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Biology (2004, amended 2006)

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Biology (2004, amended 2006)

    Senior Syllabus Biology 2004

    Amended 2006

Biology Senior Syllabus

    ? The State of Queensland (Queensland Studies Authority) 2004

     Amended 2006

    Queensland Studies Authority, PO Box 307, Spring Hill, Queensland 4004, Australia

    Phone: (07) 3864 0299

    Fax: (07) 3221 2553

    Email: office@qsa.qld.edu.au

    Website: www.qsa.qld.edu.au

    1 A VIEW OF SCIENCE AND SCIENCE EDUCATION................................................ 1 2 RATIONALE ................................................................................................................ 2 3 GLOBAL AIMS ............................................................................................................ 3 4 GENERAL OBJECTIVES............................................................................................. 4

    4.1 Understanding biology (UB) .............................................................................. 4

    4.2 Investigating biology (IB) .................................................................................. 4

    4.3 Evaluating biological issues (EBI) ..................................................................... 5

    4.4 Attitudes and values (AV).................................................................................. 5 5 ORGANISATION ......................................................................................................... 6

    5.1 Organising principles ......................................................................................... 6

    Accommodation of individual and group differences of students ...................................... 6

    5.2 Course structure................................................................................................. 6

    Contextualised................................................................................................................ 6

    Thematic ........................................................................................................................ 6

    Problem-based learning .................................................................................................. 7

    Framework ..................................................................................................................... 7

    Principles of Biology ...................................................................................................... 7

    Key concepts .................................................................................................................. 7

    Key ideas ....................................................................................................................... 7

    5.3 Work program requirements ............................................................................ 10 6 LEARNING EXPERIENCES ...................................................................................... 11

    6.1 Introduction ..................................................................................................... 11

    6.2 Learning experiences and the key competencies ............................................... 12

    6.3 Language education ......................................................................................... 12

    6.4 Quantitative concepts and skills ....................................................................... 13

    6.5 ―Theory into practice‖ ..................................................................................... 13

    6.5.1 Field work.......................................................................................................... 14

    6.5.2 Practical work .................................................................................................... 15

    6.5.3 Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 ................................................................. 15

    6.6 Workplace health and safety ............................................................................ 15 7 ASSESSMENT ........................................................................................................... 18

    7.1 Underlying principles of exit assessment .......................................................... 18

    Continuous assessment ................................................................................................. 19

    Balance ........................................................................................................................ 19

    Mandatory aspects of the syllabus ................................................................................. 19

    Significant aspects of the course of study ...................................................................... 19

    Selective updating ........................................................................................................ 20

    Fullest and latest information ........................................................................................ 20

    7.2 Planning an assessment program ...................................................................... 21

    7.2.1 Special consideration .......................................................................................... 21

    7.3 Exit criteria ..................................................................................................... 21

    7.4 Requirements for verification ........................................................................... 22

    7.5 Determining exit levels of achievement ............................................................ 22

    7.6 Assessment categories ..................................................................................... 23

     Category 1: Extended experimental investigation........................................................... 24

    Category 2: Extended response ..................................................................................... 26

    Category 3: Written task ............................................................................................... 29

    7.7 Standards associated with exit criteria .............................................................. 30 8 EDUCATIONAL EQUITY ......................................................................................... 31 9 GLOSSARY ............................................................................................................... 32 10 RESOURCES.............................................................................................................. 36 APPENDIX 1: POSSIBLE MATCH KEY CONCEPTS AND KEY IDEAS.................... 40 APPENDIX 2: SAMPLE COURSE ORGANISATION A .................................................... 43

     APPENDIX 3: SAMPLE COURSE ORGANISATION B .................................................... 45

    APPENDIX 4: UNITS ......................................................................................................... 51

    Science is a social and cultural activity through which explanations of natural phenomena are generated. It incorporates ways of thinking that are creative and critical. Scientists have a deep conviction that the universe is understandable.

    Explanations of natural phenomena may be viewed as mental constructs based on personal experiences. They emerge from a range of activities that may include observation, experimentation, imagination and discussion, and are achieved by considering the complexities of the universe at a level that can be understood. The evolution of scientific understandings has happened in definable episodes, with chance sometimes playing an important role.

