2024 research activities

Head Prof. Anat Yarden

Picture of Prof. Anat Yarden

Prof. Anat Yarden

Office +972-8-934-4044


The Department of Science Teaching main interrelated missions are to advance the academic discipline of science and mathematics education, to enhance the quality and effectiveness of mathematics and science education in Israel, and to develop academic and practical leadership in science and mathematics education in Israel and overseas. The Department carries out educational research and development primarily for grades 7-12 in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences and life sciences, and in science and technology for junior high school. The Department targets both the general student population and those who are majoring in one or more of these disciplines. The Department carries out interrelated and continuous long-term academic activities, including research, development and implementation of innovative learning materials, pedagogical models, and teachers' professional development (PD). The Department has many avenues of collaboration with other departments on campus and with the educational system in Israel; it has a significant impact on science education research, practice, and policy in Israel and overseas.

As the Department is currently shifting from mainly textual teaching and learning materials developed in the Department to primarily digital platforms, the demand for techno-pedagogical support has increased tremendously in recent years. This shift allows the incorporation of new methodologies for both teaching and learning, as well as in the way research is carried out in the Department. The large amount of data on teachers’ and students’ performance accumulating in databases promote the development and use of new research methodologies. AI tools are currently being developed to improve both the teaching and learning that take place on these platforms, as well as to expand the Department’s research possibilities. These days Department is establishing a core facilities unit, entitled EduCore, that is expected to provide the needed services (e.g., software development, technological design, data science services, etc.) and to support both research and development in the various research groups, as well as other units and faculties at the Weizmann Institute that are in need of techno-pedagogical services.

ScientistsShow details

  • Picture of Prof. Abraham Arcavi

    Prof. Abraham Arcavi

    Research on cognitive characteristics of non academically oriented math students.
    Collaboration with:  Dr. Ronnie Karsenty
    Design of curriculum materials as a research based activity
    Collaboration with:  Dr. Sue Magidson
    Long-term design of a new curriculum for grades 10, 11 and 12 for non-academically oriented students.
    Collaboration with:  Dr. Nurit Hadas

  • Picture of Prof. Michal Armoni

    Prof. Michal Armoni

    Teaching the foundations of computer science to young students
    Theoretical foundations of computer science
    Basic concepts in algorithm and program design
    Fundamental ideas in computer science: Identifying the core ideas of the discipline, examining their teaching and learning processes
    Reductive thinking: Reduction as a tool for problem solving
    Nondeterminism: a tool for abstraction

  • Picture of Prof. Mordechai Ben-Ari

    Prof. Mordechai Ben-Ari

    Teaching and learning computer science
    Collaboration with:  Francesco Mondada, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
    Educational robotics
    Matriculation examinations in mathematics

  • Picture of Prof. Ruhama Even

    Prof. Ruhama Even

    mathematics education
    The relevance of academic mathematics studies to expertise in secondary school mathematics teaching.
    Using assessment to inform instructional decisions.
    Examining opportunities for learning mathematics offered by mathematics textbooks.
    Investigating the interactions among curricula, teachers, and classrooms.
    Mathematical literacy

