The Weizmann Institute of Science (http://www.weizmann.ac.il) in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world’s top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the Institute is home to 2,500 scientists, students, technicians and supporting staff. Institute research efforts include the search for new ways of fighting disease and hunger, examining leading questions in mathematics and computer science, probing the physics of matter and the universe, creating novel materials and developing new strategies for protecting the environment.
The Department of Science Teaching, at the Weizmann Institute of Science, is composed of groups working in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, earth and environmental sciences, life sciences, and science and technology for junior-high school. In all these areas there are extensive research and development projects, aimed at (1) studying science and mathematics learning and teaching and their development, (2) producing and implementing improved and up-to-date learning and teaching materials that integrate the use of modern technologies, and (3) providing professional development for teachers. Work is based on an underlying philosophy that considers curriculum development and implementation, teacher professional development, research and evaluation as interrelated and continuous long-term activities. Research studies focus on cognitive, socio-cultural and affective aspects of learning, teaching and learning to teach science and mathematics, using various research methodologies: quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods. The department is specializing in the development of leadership among science teachers and in continuous professional development for in-service science teachers using research-based models. The department also specializes in pre-service science teachers training of graduate students (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) as well as postdoctoral fellows, of the Weizmann Institute of Science.