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Semester 1 (Early-Start)
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This subject explores the rationale, resources, methodology and specific techniques (Pedagogy) appropriate to teaching, learning and assessing Biology, drawing from the current VCAA Biology Study Design (particularly Units 1 and 3) and the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (ACARA). Teaching skills in biological investigation and inquiry, application of biological understandings and communication of biological information and understandings will be developed. Supporting students in the wider skills of experimentation and inquiry processes will also be embedded. This will be addressed with particular emphasis on the use of digital technologies to demonstrate and understand structures.
As a novice in this space, the Teacher candidate is supported to develop lesson plans and unit plans appropriate to scaffold activity based learning experiences from year 7-10 through the Combined Science Lecture Program and VCE Biology workshops (Biology Learning Area). Assignment 1 for Biology involves building upon the planning started in workshops to navigate and interpret the VCAA study design and assessment guides to plan for teaching, learning and assessment in a differentiated VCE classroom. In Assignment 2 Teacher candidates use first hand data collected on placement to reflect on biology teaching practices in VCE classrooms today and make connections to the readings and workshops over the semester.
Many elements of digital literacy and numeracy are evident in Biology, particularly with regard to Inquiry Skills. These include practical measurement and the collection, representation and interpretation of data from investigations.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, Teacher Candidates should be able to:
Graduate Standards refer to the Graduate- level Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
- Critically reflect on research into how students learn and understand the concepts, substance, structure and implications for effective teaching practice of biology, including the creation of effective learning environments and specific resources to support learning and teaching (Graduate Standards 1.2, 2.1 & 4.4)
- Commence understanding of how to design lesson plans and learning sequences, using knowledge of student learning, curriculum, assessment, reporting as well as effective teaching resources for teaching and learning in Biology and Science Graduate Standards 2.2, 2.3, 3.2).
- Understand how to select and set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics (Graduate Standards 3.1,).
- Select appropriate strategies and identify pedagogies to differentiate teaching to meet specific needs of students in science classroom settings, including digital technologies, literacy, numeracy and 21st Century skills in order to engage and empower students in their learning (Graduate Standards 1.5, 2.5, 2.6, 3.3, 3.4, 4.4)
- Evaluate teaching programs to improve learning and to determine the effectiveness of strategies and resources (Graduate Standards 3.6).
- Identify and plan for assessment strategies including formal and informal diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess and to support students’ learning of biology and science (Graduate Standards 5.1, 5.2, 5.4).
This subject will develop the following set of key transferable skills:
- Clinical reasoning and thinking
- Problem solving
- Evidence based decision making
- Creating and innovating
- Working in teams communicating and collaborating with other professionals
- Learning to learn and metacognition
- Being responsive to a changing knowledge base
- Reflecting and continually making improvements
- Linking theory and practice
- Inquiring and researching
- Becoming a citizen and taking personal and social responsibility.
Last updated: 9 October 2020