ID: 613 / 168

Category: Symposia

Track: Pending


Abstract: Plant awareness disparity (PAD) is the new name proposed to designate what was known as plant blindness. Both terms describe the inability to appreciate plants as significant parts of our ecosystems. The imbalance of botanical content in school curricula has been observed in several countries. The reasons for the decreased attention to plants are various, ranging from neurological, affective to sociocultural causes. The negative effects of an inadequate school botany training have repercussions on university education and the preparation of future teachers in different school levels. In Germany, at least in provisional research, a decrease of excursions in natural areas has been observed. This research also indicates a declining botanical species knowledge of schoolteachers. One reason for this negative development is that contents of biotechnology and genetics have significant importance in modern school curricula. The share of classical botany teaching is therefore being reduced. Contents including modern approaches of molecular biology can nevertheless also be taught based on plants. Moreover, regarding species extinction, almost no plants are used as examples to represent this problem. To face the problem of the loss of botanical knowledge in schools, a series of investigations is being carried out, including the study of human perception, interest research, the study of human nature-connectedness as well as content analyses of school textbooks (with a botanical focus). In addition, modern participatory education methods are being evaluated to highlight the role of plants in our daily lives.

Speaker 1: 1) Mag. Dr. Peter Pany Austrian Educational Competence Center for Biology - AECCbio University of Vienna "Assessing Plant Awareness - a tool for science and school"

Speaker 2: 2) Prof. Dr. Jorge Crisci Universidad de la Plata, Argentina “The end of botany”

Speaker 3: 3) Prof. Dr. Dorothee Benkowittz Pädagogische Hochschule Weingarten, Germany “The impact of school gardening on perception, knowledge and aesthetics of plant biodiversity

Topics (Up to three): Education and Outreach

Topic 2: Ethnobotany

Topic 3: Botanical History

Justification: This colloquium aims to serve as a platform for the discussion of plant awareness disparity research methods. This research is meant to enable an attractive interdisciplinary teaching of different aspects of botany, such as the study of medicinal plants, aspects of global education and sustainable development, bionics, ecology, and evolution. The existence of a disconnection between current results of botanical research and its teaching in schools is known. The repercussion of the teaching of botany, lacking in inspiration and modernity, has the effect of reducing the number of botanical experts, which leads to a lack of knowledge of botanical biodiversity.