The Discovery of the Natural World

Ref: C3529122

This course will examine the history of the discovery of the natural world, the six sessions will focus on a different aspect of the great scientific discoveries over the past four hundred years. Starting with the observation of a parson naturalist in a small English village, the intrepid voyages of Victorian plant hunters, how we discovered our evolutionary past to the work of the hundreds of scientists researching planet earth’s climate.

Course aim

A history of the discovery of the natural world, from climate change to the theory of evolution.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Name five great scientists and explorers and their discoveries or theories
  • Name three plant hunters and some of the key species they discovered
  • Explain how citizen science is helping discover the natural world
  • List three areas of research that contributes towards the current debate on climate change
  • Outline key development that scientists discovered about the evolution of humans

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full Course information sheet

The Discovery of the Natural World

Conditions

You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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