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ERIC Number: ED505741
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 64
The Web in the West
Betjeman, Kenneth Jon
Online Submission
This paper is a history of the adoption and implementation of "The Web of Life", an inquiry based biology course for senior secondary students in Western Australia. It focuses on the period from 1965 to 1990, outlines the issues at the time, events, and timeline of implementation and reflects on inquiry teaching and learning. It is a historical record written from the first hand experience of key people who provided comment to be quoted and were proud of their association with the "Web". There is no other such record for "The Web" in the West. Inquiry remains today an important goal, across all years of school education, both as a way of teaching science and as a student outcome skill and value. Since the halcyon days of inquiry around the introduction of "The Web of Life" there has been regression to a path of lesser teacher support for the teaching and learning of biology and many of the perceived and potential benefits arising from the introduction of "The Web of Life" have been lost. Experienced biology teachers, now retired or currently teaching, claim students and teachers have been let down by the lack of adequate on-gong support specific for inquiry teaching and learning of biological sciences. They also claim that shared professional dialogue and motivation has suffered. Much the same can be said also for other school sciences. From 1985 System support shifted away from subjects to school development and more recently to the clarification of student achievement. Support for science teacher knowledge and understanding of biology and of science teaching methodology has been severely neglected. Thus there exists an even bigger gap now than ever before between the inquiry intent of "The Web of Life" and current biology teaching and learning. A consequence is that there is opportunity for both biology teachers and students to do inquiry better, much better. There is also a need to record more recent history of biology teaching and learning. Forty five years after the introduction of the Web in the West inquiry remains both a relevant and powerful biology (science) teaching strategy and a significant intellectual outcome for students to master.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 12; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia