- Prof. Edit Yerushalmi
- Ofer Ben Avraham
- Esther Magen
- Israel Magen
- Dr. Larisa Shakhman
This project involves research-based design of a novel model for disciplinary internship workshops for second-career Physics teachers. The disciplinary focus is in contrast to the traditional non-disciplinary approach of internship workshops in Israel that excludes physics-specific professional challenges that often occupy novice teachers. The participants are second-career teachers, coping with both a change in status – from accomplished experts in their previous careers to novice teachers – and the struggle to maintain a sense of agency in their new career. Thus, the workshop is designed to provide a safe environment, where teachers can share their difficulties and dilemmas – a critical feature when attempting to support participants in building professional resilience. The model’s design follows several key guidelines for disciplinary professional learning community:
- The focus is on student centered teaching strategies related to the cornerstones of physics learning – namely, problem solving and lab work, in particular,
- Collaborative reflection on practice. One of the workshop’s learning activities is the “flagman cycle”, which involves a “flagman” who documents and shares their classroom experience in turns (rotating between all workshop participants). Peers provide feedback on the flagman documentation, leading to collaborative discussion – learning from the success of peers and exploring pedagogical dilemmas identified by the flagman following their classroom experience.
- Two leaders Co-lead the workshop, each bringing their respective experience: that of an expert physics teacher and that of a second-career teacher. Two workshops (N=29) operate in 2020-21.
Dr. Larisa Shakhman studies the project as part of her Post-Doctorate study, supervised by Prof. Edit Yerushalmi, with a focus on designing the internship workshop in a way which will strengthen teachers’ professional resilience. Specifically, the research goals are:
- To identify design guidelines for an internship workshop model which assist in developing professional resilience in second-career physics teachers, and construct internship workshop activities to materialize these design guidelines and map the extent to which implemented workshop activities align with the design.
- To study changes in the participants’ professional resilience in the context of problem solving in the Physics classroom:
- What is the teacher’s perception of their role in the context of problem solving?
- Which challenges do the teachers identify following their classroom experiences – materializing their initial perception of their role?
- Did teachers find the collaborative reflection on practice to be instrumental in coping with the challenges they identified? If so, how?
We thank the Mofet Institute and the Ministry of Education for their support.