Over the past 8 years or so, I have developed a pedagogical approach to teaching and learning of scientific terminology to accompany the instruction of a course that I teach at uOttawa on an introduction to animal form and function. One of the great challenges to students is in the requirement to learn entire lexicons of unfamiliar terms in order to learn the language of any specialized sub-branch of a biological discipline. I have developed a method of learning these large and complex lexicons that is based on an etymological deconstruction of the terms into their root meanings and a reconstruction, which leads to an understanding of the structure/function properties of the term and a means by which to learn, retain and transfer that knowledge to new unfamiliar terms, without the need for rote memorization. This approach has shown to have great learning potential among the students of my courses and is widely appreciated as a means to alleviate the burden of cramming meaningless terms into their brains.
You may access the article in .pdf format here as it will be published in the International Journal of Biology Education.