Developing a community of thinking in biological sciences

Document Type : Original Article


Durban University of Technology, South Africa


Globally, higher education institutions are
constantly challenged to respond to changes in the political, social, economic,
environment and other sectors in terms of their teaching practices. But, are
tertiary institutions responding adequately and appropriately to these
challenges in terms of Biological Sciences, their applications and their effect
on the environment?
The purpose of this
paper is to discuss an instruction and assessment strategy in Biology to
enhance eco-education.
This paper is based on a study that recognises the significance and
impact of education and (by implication) assessment in Biological Sciences on
the environment. This paper therefore reports on an oral assessment
intervention in Biology at two tertiary institutions in South Africa based on “
practical activities and first hand experience”
emphasized by The 1975Belgrade and Tbilisi international agreements
(UNESCO-UNEP 1976, 1978).
Grounded in a
social-constructivist framework, this qualitative study located learning and
assessment in Biology within the framework of situated learning which focused
on the construction and assessment of knowledge within the learner’s community
of practice.