BIOTA Philippines Conference System, 52nd BIOTA Annual National Convention and Scientific Sessions

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THE CURRENT STATE OF BIOLOGY EDUCATION AND THE PROSPECTS FOR REVISION OF THE COURSE OF STUDY IN JAPAN
Teiko Nakamichi

Last modified: 2017-03-08

Abstract


The current Course of Study (CS) for Science for upper secondary schools includes Basic Biology and Advanced Biology.  In 2016, approximately 98% of the students selected Basic Biology while 25% of students selected Advanced Biology.  Basic Biology is composed of three units and Advanced Biology is composed of five units.  Both of them have been supplemented with inquiry activities at the end of each unit.  The key words for Basic Biology are DNA, Health and Environment.  In addition, Basic Biology emphasizes the concept of “unity and diversity” in relation to evolution.  Moreover, Biology-related subjects in the current CS have been modernized by reflecting the rapid progress in life science research in recent years.  While such modernization is desirable, it has led to new problems; especially in the case of Advanced Biology where the quantity of topics has increased and the contents have become more challenging.  MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) is going to revise the CS.  The guiding concept of the revisions is to enable students to cope with the changes in Japanese society when they reach adulthood and face reduction in the working-age population, progression of globalization and technological innovation in Japan.  There is a dire need to emphasize the quality of contents, i.e. “what is to be learnt,” and the quality of learning method, i.e. “how to learn” in order to deepen students’ learning.  It is also important to evaluate “what kind of ability students have acquired” because of innovative teaching methods.  Thus, the new CS will shift from the traditional content-based teaching and learning to competency-based teaching and learning by introducing some innovative methods such as active learning.

(This report is based on the country report for the 26th conference of the AABE.)

 


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