The Reporter
Issue 493, 27 October 2003
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Inspiring the nation's science teachers


TLeeds is part of a consortium of Yorkshire universities appointed to run a pioneering £50m government-charity initiative to invigorate science teaching across the UK.

The initiative will establish a network of science learning centres – jointly funded by the DfES and the Wellcome Trust – to revitalise science in the classroom by transforming the quality of training and support available to the tens of thousands of science teachers in primary and secondary schools and FE colleges.

The White Rose university consortium of Leeds, Sheffield and York, with Sheffield Hallam, has been appointed to run the network’s flagship National Science Learning Centre, to be based at York. The consortium will also run the regional centre for Yorkshire and the Humber, based at Sheffield Hallam.

The Centre will set up an innovative professional development programme for science teachers, with courses delivered by scientists from the consortium universities at the forefront of their disciplines, boosting teachers’ knowledge of cutting edge science and technology and their related societal and ethical issues.

“The quality of science education depends crucially on the supply and professional expertise of science teachers. They hold the key to motivating students towards high achievement,” said Professor John Holman from the University of York, who led the White Rose bid.

Leading the project at Leeds is professor of science education, John Leach. He said: “Science has moved so fast that many things now on the national curriculum weren't part of current science teachers’ original education.

“We'll be working with our world-class researchers in science and engineering to ensure teachers are kept up to date with the latest developments in areas such as genetics, molecular biology, physics and nanotechnology, all of which already are, or soon will be, on the sixth form curriculum.”

See the press release for more information.


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