Faculty of Education

Undergraduate, Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

LevelUndergraduate, Postgraduate
FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedClayton First semester 2014 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2014 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Debra Panizzon (Day); Mrs Jacqueline Macreadie (Off-campus)


This unit is part A of a two-part unit and must be taken in conjunction with part B (EDF4842).


This unit prepares pre-service teachers to teach biology in secondary schools as a specialist in Years 11 and 12 and in the junior Years 7 to 10. The unit draws upon a constructivist theory of learning to explore the most appropriate ways of encouraging students to build their conceptual understandings of biological concepts. Linked to this, students will develop a range of pedagogical approaches in teaching biology. Importantly, pre-service teachers will be introduced to appropriate curricula (Years 7 to 12) so that they are confident in linking their teaching to the curriculum in preparation for the classroom. Throughout the unit students will be challenged to consider the key issues impacting biology education and how they might address them in their teaching. Students will be encouraged to think critically about teaching biology and recognise the importance of reflecting upon their own practice.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. articulate and apply their understanding of a constructivist perspective of learning in biology
  2. understand and apply state and national curricula in biology and their implications for planning teaching and learning
  3. link the everyday world of the learner with biology in ways that are meaningful and relevant
  4. demonstrate an awareness of key theoretical and pedagogical perspectives and issues in teaching biology.


This unit is graded pass grade only (PGO)

Written assignment (2000 words, 50%)
Reflective assignment (2000 words, 50%)

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • 2-3 contact hours per week

(b.) Additional requirements:

  • independent study to make up the minimum required hours per week


A minor sequence in biological sciences (e.g. genetics, human biology, microbiology, botany and zoology).