The Rothschild – Weizmann Program
The Rothschild-Weizmann Program for Excellence in Science Teaching
Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot
The Rothschild – Weizmann Program for Excellence in Science Teaching is a prestigious Masters' Degree program open to teachers of science at high schools, in an attempt to contribute directly and practically to the promotion of excellence among science and mathematics teachers in Israel. The program was launched in 2008 by the Science Teaching Department at the Weizmann Institute of Science and funded by the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation. Realization of its goals shall lead to a significant increase in the quality of science teaching in Israel.
All participants continue to teach, and receive full exemption from tuition as well as a scholarship financed by the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation. The program includes an expansion and in-depth study of applied and interdisciplinary science, unmediated encounters with scientific innovation, acquisition of innovative teaching techniques, participation in projects and research in teaching science, acquaintance with the Weizmann Institute's research labs and hands-on experience in leading unique initiatives. Courses are built especially for the purposes of the program, while taking into consideration the special requirements of teachers, with the majority of instruction executed by senior scientists at the Weizmann Institute. In later years graduates continue to enjoy collaborations with scientists at the Weizmann Institute's Department of Science Teaching as well as the Davidson Institute of Scientific Education, also part of the Institute. Graduates are also offered continuing programs, in which they take part in establishment and leadership of new educational initiatives to promote the teaching of science and mathematics in and outside of schools.
Along with the Master's program in teaching science, the Rothschild – Weizmann Program includes an additional track designated for MA or Ph.D. science teachers wishing to contribute from their experience in operating unique initiatives in the education system. These enterprising teachers convene weekly at the Weizmann Institute for a year or two, working in groups based on fields of knowledge, and are guided by members of the Department of Science Teaching. The goal of the program is to promote the instruction of updated topics in the educational system by developing and distributing appropriate teaching tools, and implementing new methods of instruction to increase interest in science
By December 2012, 100 graduates of the program shall be integrated into the educational system, possessing innovative pedagogic tools and a scientific knowledge base. Of these, almost 70% now head unique educational initiatives – by operating these at their school or by exposing them to colleagues and teachers at various conventions.
In April of last year, the Rothschild – Weizmann Alumni program was established, creating a community of teachers that were educational initiators who lead innovation and excellence in the field of teaching science in Israel.