Implications of P3 Findings
Life on earth could not survive without plants, yet their ecological role is
often invisible in modern society (Sanders, 2015). The P3 is a simple and
effective tool for increasing student interest and appreciation of plants: it
makes plants relevant in their daily lives, encourages careful observation,
and facilitates comprehension of lecture material. This project works
well in large lecture courses but could be adapted to smaller class settings
and/or implemented as part of high school biology curricula. For many
students, it was the first time they had ever grown a plant from seed.
Most significantly, the P3 greatly increased student interest in abstract
lecture topics that are typically challenging for students. When there is
a rapidly developing plant waiting at home each day, students witness
the effects of cellular changes in real time, making the learning experience much more meaningful. Activities that directly address plant blindness and botanical illiteracy are essential at all levels of education, but
even more so in high school and post-secondary education where students begin to form their own unique world view. Not only did P3
participants share their newfound fascination with plants in their daily
environment, but many students expressed a continued commitment
to care for and maintain plants in the future. Addressing plant blindness
will enable students to make better informed decisions about public policy as it relates to plants and the essential ecosystems they support.
All teaching materials associated with this activity can be accessed at
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SHAWN E. KROSNICK ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is an Assistant Professor in
the Department of Biology, Campus Box 5063; JULIE C. BAKER
( JCBaker@tntech.edu) is an Associate Dean in the College of Education,
Campus Box 5116; and KELLY R. MOORE ( email@example.com) is a
Lecturer in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Campus Box
5042, Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville, TN 38505.