The botanical content in the South African curriculum : a barren desert or a thriving forest?

Show simple item record Abrie, A.L. (Mia) 2016-05-11T10:35:07Z 2016-05-11T10:35:07Z 2016-01
dc.description.abstract Botanists who are interested in education have often expressed their dismay at how plant sciences are neglected in Biology curricula, despite the important roles that plants play. While botanists in several overseas countries have studied the ways in which plant sciences are represented in curricula, no research has been done on how botany is neglected in the South African curriculum. Currently, the South African curriculum is known as the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) for Grades R–12. In this study, a comparison was made among the content that is generally taught in introductory plant sciences courses, the American Society of Plant Biologists’ principles for plant biology education and the relevant CAPS documents. The time spent on plant, animal or human-focused content was established and compared at both phase and grade level. It was found that while the curriculum addresses all the major concepts in the plant sciences, very little time was being allocated to exclusively plant-focused content as compared to animal and human-focused content. This neglect was particularly prevalent in the Foundation Phase. The way in which the content is structured and presented in the curriculum may in all likelihood not be sufficient to provide a strong knowledge and skills foundation in the plant sciences, nor will it encourage the development of positive values towards plants. While consensus regarding the content of a curriculum will be difficult to achieve, awareness of potential gaps in the curriculum should be brought to the attention of the botanical and educational communities. en_ZA
dc.description.department Science, Mathematics and Technology Education en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2016 en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Abrie AL. The botanical content in the South African curriculum: A barren desert or a thriving forest? S Afr J Sci. 2016;112(1/2), Art. #2015-0127, 7 pages. 10.17159/sajs.2016/20150127 en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0038-2353 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1996-7489 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.17159/sajs.2016/20150127
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher AOSIS Open Journals en_ZA
dc.rights © 2016. The Author(s). Published under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence. en_ZA
dc.subject Plant sciences en_ZA
dc.subject Botanical education en_ZA
dc.subject Life sciences curriculum en_ZA
dc.subject Grades R–12 plant blindness en_ZA
dc.title The botanical content in the South African curriculum : a barren desert or a thriving forest? en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA

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