botany text

Ross Koning koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Wed Nov 10 15:27:38 EST 1999

At 1:03 PM -0500 11/10/99, Roxanne Fisher wrote:
>I'm teaching botany next semester.  Any thoughts on "Botany" by Moore,
>Clark, and Vodopich vs. "Biology of Plants" by RAven, Evert, and

Hi Roxanne,

Our students here are first-in-the-family college
students and money is tight. Most of our students
work as well as go to school. I chose Moore et al
because I felt I could use it for both my botany
and my plant physiology courses. This cuts the cost
in half for a student taking both. Now I find that
so few actually take both that I'm not sure that's
such a great deal. Moore definitely has more and
better physiological coverage IMHO. I like Evert's
morphology/anatomy coverage.

Both are priced beyond what is reasonable IMHO, but
shorter/incomplete texts (Berg, Rost, Stern, etc.) are
not priced significantly cheaper.

I find the writing level of Moore to match our
student's reading level better than parts of Raven.

I recommend having the publisher reps for your area
send you a copy of each and you look them over and
decide. I like to read a few chapters before deciding
whether my students can "follow" it or not.

Now I'll let my true jade seems to me that
the students of today are reluctant to read at all (with
some notable and memorable exceptions). Even a website
with lots of photos and animations seems uninteresting
to them...If you don't read, you don't write well either
and that seems to be a common observation today too. I
think a lot of books are purchased and rarely used but
sold back to the bookstore as used. Having a book seems
to imply posession of its information without having
to access any of it.

Where my students seem to get excited is in lab where
they WORK with plants. This experiential component seems
to be the spark that ignites learning. I cannot imagine
trying to teach without lab. Yet, management looks to the
big research-universities lack of labs in undergraduate
courses as a viable "model" for us to "aspire to." They
see our demands for class size as "unreasonable" given that
professors (or even graduate students) can teach a class of
300 at some University of great reputation.

Anyway good luck in text selection...if you find something
out there that your student's really READ and STUDY, I'd
sure like to hear about it!


Ross Koning                 | koning at
Biology Department          |
Eastern CT State University | phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA   | fax: 860-465-4479

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