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A review on plant science education in Singapore
Plant science
Science education
Issue Date: 
Paper presented at the International Science Education Conference, Singapore, 25-27 November 2014
Plants are fundamental to the existence of our green planet, but the understanding of plants
and the willingness to understand them is deficient. Teachers, students and curriculum
developers are mindful of the lack of knowledge and ability to notice plants in our
environment. In Singapore we are facing a paradox in plant science education. Known as a
garden city, and having a hybrid of an orchid as our national flower, many of our citizens
ironically remain blind to what are growing and cultivated around them. Our pupils are not
able to name the common plant species. They would prefer to dwell in the air-conditioned
comfort of their homes and learn through the computer or the television rather than to have a
walk in the forest. Further, our educators merely set limited plant contents in Biology syllabus, and teachers are reluctant to bring plants to the classroom. In this review, we reflect plant science education in Singapore based on the current syllabus at the primary, secondary and junior college levels. We also list a few case studies of specific terms in plant science using various science textbooks and questions from national exams to allow a greater understanding on how plant science is taught and tested. Finally we propose suggestions to improve plant science education in Singapore.
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