Fifty Maltese children, 25 in the second year of pre-school (4 years olds) and 25 in the first year of compulsory education (5 years old), were interviewed about their knowledge of plants. Analysis showed that they had a restricted understanding of the term, meaning something small, with a thin stalk, leaves and a flower. Trees, cacti and nettles were not classified as plants. Children’s knowledge was observed to increase with age. Parents were identified as the main source of knowledge; schools were rarely mentioned. Maltese teachers should be made aware of children’s limited knowledge about plants and they need to use readily available resources in schools to expose pre-school children to the plants in their immediate surroundings
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