Plant awareness disparity among students of different educational levels in Spain

Javier Marcos-Walias 1 * , Javier Bobo-Pinilla 2 3 * , Jaime Delgado Iglesias 3, Roberto Reinoso Tapia 3
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1 Department of Botany, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, SPAIN
2 Department of Didactics of Experimental Sciences and Mathematics, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, SPAIN
3 Department of Didactics of Experimental, Social, and Mathematical Sciences, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, SPAIN
* Corresponding Author
EUR J SCI MATH ED, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp. 234-248. https://doi.org/10.30935/scimath/12570
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ABSTRACT

Plant awareness disparity (PAD), formerly known as plant blindness, refers to the fact of overlooking or failing to perceive plants, perhaps due to poor ‘species literacy’. Despite numerous efforts made by scientists and educators over the years, PAD is still present in students at all educational levels. An assessment was carried out on 259 students from primary school to university in the Spanish education system to evaluate their species literacy, especially regarding local flora and fauna, its possible improvement across educational levels, and to assess whether PAD was a reality among students. A biased perception towards animals was confirmed with strong statistical support. Animals were recognized and identified more than plants at all educational levels. Even if a positive correlation for animal-plant literacy was found, the values were weak. Although the curricula set out content and learning outcomes related to local environment and flora, their teaching has been proven to be unsatisfactory. The recently implemented curricula have the mission to reverse this trend, which can be done by improving students’ interest in plants through specific educational programs and activities, as well as comprehensive training in the field of botany and the effective implementation of activities for current and future educators.

CITATION

Marcos-Walias, J., Bobo-Pinilla, J., Delgado Iglesias, J., & Reinoso Tapia, R. (2023). Plant awareness disparity among students of different educational levels in Spain. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 11(2), 234-248. https://doi.org/10.30935/scimath/12570

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