The department offers several programs for students.
An MSc and PhD graduate program of the Feinberg Graduate School in science and mathematics teaching.
There are, on the average, about 30 students each year (new and continuing), most of them PhD students in this program. The formal requirements and regulations for the graduate program are the same as those in the other programs in the Institute. The admission requirements include a strong disciplinary background and preferably experience in mathematics or science education, although this can be obtain during the graduate studies. The program is adapted to the background of the students and offers disciplinary courses, mathematics and science education courses, and general courses in education and educational research such as: research methods, curriculum development, and cognition. Graduate students play a central role in the department’s research and development activities. They have opportunities to experience a rich array of areas in mathematics and science education that equip them for a variety of career choices after completing their graduate studies. Many of the academic positions in science and mathematics education in Israeli universities and the colleges are held by graduates of this program. The other graduates hold a variety of leadership posts (from school headmasters to national science or or math supervisors in the Ministry of Education). Many of the theses have had an influence on Israeli curricula and teacher development programs and, as a result, have had an impact on science education in Israel. They have also contributed to the international mathematics and science education community, in the form of presentations and invited lectures in conferences, as well as papers in highly regarded journals.
They have also contributed to the international mathematics and science education community, in the form of presentations and invited lectures in conferences, as well as papers in highly regarded journals. Additional information is available at the FGS website.
An MSc graduate program (without thesis) of the Feinberg Graduate School in science and mathematics teaching.
Launched in 2008, the Rothschild-Weizmann Program offers a non-thesis MSc degree in science teaching. The goal of the program is to raise the quality of science education in Israel by keeping teachers up-to-date with the latest developments in science and science education. Participants are science and mathematics teachers with a bachelor’s degree, who come from all over the country—urban and rural, religious and secular, Jewish and Arab, representing diverse populations and social groups. Many come from the periphery of Israel, and up to one quarter of them teach in non-Hebrew-speaking schools. The teachers continue their work and receive a modest monthly scholarship, which enables them to reduce their teaching load.
Every cohort includes about 30 teachers and up to the last year, about 300 teachers graduated the program. More than 95% of the graduates continue to teach in schools. Many leadership roles in schools and nationwide are now occupied by the program’s graduates: e.g., school science coordinators, school principals, leaders of teachers’ professional learning communities, and developers of innovative learning materials.
The program structure: Teachers attend classes for 1 day a week for two years and take a-synchronic online courses. The program has four individual tracks: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics. Each track has two leaders: one from the Department of Science Teaching and the other from the corresponding science faculty. These pairings of scientists and educators, with their different strengths and fields of focus, work together to design courses for their tracks, which are divided into two categories:
- Science and Math Courses: The focus of these courses is to enhance the knowledge relevant to the curriculum taught in schools, as well as to familiarize the participants with the most up-to-date information in their discipline.
- Science Education Courses: The focus of these courses is to hone the participants’ teaching skills. There are two types of courses offered under this category: general and discipline-specific. The general courses involve an overall training in science teaching, whereas the discipline-specific courses involve training participants to teach their particular field (e.g., how to teach biology).
Board of Studies:
Prof. Ron Blonder, Chair
Prof. Boris Koichu
Prof. Edit Yerushalmi
Dr. Michal Haskel Ittah
Prof. Shimon Levit (Steering Committee)
Prof. Sergei Yakovenko (Steering Committee)
Prof. Adi Kimchi (Steering Committee)
Prof. Gilad Haran (Steering Committee)
Teaching certificate program
The program is intended for MSc and PhD students at the Weizmann Institute, for the institute’s post-doctoral fellows and its alumni. The program lasts 2 years. The objective of this program is to help scientists in training become knowledgeable about the theory and practice of science education, and to get practical tools for teaching. Some of the program’s graduates become practitioners (teachers, members of development teams) and leaders in the Israeli science education system, others continue in academia where the knowledge and skills they have developed supports their own teaching and enables them to support the Israeli science education system in their role as scientists. The program includes 7 theoretical courses and a practicum comprised of school-based experience and participation in a development project in the Science Teaching department. The program is held in Hebrew. Additional information is available at the FGS website.