Zoology is a diverse and vibrant discipline blending natural history with modern technologies and applications to understand the biology of animals. Career paths for those trained in zoology vary dramatically, ranging from traditional roles in research and teaching to work in environmental management, planning and health sciences. Undergraduate and postgraduate students participating in the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales' student workshops were asked to identify what they value in their tertiary education and how they would improve the experience. Student perceptions of what constitutes a good learning experience in zoology reflected the common belief that experiential learning, particularly in the field, were critical to successful undergraduate programs. Postgraduates reflected on the very specific nature of MSc and PhD projects, such that vocational elements deemed important for later success were sometimes neglected owing to the temporal constraints of completing higher degrees by research. Top-down higher education policy pressures were also perceived as impediments to improving some aspects of the zoological experience at universities. The commonalities in student opinion show that neglecting the experiential elements that had made zoology in universities so successful in the past could diminish the experience in the future, and so should be prioritised and enhanced.
Selection pressures on zoology teaching in Australian universities: student perceptions of zoological education and how to improve it
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Dieter Hochuli, Peter Banks; Selection pressures on zoology teaching in Australian universities: student perceptions of zoological education and how to improve it. Australian Zoologist 1 November 2008; 34 (4): 548–553. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2008.031
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