    Currently accepted scientific concepts, theories and models may be viewed as shared understandings that the scientific community perceive as viable in light of the available evidence and arguments presented, and that have a predictive value. New understandings are continually arising and current understandings may be challenged by the scientific community, and modified or replaced. This is an essential characteristic of science.

    Students construct personal explanations of phenomena they experience in everyday life. One role of science education is to help students move from their personal constructions, which are at times discordant with scientific explanations, towards theories and models accepted by the scientific community. As students progress through their formal education, explanations of the phenomena they encounter increase in complexity as does the sophistication of their observations. Science students are encouraged to appreciate the social and cultural perspectives of science. They also participate in activities that help them construct explanations and recognise the nature of scientific understandings.

    Through science education students are encouraged to develop critical and creative thinking skills as well as scientific understandings. This will equip them to imagine alternative futures and make informed decisions about science and its applications. Such decisions will influence the wellbeing of themselves, other living things and their environment.

    Biology Senior Syllabus

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    Biology is the study of life in its many manifestations. It encompasses studies of the origin, development, diversity, functioning and evolution of living systems and the consequences of intervention in those systems.

    Biology is characterised by a view of life as a unique phenomenon with fundamental unity. Living processes and systems have many interacting factors that make quantification and prediction difficult. An understanding of these processes and systems requires integration of many branches of knowledge.

    The study of Biology provides students with opportunities to:

     gain insight into the scientific manner of investigating problems pertaining to the living world experience the processes of science, and that leads to the discovery of new knowledge develop a deeper understanding and aesthetic appreciation of the living world. Participation in Biology enables students to engage in creative scientific thinking and to apply their knowledge in practical situations. The study of Biology will help students foresee the consequences of their own and society’s activities on the living world. This will enable them to participate as informed and responsible citizens in decision-making processes, the outcomes of which will affect the living world now and in the future.

    1The subject provides opportunities for the development of the key competencies in contexts that

    arise naturally from the subject matter.

    1 KCI: collecting, analysing and organising information; KC2: communicating ideas and information; KC3: planning and organising activities; KC4: working with others and in teams; KC5: using mathematical ideas and techniques; KC6: solving problems; KC7: using technology.

    Biology Senior Syllabus

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    Biology provides learning experiences which will further develop in students: a knowledge and understanding of the living world

     the capacity to identify, gather, manipulate and process information in the context of scientific endeavours including field investigations

     the capacity to communicate effectively in various formats on biological issues an appreciation of the complexity and beauty of biological phenomena a recognition that Australian ecosystems have unique characteristics an appreciation that each type of organism, including Homo sapiens, occupies a unique position

    in the biosphere

     a sense of responsibility for the stewardship of the local and global environment an ability to apply biological understanding, skills and reasoning to present-day and emerging issues.

    Biology Senior Syllabus

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    The General objectives are derived from the interaction of the Global aims (section 3), Rationale (s. 2), and A view of science and science education (s. 1).

    The general objectives of the syllabus are categorised as:

     Understanding biology

     Investigating biology

     Evaluating biological issues

     Attitudes and values.

    Learning through each of the general objectives is developed through learning experiences and

    activities that range from simple to complex in their challenge to students. Participation in these

    learning experiences requires students to present and communicate ideas and information.

    Students are required to communicate ideas and information using genres, terminology and conventions (linguistic, mathematical, graphic and symbolic) appropriate to biology. At all times, students are to be aware of safety issues and use safe scientific practice as outlined in s. 6.6.

    The objective, Attitude and values relates to the affective elements that permeate each of the other three objectives. This objective is not directly assessed in awarding exit levels of achievement. The

    objectives of Understanding biology, Investigating biology, and Evaluating biological issues are linked to the exit criteria of the Biology syllabus and help in developing the key competencies. (The numbers in the following sections cross-refer to items in the tables in the appendixes.)

    4.1 UNDERSTANDING BIOLOGY (UB)

    This objective provides opportunities for students to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and ideas of biology (see tables 5.1 and 5.2). Students will be required to acquire, construct and communicate knowledge and understanding of the ideas, concepts and theories of biology.

