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Institute of Biology and Biology Education

Self-concept and its Significance in the Study of Biology

Our everyday lives are replete with references to biology, - encompassing individual, societal, political and economic concerns such as nutrition, health, sexuality, organ donation, animal husbandry, nature conservation and environmental protection, climate change and land use. A basic education in the natural sciences equips individuals to participate reflectively, autonomously, independently and ideally responsibly. It involves competences in discernment, decision making and action. This foundation does not only require biological conceptual knowledge, but also biological process knowledge and subject-methodological competences for understanding the world and nature and an understanding of natural science. These three pillars are further developed in the study of biology, which makes an essential contribution to general education.

Biology is concerned with all the phenomena of living systems. Organismic biology with its sub-disciplines such as human biology, zoology, botany, mycology and microbiology, plays a pivotal role. Various system levels are also considered, ranging from biomolecules, organelles and cells to ecosystems, landscapes and the entire biosphere of our living planet. Understanding living systems, given their high complexity, requires not only knowledge of their elements, but also analysis of their relationships and interactions across systemic levels of observation.

In both school and out-of-school educational contexts, biology education serves as a bridging discipline, mediating complex inter- and transdisciplinary topics and educational goals. Set out, for example, as guiding perspectives for state school curricula: education for sustainable development, education for tolerance and acceptance of diversity, prevention, health promotion and consumer education.

The university is opened to external experts by activities in the field, in companies and beyond. At the Institute of Biology and Biology Education, courses not only cover biological subject matter, but also focus on issues related to the teaching and learning of biology. Aspects of biology didactics and methodology are therefore of great importance. Seminars and lectures incorporate the latest research findings on the teaching and learning of biology, addressing aspects such as perceptions and interests of school students, competence models, attitudes and patterns of behaviour concering nature and the environment, subject-related cognitive processes, the design of learning environments within and beyond school settings in the context of didactic reconstruction.

In recent years, societal developments have increasingly demanded a didactic or pedagogical approach to modern digital technologies, the digital world, digital transformation and learning media. These elements play a crucial role in the reflective professionalization of teachers.

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