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 September 20, 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 September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) 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