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Abstract Detail

Historical Section

Sundberg, Marshall [1].

Botanical Education in the United States. Part III. The role of the Botanical Society of America during its first half century.

From its beginning, as an offshoot of AAAS, the leadership of the Botanical Society of America had a strong commitment to improving botanical education at all levels. During its founding years, major concerns were with improving k-12 botanical instruction and implementing botany requirements for entrance into university programs. Very quickly, however, the emphasis shifted to improving science instruction both in the schools and colleges - the theme of a 1911 symposium. By the 1920s botanical instruction in the schools was in decline and being replaced by biology. In 1936 botany was removed from the College Entrance Examination Board and high school botanical instruction virtually disappeared. During this time the Society's energy was focused at the college level. The Committee on Educational Standards and Methods of Teaching was very active and their work culminated in the publication of two large documents, the first examining contemporary coverage of botanical topics in colleges and universities and the second on aligning achievement tests to teaching objectives. The end of WWII saw major changes in college education with increasing demand by students and increased research funding from the federal government. In 1946 the Teaching Section was established by the Society and the following year, Society leaders were instrumental in founding AIBS. In 1952 the Education Committee was established and the following year, Plant Science Bulletin (PSB) was founded. From the first essay in its inaugural issue, PSB served as a mouthpiece for the educational concerns of the Society. The educational highlight of the decade, begun during the 50thanniversary year of the Society, was a series of annual NSF-supported summer institutes for teachers of botany at small colleges.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Emporia State University, Department Of Biological Sciences, 1200 COMMERCIAL, EMPORIA, KS, 66801, USA

Botany Education
college curriculum
teaching effectiveness
summer institutes
teaching section
education committee.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 29
Location: Morrow/Hyatt
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: 29002
Abstract ID:205

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