text request summary
hadden at wingate.edu
Sun May 11 20:34:36 EST 2003
This is a rushed mail out to get the info I received out to any who
wanted to see it before their book order deadlines came and went. [I
will be out of the office for several weeks following surgery
tomorrow.] There were 4 recommendations for majors course and 2 for
non-majors. Thanks to all who responded. Copied below are the
unedited responses .
1. I have been using "Biology of plants", authors: Peter H. Raven,
Evert and Susan E. Eichhorn, W.H. Freeman and co., Worth Publishers,
many years. You can check their website at www.whfreeman.com/BIOLOGY
2. TEXT/AUTHOR: "biology" by raven & johnson
> HOW LONG YOU'VE USED THIS TEXT: 1 semester.
we switched from our 2 semester botany, then zoo general biol, to a
process semester followed by combined botany/zoo. this text was chosen
because it addresses all topics, minimizing student expense on
for different courses.
> STRENGTHS: covers all biology topics
> WEAKNESSES OR THINGS YOU'D LIKE TO SEE IMPROVED: i found many of the
differences between plants and
animals were overlooked with emphasis on animals as though plants
simply followed suit. initially, the botany group was
happy about this choice, expecting botanist raven to beef up the plant
side. but ultimately, raven produced a text that our
animal inclined world would support. i don't remember specifics, but
overall i was not happy with this text.
i also remember some internal inconsistency in taxonomic presentation.
3.TEXT/AUTHOR: Biology of Plants, 6th ed. Raven, Evert, Eichhorn
HOW LONG YOU'VE USED THIS TEXT: I've used various editions for the
STRENGTHS: Incredibly comprehensive and as up-to-date as possible on
in our understanding of evolutionary lineages and trends. The
web site for the text is a great learning tool for students to
haven't found any other text that comes close to touching this one in
of content, design, and facility of use.
WEAKNESSES OR THINGS YOU'D LIKE TO SEE IMPROVED: As with any text,
expensive. My understanding is that the text was originally
with a two-semester intro. course in mind; I have one semester.
Consequently, I have to pare down some information, and that leaves
wondering whether they missed something critical or not. It is, as my
doctoral committee suggested, one of those texts that, if you know the
entire contents well, a gage of your botanical comprehension.
OTHER COMMENTS: The Plant Biology course at Lynchburg College is
for majors and is considered a sophomore-level course, so it's not
introductory in that I can safely assume students have some background
evolutionary biology, ecology, and cellular and molecular biology
don't think this text would serve very well for a truly
class. Our course also includes a laboratory component. I do not use
lab manual designed to complement Raven because it is just too much of
added cost, and I cannot make sufficient use of the contents to
expense. I know that the publisher allows instructors to assemble
customized versions of the lab exercises, but I find doing my own
modifications to be more suitable and flexible.
4. 3. TEXT/AUTHOR: Raven et al: Biology of Plants, 6th ed.
> HOW LONG YOU'VE USED THIS TEXT: 15 yrs
> STRENGTHS: Great photos; more info than I need, but I would rather
than not enough info. Reasonably current
> WEAKNESSES OR THINGS YOU'D LIKE TO SEE IMPROVED: I wish it was
differently. I do not teach my course with diversity first. I do not
chemistry, viruses, or bacteria.
> OTHER COMMENTS: I have tried Stern's book (leaves out too much) and
Moore et al
(it has too many errors in it!) and I like Raven's text the best.
I use this (with trimming down and with supplementation) for a
course. I eliminate the endless detail of types of fruits, etc., and
out a single sheet (each) with the highlights of physiology and
The glossary has about 3 times as much detail as I'm willing to
nonmajors (and way more than needed for people who aren't going to be
plant specialists, even if they are biology majors). The "economic
section at the end is great, though. I include the book here because I
hear it is being used as an intro botany text.
> TEXT/AUTHOR: Plants and Society/Levetin & MacMahon
> HOW LONG YOU'VE USED THIS TEXT: 5 years
> STRENGTHS: Economic botany, history
> WEAKNESSES OR THINGS YOU'D LIKE TO SEE IMPROVED: The physiology and
> genetics chapters. The former focuses on the least appealing details
> electrons and long-distance transport. The genetics is just too much
> OTHER COMMENTS: I think this is a good plant biology text for people
> will not go on to do plant biology. Even the future plant biologists
> will probably get the details in future courses.
2. TEXT/AUTHOR: Introductory Plant Biology 9th Ed., 2003. Kingsley
>HOW LONG YOU'VE USED THIS TEXT: Since the 4th Ed.
>STRENGTHS: It has all the elements of our two-quarter course for
>non-majors. I especially like the way the life cycles are drawn in a
>WEAKNESSES OR THINGS YOU'D LIKE TO SEE IMPROVED: It needs a bit more
>chemistry for our course but those elements are easy to supplement.
>OTHER COMMENTS: Supplements are very good. McGraw Hill provides
>instructors with digital images which can be inserted in PowerPoint
>lectures, handouts, etc. There is also a full set of PowerPoint
>(which I never use because I emphasize other points.) There is also
>of overhead transparencies and an excellent web site of support
>available to students.
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