Learning to read nature to understand the natural world and how it works

Ola Magntorn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in book

1 Citation (Scopus)


Ola Magntorn argues in Chapter 5 that the notion of ‘reading nature’, i.e. the ability to recognise organisms and relate them to other organisms and to material cycling and energy flow in a specific habitat, is central to ecology. Reading nature is therefore an important component of ecological literacy. Magntorn goes on to argue that in many ways Darwin was the first person to read nature in this way and that students too can be taught to read nature. He illustrates this with a number of case histories including one where primary school students (aged 10 to 12 years) were helped to read a river ecosystem by focusing on a small freshwater shrimp Gammarus pulex and its ecology. This helped the students to understand the river ecosystem by starting with a single organism and gradually building up from it.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDarwin-inspired learning
EditorsBoulter , Reiss , S ers
Place of PublicationRotterdam
PublisherSense Publishers
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)978-94-6209-831-2, 978-94-6209-832-9, 978-94-6209-833-6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameNew directions in mathematics and science education

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Natural sciences (1)


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