BioBlog

Science education in the 21st century – what might it look like?

Alison Campbell Jul 03, 2018

There’s a lot of rhetoric these days around educating students ‘for the 21st century’, and the need for ’21st century skills’, while (not always but often) disparaging what is currently taught & how it’s delivered. Catherine Kelsey has a good op.ed. on this on the Education Central site, in which she comments on two other opinion pieces that … Read More

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Preparing for scholarship: critical thinking

Alison Campbell Jun 27, 2018

I met with a local biology teacher today to talk about setting up a Schol Bio preparation day in the Waikato, and we also discussed things like the need for critical thinking skills (in addition to a solid base of knowledge from students’ year 12 & year 13 studies and time spent in reading more widely around the subject). So … Read More

Appeal to antiquity? Appeal to nature? Bingo!

Alison Campbell Jun 13, 2018

I was idly skimming the Herald’s website when I came across an article with the headline “Is plant medicine really that effective?” Since the article appears to be in the nature of an advertorial, the answer is, it depends on who you ask. Unlike man-made chemical drugs that have been developed as novel medicines from the 19th century onwards, plant medicines … Read More

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Is there science in reflexology?

Alison Campbell Jun 06, 2018

I subscribe to the Tertiary Insight newsletter (a great way to keep up with news of what’s happening in the tertiary sector). Yesterday’s edition included a statement (& a link) about the NZQA’s decision to cancel the registration of the Aromaflex Academy. It seems that this Private Training Establishment (PTE) was placed under strict conditions in January 2018, & … Read More

Could – & should – the moa be a goer again?

Alison Campbell Jun 03, 2018

I’m starting to gear up for some Schol Bio preparation days in the regions (hi, Hawkes Bay! See you in 4 weeks!) and realised that I haven’t written anything specifically focused on those exams for a while. So I thought that putting something together would be a good way to spend a rather wet Sunday. At these days we usually … Read More

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History & ‘right to try’

Alison Campbell May 30, 2018

Over the last few years, OracA has written quite a bit about the so-called ‘right to try’ legislation that has been enacted in many US states – and, as this post of his describes, will now most likely become a thing at the federal level. (I say “most likely”, given President Trump’s history of wanting to significantly reduce … Read More

Talking about what we should teach

Alison Campbell May 10, 2018

While I was on holiday (Japan – it was wonderful!) – I read Tom Haig’s interesting article about ‘curriculum wars’ over on Education Central, and it reminded me of the concerns I’ve held for some time that we don’t really talk enough about *what* to teach in our classrooms, be they university-level or in the secondary sector.  Several years back (how time … Read More

There are horses for courses, but snails for faces?

Alison Campbell Mar 21, 2018

I first wrote about the snail facial back in 2015, in response to an article in the Herald on Sunday on that very topic. Today, the fact that there’s a story on the very same subject on the Stuff webpage suggests that there is always an appetite for woo (although when I read the story just now, I was … Read More