Fostering the educational role of plants through the development of an alternative teaching aid for maths
The current paper concerns the development of an educational aid, based on plants, in order to support school teachers in engaging with an alternative teaching method. The aim is to assist pupils to consolidate knowledge as well as to know plants and develop an environmental friendly attitude through their engagement with plants. The tool concerns the teaching of four chapters of the lesson of Mathematics taught in the final (6th) grade of primary school. The tool comprises a series of fact sheets presenting the relations of mathematical concepts with parts (branches, leaves, flowers, fruits) and characteristics (shape) of certain plants; it is accompanied by a booklet with guidelines for teachers. The tool was tested and evaluated (by both pupils and teachers) in two primary schools of the Alikarnasos municipality, Crete. The overwhelming majority (90%) of the teachers rated the tool as 'very good' since it provokes pupils' interest and contributes to their understanding of the concepts taught while also raising their environmental consciousness. All teachers believe that the tool provides pupils with important experiences and thus experiential knowledge and suggest that similar tools should be developed for other lessons, too. Similarly on the other hand 92.7% of the pupils stated that they would like to be taught through the use of such alternative tools while 87.3% stated that the correlation of the lesson with plants enhances their relationship with plants and the natural environment in general.
Akoumianaki-Ioannidou, A., Chatzaki, M. and Koutsouris, A. (2017). Fostering the educational role of plants through the development of an alternative teaching aid for maths. Acta Hortic. 1189, 49-52
school garden, experiential learning, environmental awareness, environmental education