[Plant-education] textbooks

Tyler Smith via plant-ed%40net.bio.net (by tyler.smith from eku.edu)
Tue Nov 2 19:31:00 EST 2010


I switched to Graham Graham and Wilcox this semester, from Raven which 
we had been using here for a while.

Graham is more readable, and I feel more comfortable assigning readings 
for the students to work through independently than with Raven. The 
detail in Raven is a bit of a barrier for some of my students. I felt I 
needed to pay close attention to the readings I assigned, to be sure 
that I wasn't asking the students to sift through too much material to 
get at the key concepts.

I didn't use assigned readings at all my first semester, just listed the 
chapter that went with each lecture. One of my brightest students 
admitted to me that she never read the textbook at all, as the detail 
was very confusing for her.

In contrast, with Graham I have no hesitation (and have had no 
complaints) just assigning a full chapter, knowing that it's accessible 
enough that the students can work through it even *before* I've covered 
the topics in class.

The downside is that I miss _some_ of the extra detail in Raven. For 
example, I'm just getting to the diversity section now. I hadn't 
realized that evolutionary trees, which feature prominently in Raven, 
are pretty infrequent in Graham.

On balance, I think Graham is still better for my class. There's 
probably one or two students in each class that would benefit from the 
extra detail in Raven, but in my case I've got 20 or 30 for whom the 
extra material is just overwhelming.

Cheers,

Tyler


On 11/02/2010 06:06 PM, Zoger, Abigail wrote:
> We have a 3 semester sequence for our introduction for biology majors. The first semester is cell and molecular and then a semester of zoology and evolution and another with botany and ecology.  Our cell class uses the "big" Campbell and we have traditionally had the botany students use that book and then supplement with Barbour, Rost and  etc.
>
>    I am  looking for other options and wanted to find out what other people used for their introductory biology major's botany classes.  All of the survey books fall short on the diversity section. On the other hand, I feel that Raven is too much detail for the students and a very expensive book to have them buy on top of already having bought Campbell ( even if it is spread out over several semesters).
>
> Has anyone used Plant Biology by Graham, Graham and Wilcox?
>
> Thank you
> Abigail Zoger
> Life Sciences Department
> Santa Rosa Junior College
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