Plants are ubiquitous and found in virtually every ecosystem on Earth, but their biology is often poorly understood, and inaccurate ideas about how plants grow and function abound. Many articles have been published documenting student misconceptions about photosynthesis and respiration, but there are substantially fewer on such topics as plant cell structure and growth; plant genetics, evolution, and classification; plant physiology (beyond energy relations); and plant ecology. The available studies of misconceptions held on those topics show that many are formed at a very young age and persist throughout all educational levels. Our goal is to begin building a central resource of plant biology misconceptions that addresses these underrepresented topics, and here we provide a table of published misconceptions organized by topic. For greater utility, we report the age group(s) in which the misconceptions were found and then map them to the ASPB – BSA Core Concepts and Learning Objectives in Plant Biology for Undergraduates, developed jointly by the American Society of Plant Biologists and the Botanical Society of America.
Wynn, April N.; Pan, Irvin L.; Rueschhoff, Elizabeth E.; Herman, Maryann; and Archer, Kathleen (2017). "Student Misconceptions about Plants – A First Step in Building a Teaching Resource." Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education 18.1, 1-4.
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