I am a faculty member of the Department of Science Teaching, the Weizmann Institute of Science. Until September 2020, I served as the head of the National Center for Chemistry Teachers, and previously, as the coordinator of the chemistry group since 2000, and as its chair (2011-2017). My publications focus on topics related mainly to research on students' learning and to teachers' professional development. For my accomplishments on chemistry teachers' professional development in Israel, I receievd both the Avner Bar-Ner, and the Maxine Singer awards for outstanding scientists at the Weizmann Institute. On February 2021 I was elected by IUPAC as one of the 2021 Distinguished women in Chemistry and Chemistry Engineering. The various professional development activities are accumulated in:
Mamlok-Naaman, R., Eilks, I., Bodner, A., & Hofstein, A. (2018). Professional Development of Chemistry Teachers. Cambridge: RSC Publications.
I was the coordinator of chemistry teachers' programs in the framework of the Rothschild-Weizmann MSc program for science teachers, of the Teaching Certificate program for the institutes graduate students, and of projects in the framework of the European Union, such as PARSEL, PROFILES, TEMI, and ARTIST. Today, I am the Weizmann cordinator for the Horizon 2020 project: "Addressing Attractiveness of Science Career Awareness (SciCar)". In addition, I am an external evaluator of two other European projects: DiSSI, and ESTA. These projects' main goals are to enhance chemistry teachers’ continuous professional development (CPD), inclusive education, inquiry, diversity, and systems thinking.
Internationally, I serve as: (1) the representative of the Israel Chemical Society to the various international organizations of chemistry education, including being a senior (titular) member of IUPAC committee on chemical education (CCE), (2) the chair of the chemistry division of the European chemistry society (EuChemS DivCED) from September 2019 (after being the secretary of this division for three years), (3) a member of the IUPAC Gender Gap Committee, and (3) co-editor of "Chemistry Teacher International" (published by DeGruyter), and a member of editorial and advisory boards of several journals and organizations of science education in general and chemistry education in particular (e.g., International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education).
The contributions to chemical education research can be summarized as follows:
- Author and co-author of 58 refereed articles on chemistry and science education, author and co-author of 29 book chapters on chemistry and science education, of two items of chemistry in Hebrew Encyclopaedia, and of additional book chapters in the framework of PARSEL, PROFILES, and TEMI - European projects in which I participated as a core member.
- Author and co-author of chemistry textbooks in Hebrew for high-school chemistry students, and additional learning materials in Hebrew and in English.
- Presentations referring to chemical education research at international conferences such as the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA), the European Conference on Research in Chemistry Education (ECRICE), or EuroVariety.
- Invited talks, invited key-note in Israel as well as in different international conferences, including ACS PacifiChem meetings, and plenary lectures, e.g., in:
ECRICE in Krakow, Poland, July 2010; Jyväskylä, Finland, July 2014; Barcelona, Spain, July 2016; at ICCE in Malaysia; at the 3rd Conference in Teaching and Dissemination of the Sciences in Portugal, July 7th 2018; Project-based education in Prague, November 5th 2020.
- Invited as a discussion leader at the Research Conference on Chemistry Education Research & Practice, Gordon Research Conference, Bates College Lewiston, ME, June 21-26, 2015.
- Advisor of doctoral and master students researching chemical education, whose work has been published in international chemistry and science education journals.
- Involvement in receiving three R & D national grants: The National Center of Chemistry Teachers (a grant of the ministry of Education - 2001 until present); TEVA (an Israeli pharmaceutical company) three years grant for preparing biology teachers to become chemistry teachers: 2014-2017, following a similar 10 years' project in the Upper Galilee; Jules Trump Foundation Grant for programs towards "Professional Learning Communities of chemistry teachers" (2015-present). These communities enable teachers to share with colleagues' experience and resources, to become acquainted with “learner-centered” teaching, and promote collaboratively evidence-based excellent practice. A group of 15 teachers are trained to become leaders of communities of teachers in regional communities – communities in their neighborhood - aimed at supporting teachers in their daily work at school, encouraging them to develop a sense of ownership, and increasing their self-efficacy as teachers. I am involved both in the leading team of the project as well as in the Arab community of teachers in Tira, which follows a long-term collaboration between myself and Arab teachers and institutions.
- Involvement in programs and studies of graduate students, e.g., coordinator of a program for chemistry teachers, in the framework of Rothschild-Weizmann MSc program aimed at high school science teachers), which started at the beginning of the academic year 2008, and is carried out collaboratively between the Science Teaching Department and representatives from the science faculties.
My contributions to chemistry education research are integrated into each other, and guide me in conducting professional development courses for chemistry teachers (long-term and short-term), and in supporting individual teachers in their work: development, implementation, and evaluation of new curricular materials to be used by high school chemistry teachers and their students in Israel - published both in Hebrew and Arabic languages, (2) research on students' conceptions and misconceptions regarding chemistry learning (3) inquiry-based skills and activities, including teaching and learning in different cultures (e.g., argumentation, asking questions, hypothising), (4) relevance in chemistry education, (6) inclusion and diversity in education, (7) the nature and philosophy of chemistry, and (8) education for sustainable development (ESD), for which I have been selected as a 2018 Awardee for the ACS-CEI Award for Incorporation of Sustainability into the Chemistry Curriculum. My list of publications consists of all the above contributions – many of them published with my Ph.D students. The following will serve as examples:
- A comprehensive study conducted by Dr. Nitza Barnea and myself, referring to laboratory activities in Israel, including inquiry-type experiments, in which students need to hypothize, raise wuestions, plan experiments, and draw conclusions (Mamlok-Naaman, R. & Barnea, N. (2012). Laboratory activities in Israel. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 8, 49-57).
- A research which was conducted with a Ph.D student advised by Dr. David Fortus and myself, about learning difficulties and misconceptions referring to bonding and structure (Yayon, M., Mamlok-Naaman, R., & Fortus, D. (2012). Characterizing and representing students' canonical knowledge of Chemical Bonding. Chemistry Education: Research and Practice in Europe, 13, 248–267).
- A four years' study on the contribution of teaching and learning inquiry-type socio-scientific issues (including analytical environmental experiments) to education for sustainable development (Mamlok-Naaman, R., & Mandler, D. (2020). Education for Sustainable Development in High School through Inquiry-Type Socio-Scientific Issues. In: S. Obare, C. Middlecamp and J Peterman (Eds). Chemistry Education for a Sustainable Society, Vol 1, 69-78. ACS publication)
- A long-term research on Action Research - a model of enhancing teachers' preparation on dealing with chemistry students' difficulties in understanding basic chemical processes, e.g., electricity conductivity in metals vs., solution. I published a paper together with a colleague who conducted similar studies in Germany (Mamlok-Naaman, R. & Eilks, I. (2012). Different Types of Action Research to Promote Chemistry Teachers' Professional Development - A Joint Theoretical Reflection on Two Cases from Israel and Germany. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 10, 581-610.