International network for natural sciences – research journal
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Understanding the taxonomic skill of non-science major students: How the students would name and classify plants?

By: Jess H. Jumawan, Jay Torrefiel, Inocencio E. Buot Jr

Key Words: Taxonomy, Naming, Classifying, Monomials, Binomials

J. Bio. Env. Sci. 9(5), 55-62, November 2016.


The study is a follow up to the research conducted to the non science major college students in the University of Hawaii. The activity was performed with students from Putho Tuntungin High School, Los Bańos, College, Laguna, Philippines with limited background in taxonomy. The students were given a task to name and classify selected plant samples with complete autonomy. There were 33 plant samples collected from the vicinity of the University of the Philippines, Los Bańos. The whole exercise including the giving of instructions lasted for about 30 minutes. The results indicated that the term types used in the naming (27 types) and categorizing (15 types) plant samples were highly variable. The names and adjectives were the frequent term types used by the students. The monomials were preferred over the binomials indicating convenience and less exposure to binomial nomenclature in taxonomy. The name types were sourced from names of common people and entertainers for both naming and categorizing plants. The adjective types were rather variable used in both naming and categorizing plant samples. The flower was the frequent plant part used by the students in the activity. The combination of noun-adjective was largely employed in the naming of plant samples. The adjective was rather preferred in categorizing plant samples. Lastly, monomial nouns were highly preferred both in the naming and categorizing plant samples.


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