Knowledge renewel [ie. renewal] in the 21st century : developing a professional network of biology teachers
Research into effective strategies for the professional development of science teachers, and in particular biology teachers, is an important area of study. Given the rapidly expanding knowledge and interest (in both the media and scientific arena) in areas such as biotechnology, stem cell research and genetherapies, to name but a few, it seems increasingly important that biology teachers remain up-to-date with such advances.“This expansion in what counts as biotechnology is important for science and math teachers to know as they prepare students for their roles as modern citizens, scientific workers, and postsecondary students” (Tate & Malancharuvil-Berkes, 2006,p. 283). With enrolments in biology, chemistry and physics by year 12 students in Australian schools dropping by 29, 25 and 23% respectively between 1990 and 2001 (Fullarton, Walker,Ainley, & Hillman, 2003; Lyons, 2006) it could be argued that lack of teacher expertise is a contributing factor in these declines. These regressions have prompted “questions about future levels of scientific literacy and technological expertise”(Lyons, 2006, p. 285).