BioBlog

The sad state of science learning in primary school

Alison Campbell Dec 06, 2018

In 2011, Sir Peter Gluckman released his report, Looking ahead: science education for the 21st century. In it, he noted the need to improve science teaching in primary schools, commenting that: there should be an attempt to improve the confidence [my emphasis] of all teachers within primary schools to assist in science and that all primary schools should be encouraged to develop a … Read More

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A pivotal species? What’s that?

Alison Campbell Nov 20, 2018

By the end of the school year, Year 13 students preparing for Schol Bio should have a pretty good grasp of the concepts and content they’ve encountered in their studies. What tends to throw some, though, is the fact that the context used for each question will almost certainly be something that they haven’t come across before. I experienced that “what the … Read More

Agenda 21 and crank magnetism

Alison Campbell Oct 08, 2018

What with WAVES, and anti-1080 groups, and Rethink Fluoride (which, like FFNZ, opposes water fluoridation), there’s quite a lot of ‘alternative’ activity online these days. It’s actually quite interesting to look at the similarities that you can see in attitudes & opinions expressed on those sites. I mean, Agenda 21, anyone? Back when Making Sense of Fluoride was … Read More

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Anti-vaxxers’ dangerous misinformation

Alison Campbell Oct 03, 2018

That image is a visual counter to a now-removed billboard put up on an Auckland motorway by the NZ group WAVES (Warnings Against Vaccine Expectations). If you haven’t seen the offending item, this was it: That’s not a warning, that’s a scare tactic, and will surely have led to complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority. After … Read More

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Using images to misinform

Alison Campbell Oct 02, 2018

The internet, while it can be a godsend if you need to find something out (gotta love google maps for directions), can also be a wretched hive of wrongness and misinformation. That misinformation can take many forms, but when it comes to 1080 it’s clear that those opposed to NZ’s use of this chemical firmly believe that a picture … Read More

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Science & 1080

Alison Campbell Sep 18, 2018

This one is cross-posted from The Daily Blog. As Hayden Donnell said yesterday morning in The Spinoff, anti-1080 activism has become both noisy, and ugly. And, as is probably apparent to anyone with an internet connection and a social media account, that activism has taken to hijacking unrelated issues to attempt to spread its message. On The … Read More

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Wordle & Schol Bio

Alison Campbell Sep 16, 2018

One of the things I do at Schol Bio workshops is work with students to identify the key themes that run through the exam questions from year to year. On the macro scale, there are three: human evolution, genetics, and animal & plant behaviour/responses to the environment (with an occasional admixture of biotechnology). At yesterday’s workshop in Tauranga, my friend … Read More