Science and poetry: poems as an educational tool for biology teaching

Natalia Calderón Moya-Méndez*, Hub Zwart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


In this article we present the results of a biology teaching module offered at university bachelor level for law students and social sciences students in Lima, Peru. The objective was to trigger philosophical reflection on the notion of nature (cognitive dimension) and to assess if and to what extent the use of poetry contributes to the students’ understanding of nature by adding emotional and conative (desire for action) dimensions. We accounted three dialectical moments of natural sciences and nature poetry in history and discussed their meaning in the context of biology teaching nowadays. We also highlighted the importance of poems as semiotic resources for science learning and explored bibliographic accounts of similar studies. Our results indicate that nature poetry fosters a holistic view of nature, allowing students to combine knowledge with value concerns, and cognitive with conative and emotional dimensions. Also, poetry allows them to connect or confront scientific information with traditional indigenous knowledge. Finally, we found that poetry afforded students a sense of freedom to present and discuss their personal experiences with nature. We concluded that this module can be used as a supplementary educational tool in biology courses and those meant to inspire action and reflection in the face of global environmental challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-743
Number of pages17
JournalCultural Studies of Science Education
Issue number3
Early online date24 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s).


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