Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Middle school students introduced to arboriculture topic

Date:
May 5, 2014
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
Structural defect recognition in trees is an appropriate topic for sixth grade curriculum augmentation, researchers have determined. They explored two methods of teaching the topic, and found students were capable of recognizing and comprehending the implications of structural defects following short periods of instruction. Students exposed to the curriculum delivered via illustrated lecture style received significantly higher scores on the post-test than students exposed to the same material via a hands-on approach.

Middle school students identified structural defects in trees growing in their schoolyard. The topic proved to be a good curriculum augmentation.
Credit: Laura Sanagorski

A potential new sixth grade curriculum augmentation has been introduced to teach youth about an important topic: how to recognize structural defects in trees. "This highly important topic is rarely presented in middle or even high school," said author Laura Sanagorski. Sanagorski and coauthor George Fitzpatrick reported on their introduction to the new subject matter--which they tested in sixth grade science classes at three Florida middle schools--in HortTechnology.

Sanagorski and Fitzpatrick explained that trees in urban areas are more likely to develop structural defects that can be costly, dangerous, or more maintenance-intensive than trees in natural settings. "People need to understand how trees grow in the urban environment and how to recognize potentially hazardous structural defects, yet this is not a topic regularly presented in school curriculum," Sanagorski said. "Trees are the foundation for healthy social ecology, and have proven to be beneficial for children socially, physically, and emotionally. Teaching youth about trees results in educated adults with sensitivities to trees and nature."

The researchers explored the feasibility of introducing structural defect recognition as a potential curriculum enhancement for sixth grade students, and then evaluated two methods of teaching the topic. "We compared hands-on, experiential instruction with a passive, illustrated lecture style instruction," Sanagorski explained. Although students exposed to both methods of instruction increased their overall ability to recognize structural defects in trees, those who received the curriculum via illustrated lecture style had significantly higher scores on the posttest than students exposed to the same material via a hands-on approach.

Because the students were most successful in learning to recognize circling roots, codominant trunks, and attachments of equal sizes, the researchers recommended that these three defects should be the first introduced in sixth grade curriculum. They also suggested introducing the subject as a recurring topic, rather than a single, stand-alone module.

"We observed that students reacted positively to the post-test and most exhibited pride in successfully recognizing structural defects in trees. As a result of the instruction, a number of students expressed their desire to be more involved with the care and selection of trees both at home and around their school," the authors said. "We observed that many students made cognitive associations with what they learned to their real-life outdoor environments."

Sanagorski and Fitzpatrick recommend that educators incorporate topics such as tree structure into their teaching. "The students' positive reaction to this instruction supports our conclusion that youth can grasp and successfully apply technical arboricultural concepts and become caring stewards for our urban forests, even at a young age."

Link to the article's abstract at: http://horttech.ashspublications.org/content/24/1/127.abstract


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Laura A. Sanagorski, George E. Fitzpatrick. Introducing Tree Structural Defect Recognition to Youth: An Exploration of Feasibility Through a Comparison of Two Teaching Methods. HortTechnology, February 2014

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Middle school students introduced to arboriculture topic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505104405.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2014, May 5). Middle school students introduced to arboriculture topic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505104405.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Middle school students introduced to arboriculture topic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505104405.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins