University Of Tasmania

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Distance education : a senior secondary biology course

posted on 2023-05-27, 18:30 authored by Snigg, Barry
Science has been recognised as a discipline by a number of educational philosophers (Phenix,1964; Hirst & Peters, 1970; Hirst, 1974; White, 1963; Schwab,1967; Skilbeck, 1976) and one of the recognised compulsory common core elements in secondary education (Hargreaves,1984; Boyer,1983; Sizer,1984; Beazley,1984). An understanding of biological aspects of one's own nature and functioning can lead to wiser decision making on issues such as nutrition, health, and relationships, with other people both within and outside the family group. (Morgan, 1976). Biological science, particularly since the introduction of the B.S.C.S. approach in Australia in the form of the Biological Science : The Web of Life program~ has become a most popular subject in senior high school. The respected educational philospher J.J. Schwab (Phillips, 1965) is both a mentor of the B.S.C.S. project team and editor of the first edition of the Biology Teachers Handbook. Schwab (1966) argued that the concept of enquiry had a timeless quality independent of a social or historical context and this \enquiry into enquiry\" has directed the curriculum program of the B.S.C.S. This in turn was similarly evidenced in the Australian adaptation produced under the auspices of the Acadamy of Science in 1968. Teachers of biological enquiry in the 1980's are today faced with Schwab's three enquiry questions: 1. what is it? 2. how does it work? 3. how is it to be applied to dealing with the problems of human experience? While there remains criticism of the degree that the Web of Life is offering discussion of issues of immediate social concern (Fensham 1981; Fawns 1981; Martin 1981) the program has formed the basis for senior biology courses of years 11 and 12 in all states of Australia. The draft Objectives of Biological Science: The Web of Life have been to develop in students: (a) scientific understanding of the living world including man; (b) understanding of the nature scope and limitations of science; (c) competence and willingness to apply biological understanding to scientific and everyday problems and to approach these problems in scientific ways; (d) ability to communicate effectively and to work jointly with others towards solving problems of mutual concern. Each state education department has defined its own particular syllabus requirements for Higher School Certificate (or equivalent) public examninations. For Tasmania in 1986 these are presented in Appendix I. This particular thesis directs itself neither to criticism of the Web of Life nor to analysis of the Schools Board Syllabus for HSC Biology A in Tasmania but to the development of a Senior Secondary Biology external studies course which could be utilised directly per ¬¨vüg_ as a distance course in any Australian situation or could with minimal changes form the basis of a distance education course for the proposed Tasmanian Certificate of Education subject \"General Biology\"."


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Thesis (M.Ed.Stud.)-University of Tasmania, 1987. Program file contains software package for a diagnostic test in animal physiology. Volumes 2-5 contain appendices. Bibliography: leaves 49-55 (v.1)

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