''That’s what being alive is about. I mean, it’s the fun of it all, making sense of it, understanding it. There’s a great pleasure in knowing why trees shed their leaves in winter. Everybody knows they do, but why? If you lose that, then you’ve lost pleasure.'' So states David Attenborough in an interview with Sophie Elmhirst, 'I Think the BBC Has Strayed From the Straight and Narrow', New Statesman (10 Jan 2011).
Biology is arguably the most popular of the sciences, perhaps because children are fascinated by the natural world around them from a very young age and for many that fascination grows greater with experience. Moreover, we each have our own working model of the human body – which is similar and yet different from those around us. Future health professionals are inspired not just by the working, but also by the failure of the organ systems; whilst a love of animals inspires many to seek careers relating to the care of (other) animals.
Biology is a practical subject and demands that students develop the skills to perform practical competently and safely. We train teachers who understand the power of practical work to inspire and who are curious about the world around them, passing that enquiring nature on to the students they teach. We need teachers with a passion, who want to know how cells build tissues, tissues build organs and organ systems, culminating in organisms. And yet within this endless variety, the blueprint of life is remarkably similar, and the conditions for survival similarly fragile.
Our aim is to train Biology teachers who model good scientific practice, who challenge students to take an active interest in the world around them and their impact on and responsibility for it.