The best prof meetings for teaching?

David Hershey dh321 at bellatlantic.net
Thu Feb 25 19:39:51 EST 1999


Susan Singer,

Please tell this group how many of the hundreds of teaching abstracts
presented at the ASPP meetings over the years have become articles in
the journal Plant Physiology? There is a big difference in saying "will
publish scholarly articles on
teaching in Plant Physiology" and actually publishing them on a regular
basis.

Several years ago I wrote to the Editor of "Plant Physiology" and asked
if he accepted teaching articles because the Instructions to Authors
said that the journal accepted manuscripts "in all phases of plant
physiology." There was a brusque "no" and a change in the wording with
"research" added to "Instructions to Authors" so no one could possibly
think that teaching articles were acceptable in Plant Physiology. I
followed up on this a few years later after the Education Committee had
forced the Plant Physiology editor to change policy and accept teaching
articles in Plant Physiology. I was even invited to submit an education
manuscript by someone on the ASPP Education Committee. However,  given
the obvious opposition of the Plant Physiology editors to the idea, I
decided not to bother. I have published articles in American Biology
Teacher, Science Activities, Science Teaching, and several other science
teaching journals who do welcome articles on plant science teaching.

I certainly appreciate the efforts of a few dedicated teachers in ASPP
to promote teaching but they are a fairly small group and have to fight
against a tremendous "research chauvinism" that permeates most of the
plant science societies. For a society that does a much better job
supporting teaching, try the American Chemical Society, with its Journal
of Chemical Education. The American Society of Agronomy has an education
journal as well.

If you check the National Association of Biology Teachers list of
Organizational Members, you find no plant science societies. The only
scientific society listed is American Society for Microbiology.

If the plant science societies want to support scholarly articles on
plant education, I think it would be more efficient if they funded an
annual "plant issue" of American Biology Teacher because it has over
10,000 subscribers.

David Hershey
dh321 at bellatlantic.net




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