's greenhouse. Using local natural resources such as botanical gardens is an important educational tool for learning plant morphology, biodiversity, ecosystems, plant taxonomy and plant evolution.
Accountability of student learning in this course is evaluated by both objective and subjective tools. Utilizing self-assessment and non-traditional assessment for creative projects help students to better comprehend botanical concepts and their applications. This interactive workshop session will demonstrate a modular approach to teach/learn and assess investigative botany in context.
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Plants & Society Course - Biology 124
1 - N.C.C., Biology Department, One Education Drive, Garden City, New York, 11530-6793, USA
undergraduate biology instruction
Presentation Type: Workshop
Location: Wasatch A/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Sunday, July 26th, 2009
Time: 10:00 AM