International Particle Physics Outreach Group
Participating Institutes

Department of Science Teaching - Weizmann Institute of Science


Address Department of Science Teaching
Weizmann Institute of Science
PO Box 26
Rehovot 76100
Phone +972 8 9342298 (Dr.Hana Berger)
e-Mail Dr. Hana Berger
Research & Teaching

The Department is composed of groups working in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, earth and environmental sciences, life sciences, and science and technology for junior-high school. In all these areas there are extensive research and development projects, aimed at (1) studying science and mathematics learning and teaching and their development, (2) producing and implementing improved and up-to-date learning and teaching materials that integrate the use of modern technologies, and (3) providing professional development for teachers, all over Israel. Work is based on an underlying philosophy that considers curriculum development and implementation, teacher professional development, research and evaluation as an interrelated and continuous long-term activity. Research studies focus on cognitive, socio-cultural and affective aspects of learning, teaching and learning to teach science and mathematics. The studies use various research methodologies: quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.

The department operates several programs to promote the life-long learning and professional development of teachers: (1) Three national centers for science teachers (chemistry, physics, and science and technology in junior high school) are specializing in the development of leadership among science teachers and in continuous professional development for science teachers using effective models. (2) A program for students and graduates of the Feinberg Graduate School that grants teaching certificates. (3) A program for training mentor teachers to become guides of beginning teachers in schools.
In the academic year 2008-2009 the department, in collaboration with the scientific departments of the Institute, started the Rothschild-Weizmann Program for Excellence in Science Teaching. The program includes a special MSc program without thesis in science and mathematics teaching of the Feinberg Graduate School for excellent science teachers. The program aims to empower teachers by providing them with unique opportunities to expand their knowledge of science and science teaching and be involved in innovative professional activities. Sixty seven high school teachers are currently enrolled in the program in four disciplines: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics. The program also operates a track for leading teachers with graduate degrees for development and implementation of innovative field initiatives.
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