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Ethics and Conservation (Self-Guided)

Ethics and Conservation (Self-Guided)

Year level 
Year 7 & Year 8
$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 freedom, justice, and rights and responsibilities, and the extent they are and should be valued by different individuals and groups (VCECU014)
    Using the case study of the Southern Corroboree Frog, students investigate ethical concepts, including fairness and the treatment of animals
  • Investigate criteria for determining the relative importance of matters of ethical concern (VCECU016)
    Using the case study of the Southern Corroboree Frog, students investigate ethical concepts, including fairness and the treatment of animals
  • Explore the extent of ethical obligation and the implications for thinking about consequences and duties in decision-making and action (VCECD017)
    Students are encouraged to consider the role of Melbourne Zoo and the responsibility of individuals, in saving the Southern Corroboree frog and making their life “fair”

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 Orang-utan and the Southern Corroboree Frog.

Students are encouraged to attend the Seal Presentation, Orang-utan 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

Ethics and Conservation is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for weather conditions. Students will need a copy of the student workbook (download from below), 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.