course organization

Sun Jul 15 16:08:31 EST 2001

 Hi Dave,

I use the same book (Brian Capon's Botany for Gardeners) for my
course too.  I'll have to check out your website...mine has a lot of
stuff for the non-majors course too.


-----Original Message-----
From: drobinson at
To: plant-ed at
Sent: 7/15/01 2:59 PM
Subject: RE: course organization

It IS a quandry isn't it?...what comes first:   the survey of
plants?...or the anatomy/morphology? I say, if in doubt, stick with the
order that it is presented in whichever textbook you are using, and do
your best to integrate any other information you think appropriate. 

When I first started teaching Botany I designed my own organization for
the course, which involved jumping around between chapters (ie. a little
bit here and a little bit there) in what I believed to be a more logical
order than what it was presented in the book. I later found out that
this annoyed students quite abit, so now I go through the chapters in
numerical order (1,2,3,4..). Students prefer reading books in the order
that it is published. I figure that if I don't like the order that the
book uses I should just pick a different book, and if all the books
present the material in the same order then maybe we should trust the
authors' judgement! They have probably thought about more than we have!

I teach Botany for non-majors, and use a small paperback book called
"Botany for Gardeners" by Alan Capon, supplemented with my own WWW site
and hyperlinks.

Dave Robinson 
Bellarmine University 
Louisville, KY 

	-----Original Message----- 
From:   svand at [SMTP:svand at] 
Sent:   Friday, July 13, 2001 3:54 PM 
To:     plant-ed at 
Subject:        RE: course organization 

	I second Scott's request.  I'm preparing to teach a similar
course - again - 
this fall and have tried both schemes.  I have reservations about both 
formats and would appreciate other's input.  In addition, what textbooks
being used for this type of course? 

	-----Original Message----- 
From: owner-plant-ed at 
[ mailto:owner-plant-ed at
<mailto:owner-plant-ed at> ]On Behalf Of Scott Shumway 
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2001 9:15 AM 
To: plant-ed at 
Subject: course organization 

	My Plant Biology course (open to students who have completed
intro bio) has 
evolved into a survey of the plant kingdom and the anatomy of roots,
and leaves.  I continue to wrestle with the question of which should
first, the anatomy or the survey?  I've tried it both ways.  The anatomy

provides vocabulary which is useful for the survey.  For example, it is 
difficult to explain the differences between non-vascular plants and
if students do not know what xylem is or that the pores in liverworts
similar in function to stomata in higher plants if they don't know what 
stomata are.  HOWEVER, teaching the survey early in the semester would 
allow me to make greater use of the natural laboratory of our campus and

surrounding woodland and to save the microscope work for the cold parts
the New England semester.  I think that I can also get students more 
excited about plants by starting with whole plants rather than tissues
cell types.  OR I could insert the anatomy into the beginning of the 
flowering plants, as the anatomy is focused almost exclusively on 
angiosperms.  I use Raven et al as a text and they place anatomy after

	I would appreciate any suggestions.  Thank you. 

	Scott Shumway 
Associate Professor of Biology 
Dept. of Biology 
Wheaton College 
Norton, MA 02766 
"Scott_Shumway at" 
fax 508-285-8278 




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