Ethics, Zoos and You: Behaviour Change

Year levels



$19 per student


Monday to Friday (during the school term)

Student Ratio

1 adult for every 10 students

What are the ethics of keeping animals in captivity? Bring a real-world understanding to key VCE Psychology skills by investigating the ethics of captive animals and exploring how Psychology principles are used to encourage pro-conservation behaviour change in a real-world setting.

Program Description

Deep-dive into how psychology concepts can help you to promote pro-conservation behaviour change in a real-world context. Ethics, Zoos and You: Behaviour Change explores science as a human endeavour and provides insights into how psychology skills and knowledge are used in animal welfare and wildlife conservation.

Students take on the role of Zoo’s Victoria’s Animal Ethics Committee to debate a current ethical dilemma. In addition students will apply key knowledge in Unit 2, exploring how Zoos Victoria applies the tri-component model to influence and shape visitor behaviour.

Students will learn:

  • How to apply and understand ethical principles
  • How to communicate scientific ideas
  • An understanding of scientific process and assess the strengths and limitations of science
  • Build an awareness of the ethical, social and political contexts of scientific endeavours
  • Develop their analytical skills including critical and creative thinking
  • Analyse contemporary psychology-related issues
Activity Duration

Workshop with Melbourne Zoo teacher

  • A Zoo educator will introduce students to ethics at the Zoo and the ways we use psychology skills and knowledge in animal welfare and wildlife conservation
  • A Zoo educator will facilitate a workshop at the Orang-utan Sanctuary
85 minutes

Student-led inquiry

  • An opportunity for teachers to facilitate further investigation into the Ethics, Zoo and You, independently of Zoo educators

Explore the Zoo 

  • Visit animal exhibits, attend educational keeper talks
 1 – 2 hours

Learning outcomes

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) – Psychology

Unit 2: How do external factors influence behaviour and mental processes?


Area of Study 2: How are people influenced to behave in particular ways?

  • Through the analysis of one of Zoos Victoria's community conservation projects, students will explore how Zoos Victoria applies the tri-component model to influence and shape the behaviour of our visitors


Plan your excursion 

Ethics, Zoos and You is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for weather conditions. Students will need a copy of the student workbook, clipboard and a pen. Teachers will need a copy of the teacher workbook. Student electronic devices are encouraged. 

School groups will enter via Rail Gate. The organising teacher must present their booking confirmation to Admission staff prior to students and remaining teachers entering the Zoo. More information

Book your excursion

Call (03) 9340 2788

You will need the following to book your excursion:

  • Education program of your choice
  • Preferred excursion date
  • School name and address
  • Contact details of organising teacher
  • Number of students/classes and their year level