Part II

Chapters 2 through 8

There is one scientific discipline that should be able to answer existential questions that are related to physiology, and that is biology. Chapters 2 through 8 are dedicated to establishing the necessary content of a biology curriculum that will provide adolescents with deep and far-reaching insights about who they are. The proposed new curriculum is on one hand theoretical – offering relevant information and insights from the study of zoology. On the other hand, it is also observational (observing animal populations in the field). Four different observational practicums are described.

 

Frameworks as educational tools

The essential zoological content of this new curriculum is quite complex. In order to ensure that adolescents fully grasp the material, several different frameworks have been developed to support the presentation of the curriculum.

The first framework, the phylogenetic framework, has been borrowed from Claus Nielsen’s morphological research. This framework (a) presents an overview of all the animal phyla, and (b) shows the basis of the structure. The framework also shows that all phyla are equivalent to each other. The framework shows the historical origin of all the various phyla as well as of each phylum separately. The framework also presents the crucial ontogenesis that makes it possible for life to exist in a given environment. The most important characteristics of the various species in relation to each other are also presented.

The cluster framework is a condensed version of the Neilsen framework and aims to show adolescents that a further classification of the existing phyla is possible.

The Aspect Framework is meaningful because it lays outs the totality of ‘the animal’ in various aspects; the framework distinguishes eleven different characteristics that are presented in relation to each other. The main characteristics are:

In this sense, this framework is a practical tool that can be used in the zoology practicums.

This ‘aspect approach’ departs from the usual approach in zoology. Using this framework, the animal is seen in its existential wholeness. The framework makes it possible for adolescents to study every animal species according to the same principles.

The V-framework (in a horizontal “V” form) allows the student to see that the historical phylogenesis took place alongside the historical ontogenesis.

The palaeontological timelines have a unique place within this collection of frameworks. The timeline is linear and presents the history of evolution on a six-meter long roll of paper; the development of life in earth is shown in its successive stages.

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