- Prof. Edit Yerushalmi
- Prof. Shimon Levit
- Prof. Bat-Sheva Eylon
- Dr. Smadar Levy
- Dr. Esther Bagno Leading Team Members – Past
- Dr. Hana Berger Leading Team Members – Past
- Dr. Amnon Hazan Team Members – Lecturers and Tutors Physics teaching:
- Dr. Zehorit Kapach Team Members – Lecturers and Tutors Physics teaching:
- Prof. Yaron Lehavi Team Members – Lecturers and Tutors Physics teaching
- Dr. Michal Walter Team Members – Lecturers and Tutors Physics teaching:
- Dr. Nitzan Akerman Team Members – Lecturers and Tutors Physics
- Prof. Ran Budnik Team Members – Lecturers and Tutors Physics
- Dr. Hagar Landsman Team Members – Lecturers and Tutors Physics
- Prof. Mordehai Milgrom Team Members – Lecturers and Tutors Physics
- Dr. Eilon Poem-Kalogerakis Team Members – Lecturers and Tutors Physics
- Dr. Oren Raz Team Members – Lecturers and Tutors Physics
The Rothschild-Weizmann Program is an academic program offered by the Weizmann Institute’s Feinberg Graduate School, with the goal of creating an elite group of science teachers. Completion of the program grants a non-thesis MSc Degree in Science Teaching.
The program aims to expose the teachers to a broad range of topics in contemporary physics and supply them with necessary research-based tools and instructional approaches for teaching high-school Physics. The program includes courses in physics and physics teaching in addition to general courses. The teachers are also required to submit a final project.
The program’s physics courses consist of an introductory course (The Mathematics of Physics); four general courses (Classical and Relativistic Mechanics, Advanced Electromagnetism, Quantum Mechanics of Photons, Atoms and Molecules, and Statistical mechanics through Numerical examples); and three courses dedicated to particular fields in physics (Applied Optics, Nuclear and Particle Physics, and Astrophysics). In addition, during the summer, the teachers participate in a two-week physics laboratory course along with one of the Weizmann Institute’s physics research groups, following which they prepare a report on their laboratory research. These courses follow a unique approach, combining the development of fundamental conceptual frameworks with the acquisition of skill in their application.
The physics teaching courses consist of two courses on clinical teaching, in mechanics and in electromagnetism; a course on modeling, inquiry and problem solving; and a course on issues in physics education (Considerations in Curricular Development). These courses acquaint the teachers with research in physics education relating to students’ difficulties and instructional strategies for promoting conceptual change, inquiry, problem solving and modeling strategies, and students’ agency in their learning. The courses are anchored in the teachers’ practice: The teachers implement research-based instructional strategies in their classes, and study the influence of these strategies on their students’ learning. The general courses are Cognition, Learning, and Instruction; Assessment Methods in Science and Mathematics Education; and History and philosophy of Science in Science Teaching.
For the final project, the teachers are divided into teams, with each team focusing on a contemporary physics topic and providing a suggestion as to effectively associating it with the high school physics curriculum. The teachers thoroughly study the physics involved, and design a short module integrating a variety of research-based methods in physics and physics education, which they then present to their peers.
Many of the program’s graduates are later integrated in key positions, such as leaders of the physics teachers’ learning communities, mentoring other teachers in PeTel, and leading a variety of initiatives, including further academic studies.
- “The program completely changed my way of teaching. For example, in various activities that can be undertaken with students to engage them in truly learning, or though pedagogic research that exposes the reasons for the success of a certain teaching method where another fails, diagnostic methods, and alternative perceptions among students – these all improve my performance in the classroom.”
- “During the program I discovered that I do not know everything, and that it is always possible – and necessary – to grow as a teacher, and to develop the ability to personally assimilate new teaching methods.”
- “The program improved my confidence and enhanced my knowledge in physics, as well as introducing me to new friends and allowing me to be a part of a community of peers.”
- “The program encouraged me to develop professionally and to introduce instructional innovations.”
Our thanks to the Edmond De Rothschild foundation and the Morris and Rosalind Goodman Foundation of Canada for their support of the project.
- The Rothschild-Weizmann Program for Excellence in Science Teaching – A Ten-Year Report, 2008-2017