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ERIC Number: EJ939683
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9266
Issues and Trends in Higher Education Biology Fieldwork
Smith, Debbie
Journal of Biological Education, v39 n1 p6-10 2004
This paper describes the outcomes of a two-day Higher Education focus group meeting at Blencathra Field Centre, Cumbria, in November 2003. A review of the current status of fieldwork in undergraduate courses was undertaken. The data available indicates that although the number of students enrolling in Biological Science courses has increased, in practice this potential increase in fieldwork provision has not been realised. As well as a decline in the number of students enrolling on university courses with a strong fieldwork tradition, it was found that the courses themselves are shifting away from the inclusion of outdoor learning activities. The reasons given by tutors regarding the benefits and problems of running HE fieldwork courses is discussed and compared to research with teachers in secondary school education. Current action undertaken by HE institutions to sustain and improve fieldwork provision is highlighted: this includes offering more overseas trips and adopting inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional approaches. Finally, the importance of "top down" and "bottom up" forces in determining the amount and quality of biology fieldwork in the future is discussed. Both the wording of the QAA Benchmark statements ("top down") and what happens in the Secondary Schools and Sixth Form Colleges("bottom up") are of the utmost importance in determining the survival of fieldwork in HE biology courses. (Contains 2 tables and 4 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom