Israel - The Wiezmann Institute of Science (Hebrew only)
Dr. Bat-Sheva Eylon
P.O. Box 26
Rehovot, Israel, 76100
The Physics Group in the Department of Science Teaching develops courses for the classical high school physics subjects (mechanics, electromagnetism, optics and waves, physics of the 20th century) and for elective courses and other educational resources for students and teachers. These courses use instructional strategies that are sensitive to student learning processes and include activity units that foster involvement. Computerized networks for course delivery are being developed and studied in selected topics. The Group is developing computerized learning environments and didactical methods for introducing computer-based activities into the curriculum.
Currently the Group is developing several modes of introducing projects into the regular study of physics. The projects are carried out either as part of the regular study, or involve external agents. "Physics and Industry" is an example of the latter, and is carried out in collaboration with the electro-optics industry. Appropriate methods of evaluation are being developed to assess and promote this kind of activity. The Group is also involved in the development of courses for the new syllabus in optics, reference frames, and visual quantum mechanics (translated from English).
The Group runs a National Teacher Center responsible for coordinating the professional development of physics teachers throughout Israel. The Center runs an internet site for teachers and develops innovative methods for professional development through the internet.
The Group is engaged in research studies aimed at improving the learning process in several areas: methods for fostering control and feedback in student problem-solving activities; methods for computer- based diagnosis of students' conceptions in optics; models for integrating the computer into physics instruction to enhance understanding; detailed studies of the implementation of new instructional strategies; and investigation of the utility of strategies for fostering teacher change in long-term teacher courses, including the support of professional development through the net.