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.
- The Rothschild-Weizmann Program for excellence in mathematics and science teaching was created in the academic year 2008-2009. The program grants an MSc (without thesis) in science and mathematics teaching to active teachers. The program aims to empower teachers by providing them with opportunities to expand and update their knowledge of science and science teaching, and to be involved in innovative professional activities. The program started as a three year program and in 2011 became a two-year program. Each year about 30-35 teachers join the program; they are teachers of secondary school mathematics and science (biology, chemistry, physics). To date, 86 teachers have graduated and additional 68 students will be graduating this academic year. The teachers enrolled in the program come from all over the country and from all sectors of the Israeli society. They study two days a week, receive a modest scholarship and continue to teach part time in their schools.
The program is operated collaboratively by the staff of the science teaching department and by scientists in the relevant disciplinary faculties. The Weizmann faculty is actively involved in teaching courses; in addition, they mentor teachers in the preparation of final projects. About 60 special courses adapted to the needs of the teachers in the various disciplines have been developed. In the scientific fields, scientists and graduate students host the teachers for several weeks in their labs. After completing the program, most of the teachers return to their schools and a large proportion perform additional activities, for example, as leading teachers running local teacher communities. They continue their professional development through a variety of activities offered by the science teaching department and the faculty of the Weizmann Institute.
- A teaching certificate program (Te’udat Horaa) for mathematics and science MSc and PhD students and graduates of the Weizmann Institute. The program was created in the academic year 2003-2004. The program is operated jointly by the Feinberg Graduate School and the Science Teaching Department with the approval of the Ministry of Education. At the end of the academic year 2011-2012, 100 students graduated from the program. The program lasts 2-3 years, depending on the student. Every year there is a cohort of about 50 students. 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. This will be helpful for those who will continue in academia both for their own teaching and in developing a world view on mathematics and science education that will enable them to support the Israeli science education system in their role as scientists. Some of them will become practitioners (teachers, members of development teams) and leaders in the Israeli science education system. The program includes the regular components of the teaching certificate: theoretical, didactical and methodological courses, and practical experiences in schools (practicum).