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Cache in the color way

Teachers from the Arab sector in the north of the country trained in the science teaching department at the Weizmann Institute


The group of teachers upon their arrival at the institute
Forty science teachers leave their homes in the north of the country and travel south. When will they arrive for further training at the science teaching department of the Weizmann Institute of Science? The Arab middle school teachers in the north of the country needed four hours on average for this.

The purpose of the training, as defined by Prof. Uri Ganiel, head of the science teaching department at the institute, is to train a layer of teacher leaders who will be the spearhead of science teaching in the Arab sector. At the content level, the training focused on "The way of color - industrial systems", a study unit in the field of materials research, including technological systems used in the paint industry. Prof. Ganiel: "This combination of science and technology is one of the main changes in the way science is taught in middle schools, as it appears from the recommendations of the Supreme Committee for Science and Technology Education - 'Mharar 98'. The study materials developed as a result of this report allow the teacher to choose from all the written material the units that best suit his needs and the needs of his students. Some of the materials have already been translated into Arabic, and other parts are being translated these days."

Implementation of the recommendations of "Morrow 98" requires significant logistical changes in the life of the school and the teachers. Among other things, this involves imparting basic knowledge in various fields of science, as well as selected aspects of technology, with an emphasis on imparting thinking and learning skills. For this purpose, a new curriculum was written that emphasizes the multidisciplinary relationship between science and technology.

The science teaching department at the Weizmann Institute of Science was among the first to develop new and advanced study units in the spirit of the committee's recommendations. This is how innovative study materials were developed as part of the Matamon project (Science and Technology Weizmann Institute), led by Prof. Batsheva Alon. Science teachers from different parts of the country started coming to the institute to learn how to operate and implement the advanced study units. Senior teachers undergo special training that allows them to guide other teachers in the various schools.

At the same time, Mataun staff members from the institute's science teaching department visit schools in different parts of the country, and conduct accompanying research there, for the purpose of receiving repeated nutrition. Following responses from Arab schools in Israel, the need arose for holding special training courses for Arab science and technology teachers, with the aim of forming a group of mentor teachers who could guide their colleagues. These teachers go through a three-year training course consisting of one day of training every week (held at Eshkol Hafis in Shafaram), as well as a week of intensive training at the Weizmann Institute of Science. During the concentrated week, the teachers heard lectures on topics related to color, experienced a fabric dyeing workshop, listened to lectures on scientific topics, and even toured the Weizmann Institute of Science and various industrial plants.

Fitnah Zoevi, a middle school chemistry teacher in Nazareth, prepared an exhibition with her students that attracted a lot of attention from policy makers in and around the city. Regarding the students' reaction to the new teaching methods, she says: "Studies according to the previous program were boring, while the new program includes a wide variety of subjects, and the students are enthusiastic about the material being studied."

Faraj Jarays from the village of Raina, a chemistry and physics teacher in the middle school in Nazareth: "The new curricula encourage cooperation between all the science teachers in the school. The problem is that it is relatively difficult to implement and realize these programs in overcrowded classes that include many students. However, the good students benefit greatly from the new programs, which allow them to learn experientially."

"The concentrated week was very effective," say the coordinators of the training, Varda Shilo and Dr. Yehuda Ben-Hur. "Further on, the teachers will choose one area related to the unit 'Through the Color-Systems in Industry', and will delve deeper into it with different methods of investigation in science and technology. This work will combine scientific, social and technological aspects". At the end of the training year, at the end of June, the teachers presented their work at a special conference held at Eshkol Hafis in Shafaram. In this framework, the teachers prepared presentations and described their work to the participants of the conference. Painting cars, leather clothes, hair, clothes, walls of houses, as well as edible paints. In summary, most of the teachers said that they will apply the new knowledge they have acquired already in the coming school year. Upon completion of the course, the teachers will be able to integrate into the schools in their area as subject coordinators and teacher instructors.

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