2019 research activities
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, using various research methodologies: quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.
The department operates four national centers for science teachers (physics, chemistry, biology and science and technology in junior high school) specializing in; the development of leadership among science teachers and in continuous professional development for science teachers using effective models. Another avenue promoted by the department for professional development of science teachers is carried out through the Rothschild-Weizmann Program for Excellence in Science Teaching, which provides science teachers unique opportunities to expand and update their knowledge in science and in science education. In addition, the department runs numerous Professional Learning Communities of science teachers all over Israel. Projects in the department are funded by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), the German Israeli Foundation (GIF), the Trump Foundation and the Israeli Ministry of Education through the Amos de-Shalit Israeli Center for Science Teaching (MALAM). In addition, the department is involved in several EU projects aiming at enhancing science education both in the formal as well as in the informal level.