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1 February 2011 Doing an Ethnobotanical Survey in the Life Sciences Classroom
Josef De Beer, Ben-Erik Van Wyk
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On the basis of an ethnobotanical survey that we conducted on plant use by descendents of the Khoi-San people in the Northern Cape Province in South Africa, we introduce biology teachers to an adapted rapid-appraisal methodology that can be followed in the life sciences classroom. Such a project addresses a number of the content standards in the National Science Education Standards, such as science as a human endeavour, the nature of science, and the history of science. We also shed light on ethical considerations when engaging in an ethnobotanical survey, and address, among other issues, intellectual property rights. Examples are provided of how teachers in the United States can sensitize students to the rich ethnobotanical heritage of their country.

© 2011 by National Association of Biology Teachers. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at
Josef De Beer and Ben-Erik Van Wyk "Doing an Ethnobotanical Survey in the Life Sciences Classroom," The American Biology Teacher 73(2), 90-97, (1 February 2011).
Published: 1 February 2011

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Ethnobotanical surveys
Indigenous knowledge
intellectual property rights
life sciences teaching
medicinal plants
nature of science
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