Capturing Difficult Botanical Concepts with a Net of Previous Knowledge

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Department or Administrative Unit

Biological Sciences

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Modern biology has a wealth of concepts that are difficult for students to grasp. Several botanical topics in particular have been described as difficult for student understanding (Wood-Robinson, 1991). Laboratory exercises allow hands- on work with these concepts and are critical to their understanding. This fact not withstanding, lecture- lab scheduling often results in lecture coverage of a topic as much as a full week prior to laboratory study of the material. Such a separation between lecture and lab can result in several days of student confusion before they can explore the concepts with laboratory methods. While we may hope for lab study to be seamlessly integrated with lecture, in many educational settings this is not always possible. This confusion can be reduced if, during lecture, students are engaged in thought experiments and/or simple in-lecture experiments that are conceptually accessible to their current understanding.


This article was originally published in The American Biology Teacher. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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The American Biology Teacher


Copyright © 2004 National Association of Biology Teachers