    Students should be given opportunities to:

    1. recall ideas, concepts and theories of biology

    2. describe biological ideas, concepts and theories applied to a range of situations 3. apply and link ideas, concepts and theories to explain phenomena in a range of situations.

    4.2 INVESTIGATING BIOLOGY (IB)

    This objective provides opportunities for students collectively and individually to access, collect, derive and interpret quantitative and qualitative biological data. Students will be required to

    critically and creatively question, observe, construct ideas, make choices, analyse data, make decisions and solve problems to demonstrate the processes involved in biological investigation. Students should be given opportunities to:

    1. identify and formulate questions and hypotheses for investigations and research 2. design, manage and carry out experimental and non-experimental investigations

    Biology Senior Syllabus

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    3. develop skills and processes required to collect, organise, interpret, model and present primary

    and secondary data

    4. analyse data gathered from investigations

    5. make judgments and draw conclusions pertaining to the validity of an investigation.

    4.3 EVALUATING BIOLOGICAL ISSUES (EBI)

    This objective aims to develop in students the ability to embrace current biological understandings and ideas to evaluate the effects of their application on present-day and future society. Students will be required to gather information, predict outcomes, and make and communicate informed decisions about the effects of human intervention on biological systems. Students should be given opportunities to:

    1. recognise relevant past and present scientific and social issues

    2. explain the explicit and implicit meanings of information selected from a variety of sources 3. evaluate and assess the reliability, authenticity, relevance, accuracy and bias of the sources and

    methods of the collection of information

    4. justify decisions and develop future scenarios based on the interpretation and analysis of

    current information.

    4.4 ATTITUDES AND VALUES (AV)

    The focus of this objective is for students to develop heightened levels of sensitivity to the implications of Biology for individuals and groups in society. It refers to the feelings, dispositions

    and ways of thinking about questions and issues in the field of study. This objective requires

    students to consider attitudes and values in making decisions related to Biology. Through this

    process, students should be given opportunities to develop attitudes and values to: 1. understand that science is a human endeavour and has limitations

    2. demonstrate collegiality and cooperation

    3. retain a commitment to scientific reasoning, openness to new ideas, intellectual honesty, and

    respect for evidence

    4. appreciate the contribution of Biology to local, national and international issues 5. acknowledge responsibility when making decisions about the use of biological information 6. develop respect and appreciation for the natural world and minimise human impact on the

    environment.

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    5.1 ORGANISING PRINCIPLES

    The syllabus provides the conceptual basis on which courses of study in Biology may be constructed but does not limit the approach taken. The overall course organisation should describe opportunities for students to explore key concepts (see table 5.1).

    It is a requirement that increasing complexity in both scope and depth of subject matter will be developed within units of work and over the course of study in Biology. While the scope and depth

    of treatment of particular concepts is the decision of the school, increasing complexity must be reflected in the teaching and learning experiences and the assessment program developed by the school.

    This syllabus has been designed to cater for a course of study of not less than 55 hours per semester (220 hours) of timetabled school time, including time for assessment.

    Accommodation of individual and group differences of students

    The development of courses should take into consideration the needs of individuals and class groups as well as students’ prior experience and conceptualisation. This principle is applied in terms of the cohort, school work unit, selection of resources (including the teacher’s special areas of expertise and interest), learning experiences, assessment task design, and educational equity. Teachers are encouraged to explore the local community for resources that would enrich the course. The constructivist approach to teaching and learning as described in the Science Years 1 to 10 syllabus is promoted in this syllabus, thus providing continuity of learning experiences for students through the years of schooling.

    5.2 COURSE STRUCTURE

    Schools are encouraged to develop a course of study that reflects the interconnectedness of the key concepts (see table 1). Schools may choose to do this in a variety of ways through the development of contextualised, thematic or problem-based units.

    The syllabus allows flexibility in choosing and developing units that are relevant to students and use local resources.

    Contextualised

    A context is a group of related situations, phenomena, technical applications and social issues likely to be encountered by students. A context provides a meaningful application of concepts in real-world situations.

    Thematic

    Themes are unifying organisers that integrate elements in authentic and purposeful ways.

    Biology Senior Syllabus

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