While the significance of the cross-curriculum priorities for Biology varies, there are opportunities for teachers to select contexts that incorporate the key concepts from each priority.
Through an investigation of contexts that draw on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures students could investigate the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ knowledge in developing a richer understanding of the Australian environment. Students could develop an appreciation of the unique Australian biota and its interactions, the impacts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples on their environments and the ways in which the Australian landscape has changed over tens of thousands of years. They could examine the ways in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge of ecosystems has developed over time and the spiritual significance of Country/Place.
Contexts that draw on Asian scientific research and development and collaborative endeavours in the Asia Pacific region provide an opportunity for students to investigate Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia. Students could explore the diverse environments of the Asia region and develop an appreciation that interaction between human activity and these environments continues to influence the region, including Australia, and has significance for the rest of the world. By examining developments in biological science, students could appreciate that the Asia region plays an important role in scientific research and development, including through collaboration with Australian scientists, in such areas as medicine, natural resource management, biosecurity and food security.
The Sustainability cross-curriculum priority is explicitly addressed in the Biology curriculum. Biology provides authentic contexts for exploring, investigating and understanding the function and interactions of biotic and abiotic systems across a range of spatial and temporal scales. By investigating the relationships between biological systems and system components, and how systems respond to change, students develop an appreciation for the interconnectedness of the biosphere. Students appreciate that biological science provides the basis for decision making in many areas of society and that these decisions can impact the Earth system. They understand the importance of using science to predict possible effects of human and other activity, and to develop management plans or alternative technologies that minimise these effects and provide for a more sustainable future.