- Prof. Edit Yerushalmi
- Prof. Emeriti Bat Sheva Eylon
- Dr. Smadar Levy – Head of the Physics Teachers Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
- Adi Noga – Leader, Teacher Leaders’ PLC
- Kobe Schwarzbord – Leader, Teacher Leaders’ PLC
- Dr. Zehorit Kapa
- Dr. Esther Bagno – Former Head, the Physics Teachers Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
- Dr. Hana Berger – Former Leader, Teacher Leaders’ PLC
- Esther Magen – Former Leader, Teacher Leaders’ PLC
- Smadar Avidan, leader of Beer Sheva PLC
- Boris Bam, leader of Hod Hasharon PLC
- Efrat Blau Barak, leader of Jerusalem and Amit PLCs
- Daphne Cohen Brener, leader of Gan Yavne – Ashdod PLC
- Ronit Diamant, leader of Amit PLC
- Michal Erlich, leader of Amit PLC
- Oren Gilat, leader of Hod Hasharon PLC
- Salih Karakra, leader of Carmiel PLC
- Esther Magen, leader of Semel PLC
- Abed Masalha, leader of Tuesday online PLC
- Avraham Merzel, leader of Jerusalem PLC
- Meytal Hans, leader of Monday online PLC
- Adi Noga, leader of Sunday online PLC
- Kana Ofir, leader of Jerusalem PLC
- David Perl, leader of Haifa PLC
- Galina Podalov, leader of Ramat Gan PLC
- Aliza Rot, leader of Monday online PLC
- Larisa Shachman, leader of Ramat Gan and Semel PLCs
- Boulus Shehade, leader of Carmiel PLC
- Tatyana Shuldiner, leader of Beer Sheva PLC
- Kobi Shwarzbord, leader of Tuesday online PLC
- Michal Sigron, leader of Gan Yavne – Ashdod PLC
- Nirit Vardi, leader of Haifa PLC
- Itai Yehezkeli, leader of Sunday online PLC
Secretariat and Administration:Rina Kimchi
The national network of physics teachers’ PLCs have been operating for a decade, since 2011, with the following goal in mind:
- Promoting the professional development of physics teachers in Israel;
- Addressing the needs and difficulties of physics teaching;
- Enabling physics teachers to collaboratively examine their teaching as well as their students’ learning;
- Directing physics teaching in Israel towards a more student-centered approach.
The program is structured around a “Fan model”, with one “Leaders” PLC and 11 nationwide regional PLCs (around 300 physics teachers from all over Israel, about 25% of all high-school physics teachers in the country).
The professional development of PLC teachers is designed according to well-established, research-based pedagogical guidelines, in an evidence-based approach. The learning process includes explicating the teachers’ views, goals and perceptions, and engaging them as learners with new instructional strategies, implementation in classrooms, and sharing insights from their classroom experiences. Teachers are thus exposed to many classrooms, and may discuss the best ways to implement new instructional strategies and reflect collaboratively in an interactive and supportive environment, with colleagues who share similar experiences.
The contents of the program are renewed every year for the benefit of the large majority of PLC teachers who participate several years in a row. Every year has 2-4 annual focal themes, each spanning 3-4 PLC meetings. To encourage implementation by such a large number of teachers, they are provided with activities which relate to a variety of examples in different areas of the curriculum, different grades, and in accordance with the specific period during the school year.
A central role of the PLCs is to strengthen the teachers’ resilience – that is, their capacity to channel difficulties they encounter and view them as means to an end, exploring different approaches to fulfill their professional goals. For example, consider the goals of the instructional physics lab: A large PLC survey has found a mismatch between the value that teachers assign to the integration of scientific inquiry practices in the instructional lab (e.g. experimental design), and the degree in which it is reflected in standardized assessments. Since 2019, a long-term process has been underway, in which PLC teachers experienced and discussed ways to integrate the missing scientific inquiry practices within the constraints of the standard curriculum. Further research is done to examine this process, and in particular the challenges that teachers face, their response to these challenges, and the support they receive from the resources and discourse provided in the PLC meetings. Previous studies have examined the processes involved in the professional growth of the PLC teachers in other contexts, the changes in their knowledge, attitudes and practice, and the long-term implementation of new instructional practices in the classrooms.
The PLCs program has been acknowledged as one of the central factors in the rising number of students choosing to major in physics (Ministry of Education, 2017).
Our thanks to the Eddie and Jules Trump Family Foundation and the Ministry of Education for their support of the project.