Topic outline

  • Brumby Dilemma

    Dr Ray Williams & Tim Manea, Saint Marks Anglican Community College, Hillarys, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA

  • Topic 1

    "There was movement at the station for the word had got around
     That the colt from old regret had got away
     And joined the wild bush horses, he was worth a thousand pounds
     So all the cracks had gathered to the fray
     All the tried and noted stockmen from the stations near and far
     Had mustered at the homestead overnight
     For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are
     And the stockhorse snuffs the battle with delight"

    A.B. Patterson, "The Man From Snowy River", published in 'The Bulletin' (26 April 1890)

  • Topic 2

    What Is It About?

    Using Banjo Paterson's famous poem, "The Man from Snowy River", students are required to examine a confronting dilemma: population control and conservation. In this activity, students are asked to draw from the poem, mathematical and English components and then find the ethical dilemma within the poem.

    For example, students calculate the number of brumbies in the poem, apply their mathematical skills and approximate the growth rate of the brumby population over several years.

    Based on their findings, students face the daunting prospect concerning conservation: declining numbers of native species and increasing populations of introduced species. They then are encouraged to consider the philosophical argument: "How can we mitigate this population growth" and  "Do humans have a right to decide who lives and who dies?".

  • Topic 3

    Where To Use It?

    This dilemma project was designed and used to collaboratively teach maths and English education at an advanced  year 9 (14 year old) level.

  • Topic 4

  • Topic 5

    Teaching Resources