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Abstract Detail

The Importance of Communicating Science

Uno, Gordon [1].

Science Literacy in the General Public and in the Classroom: What Is Our Message?

Botanists benefit from a scientifically literate society and an interested and botanically literate student population. We have opportunities and responsibilities to promote literacy in our classes, however, scientific illiteracy in the general public exists in part because scientists and science educators often do not have a clear, unified message about the scientific information they communicate. Botanical/scientific illiteracy in our classes results from several interacting factors including students’ lack of pre-knowledge, a lack of interest in plants and of intellectual curiosity in our students, and a lack of understanding by faculty in the “power of the basics.” All of this can be fixed. If scientific/biological literacy is an important outcome, then we must first understand what literacy means and how we can help students reach that goal. A model of biological literacy recognizes different levels; students enter our courses at the lowest level while possessing misconceptions about a variety of concepts, but they may not rise to higher levels of literacy. We need to capitalize on student misconceptions and use validated active learning methods and inquiry-based activities to promote science literacy in our classes. This will, in turn, lead to improved science literacy in the general public.

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1 - University of Oklahoma, Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, 770 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK, 73019, USA

science literacy
inquiry instruction
active learning.

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY01, The importance of communicating science
Location: Chatham Ballroom - B/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
Time: 8:15 AM
Number: SY01002
Abstract ID:120
Candidate for Awards:None

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