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Abstract Detail


Teaching Section

Wandersee, James H. [1], Clary, Renee M. [2].

Theophrastus: an exploratory qualitative study of college science students.

MANY botany textbooks devote less than one paragraph to Theophrastus (372-287 BCE), the pupil of Aristotle who is considered by many historians of science to be the father of botany and/or the father of horticulture. What warrants exist for these claims? Should we do more than just mention Theophrastus in our science classes? Can this path-blazing science educator, a sage who taught thousands of his own students in the Lyceum, still speak to us and our students across the centuries? What, if any, scientific insights do today’s college students gain by reading carefully selected excerpts from some of his writings, namely, On the History of Plants, Causes of Plants, and his Treatise on Stones? Our exploratory qualitative research investigation introducing him to students in selected introductory college science courses offers evidence that students' understanding of botany and geology can benefit, to varying degrees and in various aspects, from the three associated integrative, retrospective, and reflective activities we developed to help them think about the origins of science and contemplate how scientific knowledge is refined over time.[c.e.:srb]


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1 - Louisiana State University, Dept. of Curric. & Instr., 15-Degree Laboratory, Room 223-F Peabody Hall, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70803, USA
2 - Mississippi State University, Dept. of Geosciences, 301-B Hilbun Hall, Mississippi State, Mississippi, 39762, USA

Keywords:
science education
father of botany
father of horticulture
Theophrastus
nature of science
reading primary texts
origins of the sciences
botany.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 11-3
Location: 207-209/Kandall Hall
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 9:30 AM
Abstract ID:446


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