TRAIL – Teacher-Researcher Alliance for Investigating Learning

(Funded by the internal grant from the Weizmann Institute of Science and by the Ministry of Education).

Summary: TRAIL is a R&D project based on an original theoretical-organizational framework, which is designed for supporting, enhancing and scaling-up partnerships between education researchers and teachers, for the benefit of both. TRAIL is designed so that it makes the borders between teaching, conducting research and implementing it somewhat blurred.

PETEL – Mathematics (PETEL-M)(since 2020)

PETEL – M is part of the departmental PETEL program and as such it is focused on personalized teaching and learning and on classroom-level activity. The characteristic feature of PETEL-M is that it does not aim at covering the entire secondary-school mathematics curriculum but develops a rich collection of curriculum-related activities having the potential to facilitate skills and aspects of school mathematics that are known as particularly important (e.g., explorations, advanced problem solving, creativity). to PETEL website.

HTM - Heterogeneous Teaching of Mathematics

HTM (Heterogeneous Teaching of Mathematics) (since 2023, Funded by the Center for the Study of Pedagogy: Research-Practice Partnerships at the Ben Gurion University of Negev)

Ability grouping, in which students are sorted by perceived ability level, is common in many countries, including Israel, despite extensive research indicating that this approach can exacerbate educational and social disparities. Sustainable pedagogical change towards teaching mathematics in heterogeneous classes has proven to be extremely challenging because it requires operation at several levels: changing teacher, student, and community beliefs about the notions of achievement, ability and fixed vs. growth mindset, reshaping curriculum and instructional practices to accommodate diverse styles of participating in the learning of mathematics, and creating educational resources and organizational structures, including academic support. The proposed project explores the idea that a research-practice partnership approach can address these challenges and successfully support a systemic move from tracked to ambitious heterogeneous teaching of mathematics in middle school that can be sustained and beneficial for all students, regardless of their social background and previous academic achievement. The partnership involves researchers from the sociology of education (Ben Gurion University of Negev), teacher professional learning and mathematics education (WIS), as well as an educational organization that manages several public secondary schools in Israel (Branco Weiss Institute). Together, we intend to explore desirable pedagogical changes in their complexity, focusing on theoretical and practical questions concomitantly important for teachers, researchers, parents, administrators, and policymakers.

DIALOGUS: Collective reasoning around texts across disciplines towards deliberative democracy

(Funded by the Israel Science Foundation)

The R&D project DIALOGUS aims at enhancing culture of argumentation and accountable talk in school. The project's idea is that secondary-school classes would systematically be engaged in lessons of a special format – dialogical lessons – in a number of disciplines, including mathematics, science, civic education and history. The project is led by a group of five Principle Investigators from four Israeli universities: Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Prof. Baruch Schwarz who is also the Project Coordinator), Tel Aviv University (Prof. Michal Tabach), Technion (Dr. Einat Heyd Metzuyanim) and the Weizmann Institute of Science (Prof. Anat Yarden and Prof. Boris Koichu).

ITEM - Innovative Teacher Education in Mathematics

(Funded by ERASMUS+)

The ITEM project envisions to help undergraduate students to realize the impact of mathematics on their studies and professional carrier success. The project main outcomes include (a) the integration real-life problems into Calculus I and Linear Algebra I to show the application of Mathematics in today’s technology; (b) the development of CAS, the incorporation of mobile tools and visualizations along teaching Mathematics; (c) the development of software that allows teachers to early identify student’s that face problem in learning Mathematics and so provide assistance to overcome these challenges; (d) the development of teaching and learning manuals for more effective teaching & learning Mathematics; (e) the training of teacher’s in the most modern & efficient teaching techniques like the Problem Based Learning (PBL) and Project Oriented Based Learning (POPBL) along Mathematics teaching.

The ITEM is a consortium of 16 partners from Programme Countries Institutions (Greece, Spain, Austria, Sweden, North Macedonia) and Partner Countries Institutions (Israel, Kosovo, Uzbekistan). A WIS team, including Dr. Ronnie Karsenty, Dr. Alon Pinto, Dr. Jason Cooper and Prof. Boris Koichu is responsible for Quality Assessment working package of the ITEM.

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PD-HMD: Professional Development for Heads of Mathematics Departments

(Funded by the Trump Foundation and the Ministry of Education)

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are known as a particularly effective organizational form for the professional development of teachers. There is a broad vision that school mathematics departments should function as PLCs led by the heads of the departments (in Hebrew, rakazim). The PD-HMD project is designed in order to help this vision materialize. To this end, the PD-HMD develops and supports municipality-level PLCs for present and future heads of middle-school mathematics departments.

In these communities, the participants enrich their mathematical and pedagogical knowledge and develop leadership skills. Both the content and the process of learning in these PLCs aims to provide a model for the school heads of mathematics departments to draw on in leading their local communities. The project offers 60-hour and 30-hour PD programs. Each PLC is led by a WIS researcher and a representative of the local community. Evidence of dissemination of innovative teaching practices in participating schools serves as the main success criterion in the project.