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Abstract Detail

Historical Section

Sundberg, Marshall [1].

Botanical Education in the United States II. Asa Gray through Charles Bessey and the New Botany.

Amos Eatons success at Rensselaer was the stimulus for two divergent trends of botanical instruction in the 19th century. On the one hand his disciple Almira Lincoln Phelps, and later Alphonso Wood, were producing botanical textbooks emphasizing the process of botany and student-active approaches, particularly for high schools and younger students. Content was de-emphasized with a focus on basic conceptual ideas. On the other hand, Asa Gray, Eatons botanical rival, and protege of Eatons own protege, John Torrey, was critical of Eatons botany and of his approach to botanical teaching. The prolific Gray brought professionalism to American botany and his textbooks were the standard for college instruction until Besseys publication of Botany for High Schools and Colleges in 1880. This book, based on Sachs great German botanical textbook, emphasized the new botany by focusing on plant anatomy and physiology as well as taxonomy. Bessey and his contemporaries in the Midwest, including Barnes and Coulter among others, led the progressive change in botanical instruction even as they collaborated to form the Botanical Society of America.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Emporia State University, Department Of Biological Sciences, 1200 COMMERCIAL, EMPORIA, KS, 66801, USA

botany education
Lincoln Phelps

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 20
Location: Waterman Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: 20003
Abstract ID:273

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