PCC/ CCOG / BI

Course Content and Outcome Guide for BI 163

Course Number:
BI 163
Course Title:
Organic Gardening
Credit Hours:
4
Lecture Hours:
30
Lecture/Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
30
Special Fee:
 

Course Description

Introduces the structure and function of soils including the soil food web, composting and compost tea, and the basics of biogeochemical cycling. Explores basic plant anatomy and the growing of flowers, vegetables and fruits in the Pacific Northwest. Includes discussion of organic pest control, beneficial insects, and pruning and grafting and exploration of these concepts in laboratory. An interest in plants and a basic high school biology course are recommended. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

To clarify the teaching of evolution and its place in the classroom, the Portland Community College Science Departments stand by the following statements about what is science and how the theory of evolution is the major organizing theory in the discipline of the biological sciences.
 
Science is a fundamentally nondogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. In science, a theory is neither a guess, dogma, nor myth. The theories developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance, but can be and often are modified and revised through observation and experimentation.
 
The theory of evolution meets the criteria of a scientific theory. In contrast, creation "science" is neither self-examining nor investigatory. Creation "science" is not considered a legitimate science, but a form of religious advocacy. This position is established by legal precedence (Webster v. New Lenox School District #122, 917 F. 2d 1004).
 
Biology instructors of Portland Community College will teach the theory of evolution not as absolute truth but as the most widely accepted scientific theory on the diversity of life. We, the Biology Subject Area Committee at Portland Community College, therefore stand with such organizations as the National Association of Biology Teachers in opposing the inclusion of pseudo-sciences in our science curricula.

Intended Outcomes for the course

A student will be able to collaboratively and independently:

Communicate effectively the basic concepts and techniques used in organic gardening
Identify and express the basic concepts in organic gardening
Utilize current practices in organic gardening
Demonstrate an understanding of ecosystem functioning as it relates to gardening

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment Tasks may include any or all of the following:
                                                          
Essay and multiple choice exams
Research paper on an organic gardening topic
Field trip
Response journals
Laboratory quizzes and practicals

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

COURSE CONTENT: THEMES, CONCEPTS, ISSUES, COMPETENCIES AND SKILLS:
Concepts and Themes:
 
Soil composition and parameters such as NPK and pH
Compost and compost tea production and techniques
Climate, heat units and microclimates
Basic plant anatomy and physiology
Knowledge of cool and warm season plants, annuals, biennials and perennials and the appropriate culture for each category.
 
Process Skills (Competency skills):
 
Read and process scientific literature
Write using the scientific format
Apply the scientific method
Utilize techniques and equipment used in organic gardening
 
Apply knowledge of plant anatomy to pruning €“ differentiate between thinning and heading back
Perform basic grafts €“ including cleft, whip, bark or T-bud
Develop skill in plant propagation €“ division, cuttings and ground and air layering
Understand biotechnology issues as they relate to organic farming
Apply organic controls to common pest diseases €“ differentiate between fungal and bacterial disease, as well as identify cultural practices that prevent disease
Identify some basic insect pests and also some beneficial organisms in the garden
 
Locate and access appropriate information
Think critically
Collaborate with peers -- Work effectively in groups
Present conclusions logically