Original Research

Botany teaching in Gauteng schools: An exciting challenge?

Amelia L. Abrie
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 34, No 1 | a1291 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v34i1.1291 | © 2015 Amelia L. Abrie | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 February 2015 | Published: 15 July 2015

About the author(s)

Amelia L. Abrie, Department of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

A positive attitude in teachers and learners can create a life-long interest in plants. Worldwide, Botany is seen as an unpopular subject and studies in the United States of America and elsewhere have shown that learners find the subject boring. Plant blindness, soöcentrism and soöchauvinism are widely blamed for this situation. In this study, the status of Botany in secondary schools in Tshwane, Gauteng, was investigated, using interviews with teachers and learner questionnaires. Life sciences teachers are positive about their subject, but some of the participants revealed negative attitudes towards the Botany content. The teachers agreed that the learners, with a few exceptions, did not like plant studies and this finding was confirmed by the questionnaires that were completed by the learners. A number of challenges, increasing the difficulties of teaching Botany were identified. Krathwohl, Bloom and Masia’s classification of the affective domain and the holistic approach to Life Sciences education were employed to provide perspective to the findings.

Keywords

Plantkundeonderrig; Plantkunde; Lewenswetenskappe; Plantblindheid

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