A Meta-study of Common Plant Biology Misconceptions Beyond Photosynthesis and Respiration

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Poster Presentation

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Educational research indicates that eradicating misconceptions may require that instructors explicitly address and correct them. Knowing what these misconceptions are is an important first step. Numerous misconceptions surrounding photosynthesis and respiration have been reported, but published articles focused on other aspects of plant biology are less abundant and scattered in the literature. In order to identify other misconceptions, we extensively screened the literature and found various student misconceptions about plant nutrition, classification, diffusion and osmosis, water relationships, ecology, reproduction, genetics, growth, development, plant and cellular structure, and defense. While misconceptions may vary in type and complexity in these areas, they permeate all age groups and levels of education, from preschool through pre-service educators. To assist educators in correcting these misconceptions through curriculum development, we have mapped these misconceptions onto the Core Concepts for Plant Biology Education as delineated by the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) and the Botanical Society of America (BSA). Our mapping revealed a number of core concepts for which misconceptions have not been reported and warrant further research.


Presented at the American Society of Plant Biologists Annual Meeting in Austin Texas, July 2016.

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