Ethics and Conservation (Self-Guided)
Explore, examine and investigate the contested meanings of fairness, happiness and freedom through the lens of the animals who live at the zoo.
This is a self-guided trail for teachers and students to explore. Guide your students’ observations, discussions and learning at your own pace. You can determine the duration of the excursion, based on the time you have.
Students/children will learn:
- How to contribute to a philosophical Community of Inquiry
- How to explore the contested meaning of concept of fairness (Year 3-4)
- How to examine the contested meaning of concept of happiness (Year 5-6)
- How to explore the contested meaning the concepts of freedom and harm (Year 7-8)
- How to examine an ethical problem and explore different modes of philosophical thought to develop their viewpoint (Year 9-10)
Use the activities in the Teaching Guide (below) to spark student’s curiosity before their zoo visit and to conduct and practice Community of Inquiry.
Connect and Understand
Explore the specifically designed case studies through the Ethics Trail at Melbourne Zoo. This trail has been designed in order to develop students’ ability to contribute to a philosophical Community of Inquiry. It will challenge them to develop and refine their understanding of the contested meaning of concepts such as fairness, happiness, freedom and harm, and modes of philosophical thought.
The case studies focus on animals at the zoo, e.g. Seals and Orangutans. The teaching resource will provide teachers with all the background knowledge required to conduct a successful Community of Inquiry. The on-site case study is designed to take approximately 1 hour, leaving your 2 – 3 hours to explore the Zoo and apply their thinking to different species.
Use activities in the Teaching Guide to deepen students’ learning back at school.
Use the Teaching Guide to enable students to master their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts.
Year 9-10 resources coming soon. Thanks for your patience.
Victorian Curriculum 3-10
Year 3-4 - Explore the contested meaning of concepts including fairness and harm and how they can seem to differ in different situations (VCECU004)
- Students will explore a case study focussing on seals through the substantive question: Is it fair that we treat seals differently than people?
Year 5-6 - Examine the contested meaning of concepts including truth and happiness and the extent to which these concepts are and should be valued (VCECU009)
- Students will explore a case study focussing on Orangutans through the substantive question: Do all animals have the right to be happy?
Year 7-8 - Explore the contested meaning of concepts including freedom, justice, and rights and responsibilities, and the extent they are and should be valued by different individuals and groups (VCECU014)
- Students will explore a case study focussing on one of our zoo animals through the substantive question: Is it better to be free than safe?
Year 9-10 - Explore a range of ethical problems and examine the extent to which different positions are related to commonly held ethical concepts and principles, considering the influence of cultural norms, religion, world views and philosophical thought (VCECU020)
- Students will explore an ethical dilemma at the zoo and be encouraged to apply different modes of philosophical thought to approach the dilemma from various viewpoints.
Plan your excursion
Ethics and Conservation (Self-Guided) is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for weather conditions. This could include a raincoat, hat and sun protection.
School groups will enter Melbourne Zoo via the Rail Gate entrance. Organising teachers please check in with our Admissions team upon arrival. More Information.
Book your education experience
Fill out an online form to request a booking for your zoo education experienceRequest booking now
You will need to know the following to book your zoo excursion or online workshop:
- Education program of your choice (if applicable)
- Preferred date
- School name and address
- Contact details of organising teacher
- Number of students/classes and their year level