The Original Question about Value of Naming

Mike Morris Mike_Morris at NYNET.NYBE.NORTH-YORK.ON.CA
Fri Jul 19 11:16:49 CDT 1996

It has been very enlightening to see how this thread has developed .. I
originally asked this group about the educational value of having urban 7th
graders learn the scientific/common names of organisms .... ie. what to do on
a hike when a student innocently asks "what flower is that?" or "what is that
brownish bird?"

The field that I work in, outdoor education, has a bit of a controversy right
now about how to respond to questions like that ... there is a group that
think names (scientific, common, or otherwise) are a blight on the field of
outdoor education because, for 7th graders only casually interested in the
outdoors, the names of organisms tend to become an end in themselves ... "OK,
I know the name, therefore I know everything important about this plant!"
When you see students for only a short time and you want to maximize the
potential for learning, you need to know how to handle these student

Thanks to everyone who has responded so far ...

Mike Morris
Mono Cliffs Outdoor Education Centre,
Orangeville, Ontario, Canada

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