Yael Shwartz (PhD) – Director
Zahava Scherz (PhD) – Academic advisor
Liora Bialer (PhD); Ilana Hopfeld (PhD); Marina Armiach (MSc); Orna Falik (PhD); Shereen Mansur; Michal Raz Bahat; Adi Dagan-Dadush.
The National Teacher Center for Science & Technology (S&T) in Junior High School (JHS) was established in JHS. The National Teacher Center addresses ~5000 S&T teachers within Israel and supports regional teacher frameworks. The National Center is supported financially by the Ministry of Education (MALAM) and serves as an academic professional source for teacher development. It is an interdisciplinary science teacher center that relates to the main science education disciplines (physics, chemistry, biology, and earth sciences) and technology. The main goal of the National
Center is to develop leading science teachers, through long-term courses and workshops (e.g. ‘Physics for Biology teachers’, ‘use of technologies in science education’, ‘assessment for learning’), who will lead science and technology professional development programs in their regions. The
National Center organizes annual conferences (~500 participants) and workshops, publishes an annual teacher’s magazine and supports an S&T teacher website. In particular, the National Center leads and supports initiatives and reforms, under the auspices of the Israeli Ministry of Education, and influences their dissemination across the country.
In the 2009-2012 school years we were very influential in helping the Ministry of Education to conduct a major reform aimed at improving JHS students’ learning and achievements in science, based on updated pedagogies and theories of learning. Since then, we deliver every year five courses across the country for 170 leading teachers, who conduct and supported 60 regional courses for teachers. We also developed 11 guiding modules (in physics, chemistry and biology) using an innovative pedagogical instruction/learning/assessment approach to support teachers in their instructional work that became a “guiding tool” for teachers and for curriculum materials developers.
The director of the national center is a member in national steering and professional committees (e.g., the curriculum development committee, the S&T professional committee).