  • Picture of Prof. Bat Sheva Eylon

    Prof. Bat Sheva Eylon

    High school curriculum development
    Translation and adaptation of selected units from the course "Visual Quantum Mechanics" developed by the Physics Education Research Group in Kansas State University.
    Preparing texts and materials for elective units for physics majors (lasers, chaos). Using computerized networks (internet and intranet) for distance learning of these courses.
    Development of modules for student activities in Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism and Optics.
    Development of modules for inquiry learning in the context of "mini-projects".
    Development of a new course on Light and Waves for 10th and 12th grades.
    Development of physics programs for the Arab population.
    Elaboration of the national physics syllabus and the matriculation examinations.
    Preparation of materials for e-learning in mechanics and electricity that can be used in various models that integrate in-class and distance learning of physics.
    Research, evaluation and planning
    Collaboration with:  U. Ganiel
    Research of problem-solving processes in high school physics.
    Study of concept learning and misconceptions in high school physics.
    Study of processes involved in integration of technology in physics learning.
    Formative and summative evaluation of new courses.
    Research and development of various strategies for integration of microcomputers in physics learning processes.
    Investigation of learning processes and teaching methods in teacher training programs.
    Study of long-term professional development of teachers and leader-teachers.
    Application of microcomputers in physics teaching
    Collaboration with:  U. Ganiel
    Development of open environments for promoting physics reasoning and inquiry learning.
    Developing custom made programs for specific learning activities within the physics curriculum.
    Teacher development: National center for physics teachers
    Collaboration with:  E. Bagno, U. Ganiel
    In-service teacher training courses.
    In-school projects for promoting the teaching of physics through the use of computers.
    Long-term didactical courses introducing teachers to current research in physics education and its implications to the learning/teaching process.
    Long-term frameworks for leader teachers: Three-year courses for basic training and forums for acting teacher-leaders.
    Resource materials and frameworks for teacher development.
    An annotated database of selected internet resources relevant to high school physics in Israel (in Hebrew).
    One-day national conference and workshops for physics teachers in Israel.
    A prize for outstanding teachers or teams of teachers (together with the physics department and the Amos de-Shalit fund).
    Preparation of learning materials for 7-9 grade
    Introduction to Science and Technology.
    Vacuum and particles: The particulate model of matter.
    About Fibers
    Interactions, Forces and Motion
    Scientific and Technological Communication.
    Projects as Tools for Learning.
    The Materials' Cycle in Earth's Crust.
    The World of Water.
    Computerized Materials
    Computerized courses and resources for the teaching the topics of "Energy - a Multidisciplinary View", "Nutrition and Health", "Nature as a Model for Imitation - The Bionic Man".
    Computer simulations for studying units dealing with "Systems".
    A Computerized environment for analyzing videotapes of motion.
    Computer programs accompanying the study of Earth-Sciences in grades 7-9.
    Computer program accompanying the study of the "cell" as a longitudinal strand (with the Center of Educational Technology).
    "The Golden Way" - A Navigational Tool for Project Based Learning in Science and Technology (with the Association for the Advancement of Science Education in the Upper Galillee).
    In-service courses in science and technology for junior-high school teachers
    Collaboration with:  Z. Scherz, I. Hopfeld, N. Orion, O. Kedem, Y. Ben-Hur
    Design and implementation of 3-year courses for teachers.
    Preparation of leading science and technology educators.
    Conducting regional long term activities in several regional teacher centers.
    Conducting in-service teacher courses for the Arabic population.
    A National Teacher Center for Juniour High School Teachers (in collaboration with Tel Aviv University).
    Research and Evaluation
    Collaboration with:  Z. Scherz, N. Orion, S. Rosenfeld, U. Ganiel
    Research on teacher and teacher-leader development in science and technology.
    Investigation of various instructional strategies for understanding central concepts in the science and technology syllabus for junior-high school, and development of learning and thinking skills.
    Investigation of project based learning (PBL) focusing on learning styles and the integrated development of concepts and skills.
    Investigation of longitudinal development of conceptual frameworks and learning capabilities.
    Investigation of learning through the course "systematic inventive thinking".

  • Picture of Prof. David Fortus

    Prof. David Fortus

    The Role of Hormones in Shaping Adolescents' Motivation to Engage with Science
    Collaboration with:  Yoni Yeshayahu, Head of Pediatrics and Juvenile Endocrinology, Samson Assuta Hospital
    Parents & Peers
    Science Teaching Practices
    School Culture & Philosophy
    Policy Implementation
    Systems, Transfer & Fields - A Novel Approach to Energy Instruction
    Collaboration with:  Joe Krajcik - Michigan State University Knut Neumann - Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN), Germany Jeff Nordine - University of Iowa Bob Geier - Michigan State University
    preparation for future learning (PFL)
    Coronavirus Driven Study - Supporting Student Motivation in Hybrid Learning Environments
    Pedagogical Practices
    Adolescents’ Declining Motivation to Engage with Science – The Contribution of Neuronal Changes
    Collaboration with:  Itai Berger - Head of Pediatric Neurology - Samson Assuta Hospital
    Facial Expressions
    Cognitive Load
    Developmental Readiness
    Restructuring Middle School Science around the Grand Challenges
    Collaboration with:  Troy Sadler - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Socio-Scientific Issues
    Grand Challenges
    Science Education Standards
    High Stakes Tests

