Building Pedagogical Bridges between Secondary and Tertiary Biology: A Multi-Institutional, National Endeavour

Karen Burke Da Silva, Gerry Rayner

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


    While the quality of student learning, sequencing and structure of curricula and validation of educational standards have been the subject of considerable government and agency scrutiny over the past decade, in both secondary and tertiary domains, there remains a considerable gulf between secondary and tertiary education systems in terms of both curricula and modes of teaching practice. In a biology-focussed project, academics from four Australia universities collaborated in the collection, analysis and interpretation of national benchmarking information regarding the content, structure, and teaching modes of first year biology subjects offered at 37 Australian universities. Analysis indicated that while a high proportion of these subjects were very high enrolment, many students lacked prior learning in biology, which generated particular stressors for teaching and support staff. Additionally, considerable resources were allocated to meaningful practical activities, which although highly regarded by students, were not being assessed in ways that could accurately determine student proficiency or their ability to think critically. The project, titled ‘Transitions in Biology’ has provided a model for future national benchmarking of science and related STEM disciplines, and set the foundation for ongoing and future meaningful and productive dialogue between secondary and tertiary educators.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2014
    Event3rd International STEM Education Conference - University of British Columbia , Vancouver, Canada
    Duration: 12 Jul 201415 Jul 2014


    Conference3rd International STEM Education Conference
    Abbreviated titleSTEM 2014


    Dive into the research topics of 'Building Pedagogical Bridges between Secondary and Tertiary Biology: A Multi-Institutional, National Endeavour'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this