photosynthesis terminology

Kathy Schmid KSchmid at
Mon Apr 21 14:56:32 EST 1997

I regularly divide photosynthesis into "photo" and "synthesis" 
portions, and have no problem explaining why "dark reactions" is a 
no-no in my class.  Students who read my old exam file find multiple 
variants on that standby essay question about why plants don't reduce 
carbon in the dark.  Few of them miss it, given that they are 
encouraged to stop the lecture dramatically if I slip and use that 

To some extent, "bad" terms can be helpful when you're discussing "the 
nature of science."  If students hear that the term "abscisic acid" 
was based on error, they may be less likely to believe that everything in 
the text is set in stone.

Kathy Schmid
schmid at

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