lower division classes

David R. Hershey dh321 at PGSTUMAIL.PG.CC.MD.US
Thu May 15 13:39:30 EST 1997

On 15 May 1997, Ross Koning wrote:

> Worse, I think our American culture has become so focused 
> on things human that courses on other organisms are the 
> bottom of the interest barrel any more. It seems student 
> interest goes: 1. Human, 2. Primate, 3. Mammal, 4. Vertebrate, 
> 5. Animal, 10. All others. 

I agree with this assessment, that's why I have advocated a more practical
approach to botany teaching which includes more horticultural subjects
that students can use in their homes or gardens. These topics are just as
scientifically rigorous as traditional botany subjects but they are also
relevant. Among the many possible topics are plant propagation (rooting
cuttings, tissue culture, grafting, seed germination, etc.), extending
vase life of cut flowers, plant cold hardiness, and growing plants in
containers. I had a whole course on the later topic. 

Additionally, most topics in botany texts have a practical or human
connection, it is just that it is often not pointed out. For example,
except for peas, texts rarely give any plant examples of Mendelian

David R. Hershey

Snail mail: 6700 Belcrest Road #112, Hyattsville, MD 20782-1340

Adjunct Professor, Biology/Horticulture Dept.
Prince George's Community College, Largo, MD 20772-2199

Email: dh321 at pgstumail.pg.cc.md.us


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