Professional development: cooperative inquiry as mean to support physics teachers while customizing research-based instructional strategies, – intended to develop reflective learning and problem solving practices

Project heads

Dr. Edit Yerushalmi, Department of science teaching, Weizmann Institute of Science

Prof. Bat Sheva Eylon, Department of science teaching, Weizmann Institute of Science

Dr. Rafi Safadi, The Arabic college for education in Israel, Haifa

Postdocs and students

Sawsan Ailabouni, M.Sc. student, currently Ph.D. Student

Rachel Seggev, M.Sc. student

R&D team – Alumni

Mrs. Esther Magen, M.Sc.


A pedagogical problem-based approach to professional development was developed, in which the workshop leader facilitates a process of successive iterations to achieve a learning goal agreed upon by the workshop participants. Teachers take turns in presenting research based instructional strategies that they customize to their classrooms and try out. Teachers’ reports of classroom implementation serve as the core of discussion and analysis in the workshop. An associated research program examines how this professional development approach meets two goals that sometimes conflict in such workshops: developing teachers’ skills as reflective practitioners (process), and maintaining the crucial characteristics of the original innovations (product). The research draws on a perspective that provides a striking parallel: developing expert-like problem-solving practices (process) as well as conceptual understanding (product) in the physics classroom.

Related Articles

  1. Ailabouni, S., Safadi., R. & Yerushalmi, E., Enactment of knowledge integration processes in the physics classroom, Submitted to JRST.
  2. Yerushalmi, E., & Eylon, B., (2013), Supporting Teachers who introduce Curricular Innovations into Their Classrooms: a Problem-Solving Perspective. Phys Rev – ST PER .9, 010121, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.9.010121
  3. Yerushalmi, E., Eylon, B., & Seggev, R. (2004). Teachers’ investigation of students’ self-perceptions regarding physics learning and problem-solving. In J. Marx, P. Heron, & S. Franklin (Eds.), Proceedings of the Physics Education Research Conference (pp. 181-184). Sacramento, CA, AIP Conf. Proc. 790, doi:

Materials (in Hebrew)

  1. Yerushalmi, E., & Magen, E. (2003). Workshop Leader Guide and Associated Teacher Guide – “Cooperative Problem Solving”. Physics Teachers Center, Science Teaching Department, Weizmann Institute of Science (Hebrew).
  2. Yerushalmi, E., & Safadi, R. (2008). Workshop Leader Guide Modules: “developing reflective problem solving skills through alternative assessment activities”, (1st Version), Science Teaching Department, Weizmann Institute of Science (Hebrew).