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Ethics and Conservation (Self-Guided)

Ethics and Conservation (Self-Guided)

Year level 
Year 3 & Year 4
$19 per student
Monday to Friday (during the school term)

Is it fair that animals are treated differently from people?

Learning Outcomes

Victorian Curriculum F – 10

Ethical Capability

  • Explore the contested meaning of concepts including fairness and harm and how they can seem to differ in different situations (VCECU004)
    Students are invited to attend Melbourne Zoo’s seal presentation and encouraged to ask questions, consider arguments and make observations on the “fair” treatment of seals in this environment

Program Description

Melbourne Zoo has partnered with the Victorian Association for philosophy in Schools (VAPS) to develop a self-guided trail for teachers and students to explore.

Explore the specially designed Ethics Trail to understand the ethical principle, ‘do no harm to others’. The trail and discussion prompts link to and support learning outcomes for Ethical Capability in the Victoria Curriculum from Levels 3 to 10.

There are up to three case studies to explore, where you’ll meet Fur Seals, Sumatran Orangutans and the Southern Corroboree Frog.

Students are encouraged to attend the Seal Presentation, Orangutan Talk and the Corroboree Frog encounter where they will be able to ask staff questions.

As this is a self-guided tour, you’ll 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. As a rough guide, each case study takes approximately 1 hour to explore. Therefore, allow 3 hours if you wish to explore all 3 case studies. Use the Ethics Trail Teacher Booklet below to guide learning and plan your day.

Students will learn:

  • The ethical considerations of keeping animals in captivity and the reasoning behind these decisions
  • How the Zoo’s animals are cared for and treated
  • What is being done to save animals in the wild
  • Consider arguments and make observations on the ‘fair’ treatment of animals in this environment

What to bring

This 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.

Student ratio

1 adult for every 10 students are admitted for free with this program. Additional adults are welcome to join for a reduced rate.

Plan your visit

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

The day's activities

Self-guided – Ethics Trail case study
1 hour for each
Explore the Zoo – visit animal exhibits, attend educational keeper talks
1 – 4 hours

To book your trip to the zoo, simply call (03) 9340 2788 between 9am – 5pm, 7 days a week.

We’ll email to confirm your booking. Note: as this is a self-guided trail, there is no face-face experience with the Learning Experience Team.