When greenhouses bring education to life

Twelve students are standing in a circle in the middle of a greenhouse isle. 3 boxes with glass frames loaded with soil and various plants are positioned on a trolley, ready for the students to begin evaluating whatever advancement the plants have gone through since their last greenhouse session.

The essential thing in this type of teaching is revealing the student how plants actually grow. It is very different seeing it in front of you and seeing it on a slide in the class space, states Lars P denphant Ki r, assistant professor in Organismal Biology.

He is really thrilled to have the chance to use the greenhouses in his teaching for the master course Plants in Populations, Communities and Ecosystems.

We find that dealing with the students in the greenhouses includes a necessary dimension to the teaching on plants. It offers the students a better understanding of science when they are creating their own experiment, seeing their own results grow prior to their eyes and being able to discuss it in class later on. The useful understanding they acquire here is something we can really tap into later on in the class space, he describes and then turns to a group of students to go over the root lengths of their plants.

The messy technique works

The job at hand was thoroughly managed by the students. Under guidance, the groups have actually chosen which kind of hypotheses to test, which plant species to use and ways to prepare the various steps from sprout to results.

Rasmus Jensen, a master student in Agriculture, likes this type of session.

2To start with, it is a good kind of leisure and it is fun to be a part of the planning process. In comparison to when we are given jobs with fixed goals and techniques this might look like a more unpleasant way to do it, however it is a nice method to learn. You feel like you have impact, Rasmus Jensen mentions while his group continues a discussion about their soil-frame.

This untidy approach is simply exactly what Lars P denphant Ki r is hinting at.

The point is that the students do not know what results they will get. In an open-ended format like this, choices they make in the beginning can have great influence on their findings. In all cases, we use the results and discuss what we see compared to exactly what we know and anticipate. This science based learning is just possible in a live learning environment, he says.

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