Posted for Talbot Brooks
In dealing with students and plant biology, I have found that indeed the
subject area is broad and the opportunity to really get interested in the
subject limited. I share Carl's thoughts in that relating the subject to
issues of the day is the best way to make a connection with students. Mind
you I am not a regular lecturer and have not faced the disinterested
minions, but rather was once been one of them - I loathed my introductory
Botany class. Yet somehow, though I started out down the med school track,
I've reached my final semester and am finishing my Ph.D. in Plant Biology.
Through some teaching and tutoring I've found positive responses when I
discuss plants from the perspective of forensics, global change,
pharmacology (though my conscience twinges a bit when more "recreational"
uses for this area come around), and taxonomy when linked with biotech and
economic potentials (tell 'em they can make serious $$$ and they'll sit up
and listen). I also wanted to share some approaches by Dr. David Walker -
I've found him to be a great help to me, perhaps the approach he takes may
help you as well (take a look at the first chapter of Like Clockwork).
Talbot J. Brooks
Graduate Student Researcher
4331 E. Broadway Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Office: (602) 379-4356 ext. 262
Fax: (602) 379-4355
Currently on "sabbatical" at:
Dept. Of Renewable Resources
University of Alberta
442 Earth Sciences Building
Canada T6G 2E3
Office: (780) 492-6478
tbrooks at uswcl.ars.ag.gov
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