One way to beat Plant Blindness

Priscilla Millen pmillen at
Wed Feb 16 17:17:49 EST 2005

There is an excellent program funded privately by Thomas Kenan through 
the National Tropical Botanic Gardens that has two sites: David 
Fairchild's Kampong in Coral Gables, FL and in Kaua'i of the Hawaiian 

For 2 weeks you interact with master teachers and learn directly from 
plants and your colleagues. The two foci of the program, called the 
Kenan Fellowship, is to decrease plant blindness and introduce tropical 
botany into science courses.

I highly recommend it for anyone wanting a stimulating experience and 
new insights in how to teach botany - such as it is - an exciting and 
rewarding journey! One great benefit of the program: all expenses paid! 
Makes you feel valued as a botany professional!

See this website about the Kaua'i Gardens:
under courses and internships for the 2005 program in Florida.

Fewer contact information:
Gaugau Tavana, Ph.D.

     Director of Education
     3530 Papalina Road
     Tel: (808) 332-7324 ext 225
     Fax: (808) 332-9765
     E-mail: tavana at

Priscilla Millen

On Wednesday, February 16, 2005, at 05:31 AM, Monique Reed wrote:

     Thanks for the great article.

     I see a *huge* animal bias in my college level students. To some of
     them, trees are merely something you sit in to hunt from.

     I think this is because most of them have had the interest
     beaten/bored out of them in prior classes. Instead of starting with,
     "This is a plant--it can make its own food, it can make oxygen, it can
     skip sex altogether, you can reproduce it from a single leaf, it
     mimics a bee to acheive pollination, this one can eat bugs, etc.
     Isn't it cool?" they were given, "This is a plant cell--here are the
     chloroplasts... Memorize all the parts of the cell and the
     photosynthetic pathway." Snore...

     If you hit them with the "gee whiz" factor up front, more of them stay
     awake for the hard science later on. I realize that, in a way, that
     is catering to the "entertain me" mentality, but you do need to find
     the hook that draws them in. We need to have students at all levels
     poking in terraria, lying belly-down in patches of bluets, tasting odd
     crops, and mucking about in wet ditches.

     Monique Reed
     Texas A&M

     "David R. Hershey" wrote:

         "Plant Content in the National Science Education Standards"

         David R. Hershey


Priscilla S. Millen
Professor of Botany Fax: 808-455-0509
Leeward Community College Website for Botany 130:
96-045 Ala Ike, Pearl City Plants in the Hawaiian Environment
Hawaii 96782 htttp://emedia.leeward.hawaii.
Office phone: 808-455-0285 edu/millen/bot130

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