Warwick Silvester wbs at WAIKATO.AC.NZ
Wed Aug 21 17:15:58 EST 1996

>  Next week I will begin teaching an upper level plant anatomy course to
>seniors and masters students here.  I have inherited a 30 year old syllabus.
>I will be using it as a guideline.  My question... Does anyone have any
>suggestions/tips on teaching the course?  My worry is that 16 weeks of
>looking at cross sections will be rather dry.  The syllabus basically
>follows the chapter outlines in Fahn's book.  I want to spiff this class up
>a bit.  Any neat demos, techniques, etc?  Any batter way to teach than
>simply regurgitating book material?  I am not trained as a plant anatmoist
>though I have had the class (14 years back) and have taught basic anatomy in
>intro botany classes.
>  Any thoughts, suggestions, horror stories, etc. appreciated.  This is a
>two hr lec, 3 hr lab per week.
>  Thanks
>    Dave Starrett
>*                                       *
>*  Dr. David Starrett                   *
>*  Biology Department, MS 6200          *
>*  Southeast Missouri State University  *
>*  Cape Girardeau, MO 63701             *
>*  Ph: (573) 651-2382                   *
>*  Fax: (573) 651-2223                  *
>*  email: dstarret at biology.semo.edu     *
>*                                       *
A very successful approach that I have taken is to give students  a
research topic of their own. We started this by asking them to choose  some
ecological variants  such as sun and shade forms or dry vs moist
environments  but this proved to be too much of  a challenge and the
results too dependent on their choice. So we now supply material and have
fixed on leaves as  good material to show variation and  supply eg
monocot/dicot, C3/C4, conifer/ angiosp, sun/shade and they choose which
pair to study.                                                        They
are required  to descride the morphology and  anatomy and to write up in
the form of  a scietific paper.  They Have to do measurements with calipers
of thickness,  stomatal frequency using peels, cell sizes with calibrated
graticules  and sectioning and staining for which  we supply Tol Blue  and
phloroglucinol. What really adds to it is we have  a photomicroscope and
they can illustrate therir report with  anatomy photos.  Some of the
results are brilliant and they get an enormous amount out of it especially
when it is presented as a scientific paper. The local photo shop will
develop the  colour film in an hour and they can quickly see the results,
which with tol blue can be spectacular

Warwick Silvester                      Ph.(07) 838 4613
Dept of Biological Sciences             Fax(07) 838 4324
University of Waikato                     Email WBS at waikato.ac.nz
Hamilton, New Zealand

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