Abstract Detail



Questioning Species and Species Complexes: A Colloquium in Honor of Dr. R. James Hickey

Rybczynski, Stephen [1], Li, Zheng [2], Hickey, R. [3].

Planting the Seeds of Discovery: Cercis canadensis (L.) as a model for inquiry in the classroom.

Teaching biology through inquiry is challenging under the best of circumstances but opportunities for meaningful investigations are growing right outside your door.  Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis L.) is an excellent model organism for phenomenon-driven inquiry in the classroom due to its cosmopolitan distribution, accessible stature, and fascinating life history.  The plant generates prodigious volumes of fruits that are easily collected and often infested by seed-eating beetles (Family: Bruchidae) and parasitoid wasps (Superfamily: Chalcidoideae) that prey upon beetle larvae.  The organisms of this three-tiered food chain provide opportunities for student-led investigations of community structure, phenology, trophic interactions, and carbon cycling.  Here we describe a lesson where students make focused observations, explore hypotheses, collect data, analyze results, and apply conclusions to real-world situations.  The lesson is structured in the 5E Learning Cycle, aligned with national K-12 science education standards, and integrates science as a process as well as a body of knowledge.   Finally, we describe how this lesson can be used to provide pre-service teachers with experience in scientific inquiry so that they are better prepared to guide their future students in this type of epistemological adventure.


1 - Grand Valley State University, 1 Campus Drive, 2200q Kindschi Hall Of Science, Allendale, 49401, United States
2 - University Of Arizona, Department Of Ecology And Evolutionary Biology, 3033 E. 6th Street, Tucson, AZ, 85716, United States
3 - High St And Patterson, Oxford, OH, 45056, United States

Keywords:
botany education
parasitoids.

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: 0003
Abstract ID:621
Candidate for Awards:None


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