Universidad Pública de Navarra (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 3908-3912
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Higher education plays a key role in society, creating new knowledge, and in addition, transmitting this knowledge to students, and so, fostering innovative professionals. All institutions throughout Europe, the Spanish among them, are working to modernise themselves, reorganising the degrees curriculum but also diversifying the teaching–learning processes.
In this context, the Public University of Navarra (UPNa) has considered a wide range of possibilities for the Bologna adapted degrees. These possibilities are especially useful for those master degrees with a limited number of students, which have, therefore, more flexibility to approach new teaching-learning strategies. The tool presented here has been applied in the module of experimental sciences (Biology and Geology) of the Master's Degree in Secondary Education Teacher at the Public University of Navarra.

My task in this course was reduced to a 5 hours session with 14 students of the above mentioned master degree. The session was focused to plant water stress biology. For the students, this session was just one more among others as evolution, general plant physiology or transgenic plants assigned to different experts. Plant stress biology is my main research field and therefore in this session I had the opportunity to select five relevant experimental issues to understand plant response to water stress. From my point of view, the perception of the students involved in this master about the utility of experimental teaching will have a huge impact on the way they will teach further to the secondary school students. For this reason I have decided to organise the master class assigned to me within this course with the hands-on lab, trying to contribute to this intangible value (the utility of experimental teaching).

During, the five hours session, the following experimental observations were performed by the students in the plant biology lab. They were interspersed with theoretical teaching of the respective related topic.

1. Plant transpiration: determination by gravimetric method
2. Vascular Bundles: following the water path in celery, parsley and chard.
3. Plasmolysis in onion cells
4. Tolerance to salt stress on germination of barley and pea.
5. Drought, salinity and water-logging effect on spinach plants

Master's Degree in Secondary Education Teacher (UPNa) Course: Further discipline and allowances for training disciplines. Speciality: Biology and Geology

In comparison to other master courses in which I am involved, I conclude that practical and theoretical teaching carried out in this session showed a synergic effect. In this way, a complex topic such as plant abiotic stress can be assessed in a short monographic session. This teaching experience leads me to question myself about the distribution among theoretical and laboratory classes in other degree courses.

Acknowledgement: Navarra Government 228/2008.
plant stress, water stress, plant biology, hands-on lab and master class.