  • Picture of Prof. Avi Hofstein

    Prof. Avi Hofstein

    Research and evaluation
    Collaboration with:  R. Mamlok
    Formative and summative of curriculum units that are developed by the chemistry group and the science for all students
    Teachers' and students' perceptions and attitudes towards science and technology.
    Non science oriented students' conception of key ideas and concept in chemistry
    The development of modules for non-science oriented students
    Analysis of learning difficulties and misconception in chemistry in the Israeli Bagrut
    Development of argumentation skills in inquiry laboratories
    Misconception regarding bonding and structure of molecules
    Assessment of students' perception of the chemistry classroom and laboratory learning environment
    High school chemistry curriculum development and implementation
    Collaboration with:  Rachel mamlok-Naaman,
    The development and implementation of text books and teachers' guide
    Preparation of resources and units for the teaching of Industrial chemistry in Israel.
    Development of new instructional techniques to teach chemistry in high schools.
    Inquiry type experiments and
    The use of internet for instruction.
    Development of CAI (computer Assisst Instruction)
    Development of introductory (basic) modules for a new syllabus in high school chemistry. (
    Development of modules for non-science oriented students in high schools

  • Picture of Prof. Nir Orion

    Prof. Nir Orion

    Earth and environmental sciences education: research, development and implemntation from K-12.
    The outdoor as a learning environment

  • Picture of Prof. Anat Yarden

    Prof. Anat Yarden

    Promoting the use of authentic scientific texts in secondary schools
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Zohar Livnat, Bar-Ilan University
    Promoting the use of authentic databases for learning biology in high schools
    Engaging in the practice of analyzing and interpreting data using authentic tools and databases
    Developing coherent understanding of evolution
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Ute Harms, IPN, Kiel, Germany
    Teological tensions surrounding the implementation of evolution in the Israeli curricula
    Advancing biology teachers' professional development
    Collaboration with:  Dr. Irit Sadeh, Ministry of Education
    Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) of high school biology teachers
    Engaging in argument from evidence and promoting dialogue in junior high school
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Baruch Schwarz, Hebrew University; Prof. Boris Koichu, WIS; Prof. Michal Tabach, Tel-Aviv University; Dr. Einat Heyd-Metzuyanim, Technion
    Dialog-constraining institutional logics and their interactional manifestation in the science classroom
    Computational Biomedicine
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Ruhama Even, Prof. Vered Rom-Kedar
    Harnessing junior high school students' interest in biology in order to advance their scientific literacy, mathmatical literacy, and the connection between the two
    Using students' scientific interests for personalizing their learning using the PeTeL environment
    Collaboration with:  Dr. Giora Alexandron, Dr. Yael Shwartz, Prof. Ron Blonder

  • Picture of Prof. Edit Yerushalmi

    Prof. Edit Yerushalmi

    Development implementation and evaluation of a 2-year interdisciplinary program for high school chemistry and physics students on
    Collaboration with:  A. Hofstein, S. Livne, Y. Roth, R. Blonder, A. Yarden, S. Safran, B. Eylon, B. Geiger
    Instructional strategies intended to develop reflective problem solving skills in high school physics students
    Collaboration with:  C. Singh, E. Cohen, E. Bagno, B. Eylon
    Study of the effects of self-diagnosis tasks on learning from physics problem solving.
    Development, implementation and evaluation of web-based test preparation modules aimed at organizing students’ knowledge and developing awareness of common misconceptions (Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism).
    Development, implementation and research of long-term professional development frameworks for physics high school teachers
    Collaboration with:  R. Safadi, E. Bagno, A. Rozen
    Workshops for Arab high school physics teachers intended to develop reflective problem solving skills in their students through alternative assessment activities. Workshop approach: Collaborative inquiry into students' self diagnostic activities.
    Models for collaborative action research workshops for high school physics teachers.
    Long-term didactical courses introducing pre-service teachers to current research in physics education and its implications to the learning/teaching process.
    University physics faculty perceptions of learning and teaching problem solving.
    Collaboration with:  C. Henderson, K. Heller, P. Heller, V. Quo, E. Cohen