Plant science teaching: framing of content, interactive approaches and diverse voices at the centre of our practice

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesOral presentation


The number of “Plant Science” degree programmes offered by UK universities has declined in recent years. While this represents a real point of concern, it does not imply the disappearance of plant science teaching from the higher education curriculum. There might be even more opportunities to overtly include plant science in broad “Biology” degrees and, as educators, we should proactively seek and exploit these. The key for a successful incorporation of plant science content might be the framing of the same. I will use the example of a 3rd year course on Biochemical Signalling I recently redeveloped. This elective module is available to students in several bioscience and biomedical degrees. Rather than grouping plant science material in one or two lectures (with low attendance), content was expanded and weaved throughout all the lectures. Comparing and contrasting signalling strategies between animals and plants became a key learning objective. In my example I will also discuss effective approaches to increase class interactivity and student self-reflection. These can be key aspects in the success of a module and might also affect how students later feel about the content they were exposed to. Lastly, I will highlight how educators can spotlight diverse voices from the plant science community by embedding social media elements in their lectures.
Period4 Apr 20235 Apr 2023
Event titleSeed Plant Special Interest group: The genetics society
Event typeConference
LocationDurham, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational