The Living World in Eight Mandalas
College-level courses in biology often portray the living world in terms of hierarchies and linear actions: small units group together to form larger units, individuals compete within a species, predators feed on their prey, and so on. Outside the classroom, though, the living world is much messier, because so many of the life forms in any environment are constantly interacting with one another in a complex, delicately balanced system. Caryn Babaian, an artist and a biology instructor at Bucks County Community College, in Newtown, Pennsylvania, has found a visual format that encourages her students to see and think about these all-important interactions. Here she explains why the mandala, a Buddhist or Hindu graphic symbol of the universe, lends itself so well to the teaching of biology.
Listen to her full interview about how she creates and views her mandalas:
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