Student preference for plants versus animals in teaching

Steve Hinkson sphinkson at
Sat Aug 21 05:12:56 EST 1999

Betcha' Mimosa pudica woulda' won...

David Hershey wrote:

> A 1999 article in Journal of Biological Education by I.M Kinchin titled
> "Investigating secondary-school girls' preferences for animals or
> plants: a simple 'head-to-head' comparison using two unfamiliar
> organisms" compared student preference for Arabidopsis versus Mellitoba
> digitata, so-called Wow Bugs. Not surprisingly, the Wow Bugs won because
> they moved.
> Unfortunately, the study seemed flawed because it compared a model
> animal for teaching with a bland research plant. The Wow Bugs came from
> Carolina Biological Supply Company who also sell the very successful
> Wisconsin Fast Plants, a model plant for biology teaching. The author
> also reported that the Arabidopsis were not even in flower when they
> were shown to the students.
> A fair comparison would have used Wisconsin Fast Plants in flower or a
> plant species that moves, such as Venus flytrap or Sensitive Plant.
> David Hershey
> dh321 at

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